My Childhood In Wolverhampton 1946 1955 - a Memory of Wolverhampton.

I played in the standing corn stooks behind our house, had my first pony/horse ride at Dixon's farm where my horse went berserk in a potato field, so I was put onto and stayed on a horse lead. I flew my kites on Penn Common, I skated on frozen ponds (No skates - I couldn't afford them) in the distant fields, built snowmen on the green spaces on our estate, fished for minnows in West Park, collected stones in a galvanised bucket when I was a schoolchild at Springfield infants school - a back breaking job, ordered by the headmaster to create a school playing field on and over the old brickworks nearby and walked to and from school by myself over the greens, through the brickyard. Lovely golden days - where? - all in a Wolverhampton of long, long ago. We lived at 70 Enville Road, Penn, with my brother Roy. Our neighbours if I recall correctly were Mr & Mrs Alan Davies with a daughter Pat and her brother Jim on one side, and Mr & Mrs Jarman with sons Graham and Derek. Then Mr & Mrs Griffen .............that's the limits of a very young memory

Born in Stirling in October 1945 to a Scottish mum, Margaret, who, prior to having me was a Womens Royal Navy recruit. The forerunner to the Wrens. Dad, Paul, was in the Royal Navy, a submariner and lived with my grandad in Oxbarn Avenue.

To enable both Mum and Dad to work, I was 'farmed' out to stay with a dear old lady, whom I always knew as my Auntie Webb, who lived in a hedge lined Avenue off the main road opposite Bantock Park. Oddly, I recall being in my pram in her back garden and under a cherry tree. It had perpetual pink blooms - they are always for ever at that age! Aunty Webb was a very experienced and good hand sewer and had a massive threads cabinet in the front room; the parlour. In there I recall always being fascinated by a large chrome knight in armour - you lifted his visor and a flame arose, what a lighter! Opposite her house, in an avenue off, was a red and white striped sun awning topped sweet shop that sold, for threepence, a mixture of flyng saucer sherberts, aniseed balls, gobstoppers and twisted sticks of barley sugar. It was a mine field of a sweetshop, stacked high with jars of allsorts, liquorice, Cayliegh, and a miriade of sweets. Oh sweet days!!

I recall a tree with a knot in it's trunk I always looked out for on the top deck of the bus to Wolverhampton.

I loved going to see Santa Claus in Beatties at Christmas, the escalator was fascinating to me and I spent a lot of time going up and down them. We sat on Santa's Knee when he enquired what we wanted for Christmmas!! Can't do that now but no problems then.

Mum shopped in Baxters the butchers and the money was sent on an overhead zip wire to the cashiers office then back again with a receipt, again a fascinating experience for me.

I recall an ice cream seller, Percys, who came around on a motorbike and sidecar playing a loud tune to get us begging Mum & Dad for sixpence (2.5p) for a choice of any ice cream, choc ice, or ice lolly. He did well as he latterly had a posh ice cream van.

I left Wolvermpton at the age of 10 in 1955, full of sweet memories. Wolverhampton was then an innocent lovely town.


A memory shared by Alan Hickman on Jul 13th, 2020. Send Alan Hickman a message

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