Allan's story - A Move to Lancashire

Allan Hart talks about his life and family in Liverpool in the 1930s

By Allan Hart

Allan Hart participated in our reminiscence sessions in Eastbourne in Spring 2007.

Parse the glarse

I was born in Sutton in Surrey, but we moved to Lancashire in the 1930s, well, to near a place called West Derby. I used to speak Southern but I had to learn to speak proper, quick. There was me mam and dad, and 4 other brothers, no sisters. Me dad was a commercial traveller, so he wasn't at home much, so it was 5 boys and me mam. At school I had a science lesson after we moved, and I asked someone to 'parse the glarse', and the teacher said, 'There's no r in it, it's pass the glass, not parse the glarse'. My dad was a Max Factor rep when Max Factor first came to this country. We never said dad, only father. My son-in-law used to call his father, Sir. It was very formal.

Gas explosion

I remember my grandad. He had a shop which was in 2 halves. One was a tobacconist and the left hand side was a barber's. This was in Highgate in London in the 1920s. I remember turning on all the taps on the gas cooker as a youngster, just playing like, not realising. My mum went to turn on the cooker, lit it, and it exploded in her face. My grandad died in his 80s after an accident. He was a big man, moustache like a walrus. He was my mum's dad, name of James Rothery. He wore stiff collars. At the time, I used to have to wear a little boater hat. I'm a great grandfather myself now. It's all different now. When our great grandson was 6, he went into assembly and said, 'My mum's having a baby, and it's not planned!'

Liverpool football

My friend and I used to go to Sunday school. We used to go round all the different Sunday school sports days and win everything. Then we would go to a different Church sports day the next week. I went to Everett Avenue School in Liverpool from age 9 onwards. I was good at art. I drew cartoons. I used to draw footballers for the Liverpool Echo. Sport was also one of my best subjects. I did cross country runs, 5 miles on a Saturday night!

Children in bare feet

Every Saturday night I had to run into the centre of town with a sixpence my mother gave to me to buy a piece of meat from a stall in the market. The market was in Scotland Road where Cilla Black comes from in Liverpool. This was a run of about five miles in my sixpence pumps from Woolworth's. I had to run the gauntlet of children in the Scotland Road area who were after my pumps as quite a few children were in bare feet. I used to hand my sixpence to the butcher when he noticed that he had nearly sold out as in those days there were no fridges. Then I had to run back through Scotland Road to pass the children again. The sixpence of meat was Sunday dinner to feed six of us! We always had to say thank you for the meal, and may I get down. We also had to say grace before eating. My brother still does.

Cutting the grass with scissors

As punishment goes, we used to have to cut the grass with the scissors. My mum used to say, 'I'll give you the back of my hand'. My favourite food is bread and jam. I eat anything. I'm very fond of children! I've never had a knickerbocker glory. I want to try one! My mum used to stand there in her nightie, saying, 'High time you were in', about 10pm at night when we were out late.

To hear Allan sharing some of his memories click here

This page was added by Susan Morrison on 31/12/2007.

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