Happy Times

Dear Messenger...

Dear Richard.

After reading the Michael Glover articles, I have to say that, as an adult, I remember life on Coningsby Road quite differently. It was a friendly and happy place to live where the people were very hard working.

My husband and I had the ‘Corner Shop’ for a few years in the early to mid 50s. Running it and doing housework was difficult as we had a toddler and a young baby. In those days household appliances such as washing machines were virtually non-existent! My husband would run the shop or take over some household and parenting duties as soon as he returned from work. During the day neighbours would call to do their shopping and many regularly asked if they could help me by taking the children for a walk. I was very grateful and took up some of the kind and thoughtful offers. Things were still on ration, so closing the shop during the day was strictly forbidden.

A group of us, from the neighbourhood, organised a street party, hosted by the Fir Vale Hotel. Michael’s mother came into my shop occasionally but the street party was, probably, one of the few encounters that neighbours had with her. I can’t remember, for sure, what we were celebrating. It would probably be The Queen’s Coronation or the end of rationing. Only a few families on the street very lucky enough to have a television and we all had other neighbours in to watch special and commemorative events.

My son, who is a little younger than Michael, went to Firth Park Grammar school so knew him from there. In their teenage years, my son, daughter and Michael all went to Trinity Methodist Church, and the youth club. Many of those young people grew up to have good careers or successful businesses. Coningsby Road and surrounding streets all made up the very friendly Fir Vale neighbourhood. Even the B&C milkman’s horse was friendly and banged on our gate every morning for a slice of bread!

Happy, happy days as part of a friendly neighbourhood!

Gosh! I didn’t mean to write so much but all the memories just flowed!

Sylvia Reaney

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