60 Years Ago - a Memory of Handsworth.

I was born in the Witton end of Handsworth, so I relate more to Aston really. Albert Road School as a little girl, I still have a group picture of Class 2.1932. Canterbury Road Girl's School at 11 and Aston Commercial School in wartime. Evacuation split the school, then a bomb in front of the Ettington Road Fire Station closed the school. I have never seen such a huge hole that bomb dug, I've always compared it to any construction hole I've seen since. Our school shared, just mornings, with Sparkhill Commercial School. It took two buses to get there. We walked through New Street Station, picked our way through hoses and I'll never forget the smell of old demolished brick work and the burnt smell that hung in the air.
We were members of All Souls' Church and as a teenager I went with friends to Aston Parish Church, where I was confirmed by Bishop Barnes. Outings were limited when I was young. I fondly remember trips to Sutton Park on a Midland Red Bus, before the war, The Lickeys on a train to Barnt Green. Once in a while a day trip to Blackpool or Liverpool. We looked over a liner, The Duchess of York, great luxury. [Apparently sunk in the Battle of the Atlantic.] We must have been poor, though we didn't really know it, everyone we knew weren't any different. During the war, a friend Kath and I walked to Bracebridge Pool, in Sutton Park. The restaurant there had chickens, and we could get a boiled egg and bread and butter [remember the ration was one egg a week]. We saved the crusts for the mallards in the pool. And when I was there 20 years ago, their descendants were still there, waiting. I remember so many people, so many things [Now I can barely remember what I did last week] I do appreciate reading of other ordinary people's lives.This a great idea.I was Beryl Youel in those days. I'd love to hear from anyone who remembers as I do.Thank you.


A memory shared by Beryl Johansen on Jun 18th, 2013. Send Beryl Johansen a message

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