Growing Up In Tideswell - a Memory of Tideswell.

Memories abound about my childhood, jumping and leaping like a rabbit at Eastertime. I remember staying at my grandmother's (Norah Gregory, a marvellous woman from the no-moaner generation), or at my Great Aunty Jessie's (Jessie Oldfield, who lived at Market Square in her parent's home) on weekend nights, playing with the old-timers (their friends Cassie Fletcher or Lillian Harrison). Even if I lost ( for half pennies), they'd hand the booty over! A rich man with all my ha'pennies.

Mrs Warrintons, sweets and papers. Gregory's shop opposite The George, with the man with bad leg. The "bottom shop", that sold groceries, and for a time videos (I remember venturing in to rent "Lady Chatterly's Lover", my adrenalin flowing - the woman - (her name I forget), must have chuckled to herself after I left the shop in a stuttering and stumbling fashion, knowing that one thing I hadn't bought it for was the story).

I had a lot of relatives. My Great Uncle Norman had two grocery shops, one on Lower Terrace Road, the other in Market Square. He was a man of eccentric character. A great mop of hair standing near-on a foot high on top his head (where else would it be?). He used to make the kids swear (not the "F" word or worse of course) before he sold them sweets. And when visiting with my mother he'd sit me on his knee and give me a thorough pinching until my skin was red as a Chaffinches breast! When finishing work for the day, he'd go in and listen to Wagner or Beethoven or other composers, on full volume. And the kids would laugh. And he'd shake his fists! A brilliant man.

So many memories! Oh, on a topical note, the snow! Now I recall the winters were much harsher then, similar to the recent cold spell, but some years in the Seventies and Eighties, a fair bit worse! My Great Uncle Arnold (Arnold Oldfield) had a farm on Tideswell Moor, and was sometimes cut off for days. Julie (his daughter, and Doug Andrews, his son-in-law) used to put snow-chains on his tyres after diggers had excavated Tideswell Moor back into some semblance of normality.

Before my time, when electricity was non-existent, before my Great Uncle Fred Gregory, and his brother Ronald, my grandfather, wired up electricity onto the national grid (such as it was), Tideswell's main church had a special bell, which tolled in the harsh winter blizzards. This was so working men, who had no option but to work or starve, had to venture out. Once on the moors, if a blizzard blew down onto the hardy travellers, some charitable souls would toll the bell, so the travelling snowmen could head towards the tolling bell, and safety in the numerous inns of Tideswell.

These are just a few memories of Tideswell in the Seventies. Many more abound, but these particular memories were prominent in my mind while looking out the window at the beautiful winter scene.

A memory shared by Alexander Buttle on Dec 6th, 2010. Send Alexander Buttle a message

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