My Life In York In The 1940s - a Memory of York.
I now live in Gisborne in New Zealand and turned 70 on 29 September this year.
Born in Sheffield I was evacuated to York in 1940 along with my mother (Mary) and older brother John. My dad, Reg, remained at his work in Sheffield. Unfit for war service he was a truck driver.
We lived at 23 Winterscale Street, where, in later years my mum and my grandma (Elizabeth Allison), ran a small off-licence and shop. By then Dad was driving buses in York.
If any reader has photos of Winterscale Street taken at anytime between 1940-48 I would be delighted to see them. I have a photo somewhere of the Winterscale Street street party for VE Day. Bunting is strung between the rows of houses but it's noticeable that the crowd consists of women and kids, very few young men.
I went to St George's Catholic Primary School and remember the walk there from home quite clearly.
We lost John in the Ouse in March 1946. He is buried in Fulford Cemetery. Before I get much older I intend to come to York and place a marker on his grave as the original wooden cross has disappeared.
I remember the cinema quite close to Winterscale Street and, a little further down the road the fairgrounds, where, when a fair was operating, us kids would pester the young soldiers, "Give us a penny mister!". It's surprising how many did! The Municipal Swimming Baths where I learned to swim where close by was the fairground. I also remember the busy market place in York; the railway station, railway museum, Clifford's Tower, the city walls and my parish church, St George's!
I remember the working canal boats or "barges" on the river and the leisure rowing skiffs. I tried swimming in the Ouse but just once. May have been the wrong time of the year but it was freezing!
Mum & Dad gave up the shop in 1948 when Dad took a position as Steward at the Leeman Road Working Mens' Club. I remained at St George's but two years later we moved to Leeds where he was the Steward at the Meanwood Working Mens' Club. Of course I had to leave then.
However; one year later we were back in York where Dad was the Licensee at the Imperial Hotel in Clifton (?). I would welcome photos of this building if possible.
At this stage I did quite well in the 11+ examinations winning a scholarship to Archbishop Holgate's Grammar School.
However; before the end of the year 1952, my parents decided to emigrate to NZ. Dad gave up the pub and took up taxi-driving. Mum and me and younger brother David (b. York April 1946) moved to Mum's sister's house in Crayford Kent, Dad joining us there just before we sailed to NZ in the SS Largs Bay, Tilbury to Wellington, departing in February 1953. Dad wanted to come to NZ because his sister (Dot Lawrence - her husband Arthur had been the Steward at the Tramways Club) and her family and Dad's parents (Frank and Elizabeth) had come here in 1948.
It's not York but I well remember trips to the seaside. Usually Scarborough although, after Mum & Dad bought a little car, a 1932 Ford 8, we would drive. Once having a whole week's holiday at Reighton Gap. I also remember Flamborough Head, Filey and Bridlington.
My mum Mary, nee Lower, was born in West Harlepool. Dad was born in Pocklington. They met at a village dance in Everingham and wed in 1938.Mum passed away in 1997 in her 81st year and Dad in 2006 in his 90th year. They enjoyed two trips to York in 1977 and 1978.
If anything I have written rings bells for any readers I would be delighted to hear from you. My address is 6 Coldstream Gisborne NZ 4010, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
I am especially interested in 1940s photos of Winterscale Street and the Imperial Hotel.
Best wishes to all.
A memory shared by on Nov 26th, 2010.
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