Eileen’s Memories – Cranworth Gardens, Hackford Road, Durand School

Eileen wrote to me in November 2014, sharing her memories of living in Cranworth Gardens and of the surrounding area. She writes:

 “Hi Chris. I can tell you that I lived at 128 Cranworth Garden from when I was born in 1947 until I got married when I was 20.  My mother lived at 128 since the 1930s and she now lives nearby in sheltered accommodation.  She has recently had her 100th birthday.  My sister who is 75 still lives on Cranworth Gardens and has never left.

Early memories?  Ration books were still around and I can still remember the pig kept in the pig stye at the bottom of the garden. We had a ground floor flat.  All the immediate neighbours used to bring their leftovers for the pig and I can remember the day he was taken away in a crate in my father’s taxi.  I was about 4 and I wasn’t upset because I didn’t know where he was going…

I went to Durand Infant School and from there to the Reay School Hackford Road.  When we came out of school we never went home straight away but played in the bombed out houses across the road from the school.  It must have been deadly dangerous and it’s a wonder none of us got killed.  Later on, when the houses were demolished we used to spend hours playing on the bomb sites of which there were two down Cranworth Gardens and the black and white diamond floor tiles to what would have been the entrance were still in situ.  We all used to get absolutely filthy. Then it was hopscotch out in the road and it was really annoying to have to get out of the way when a car came along.

I see all the privet bushes are still there although in a very straggly state.

I got the impression our blocks were older than the others and I always felt 128 was very dark and creepy.  I remember having to go along a very dark passage to get to the bathroom and I used to dash like mad without looking behind me in case of any ghosts! The front room was massive with a lovely fireplace in it but only used at Christmas.  It was always freezing cold in there.  I remember the scullery was very primitive and I was always worried about spiders…

I remember Stan the chicken man who lived in the next block and I can also recall his Chinese wife.  As the article says he was a taxi driver as was my father. 

Loads of interesting memories you have brought back, thank you so much Chris.”

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