Interview with Edith Taylor

Title

Interview with Edith Taylor

Description

Edith Taylor (née Tate) grew up in Manchester and experienced the bombing of Manchester. She also describes life as a young evacuee.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

2017-03-01

Contributor

Christine Kavanagh

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

01:03:53 audio recording

Language

Type

Identifier

ATaylorE170301
PTaylorE1703

Coverage

Conforms To

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

AM: So, I’ll just introduce it first of all. So, my name’s Annie Moody.
ET: Yes.
AM: And I am, um, talking to you today on behalf of International Bomber Command and today is allegedly the first day of spring, the 1st of March 2017. So, today I’m with Edith Taylor and she’s going to tell me about her life basically [slight laugh]. So, you’ve told me Edith that you were born in October ’30. Where were you? Where you were born?
ET: Here in Manchester but it was, like, Crumpsall Hospital you see but I lived in Miles Platting at the time. I was born there.
AM: Right. Did, what about — did you have brothers and sisters?
ET: Yes, I had one brother and one sister. I was the eldest. My brother, um, he was about three and a half, 1934. My sister was born 1935.
AM: Right, OK. And what did our dad do?
ET: He was in — well, he was at Carys, the spring and axle place. He was — that’s what I think it come under, engineering like, but he’d served his apprenticeship years before and then — well, I’ll come to that in a bit. Now that’s what he did, at Carys, Springbank.
AM: Right and what about your mum?
ET: Well, my mother, I only ever remember my mother as my mother, but there again she had heart trouble apparently. She died with that, um, she died. The war started 1939 and I was nine on that 27th of October but in the February she died, just like two or three months after the war?
AM: What, what was your early life like then, you know, as a little — as a child, school life and all the rest of it.
ET: Right. Oh as a little one? I could tell you little stories that happened to me.
AM: Oh do, do.
ET: Right. Well, I can go back and I can remember this as plain as anything, 1935 actually [cough] and I lived in Cobden [?] Street, Mile Platting, near the gasworks, I don’t know if you ever remember or not, but Gleden Street Gasworks. But we lived at grandmas with my dad and mum and it was the Silver Jubilee of Queen Mary and King George the Fifth and I was obsessed with this from — you know, once I started the nursery school, I just can’t remember, but I was obsessed with crowns and everything and I wanted to see Queen Mary with a crown. Anyway, we had street parties and then we had pianos outside. There was no [unclear] if it rained it didn’t work properly, only the battery one, you know, the accumulators, and so I was at the children’s party and everything and somebody had said, ‘Oh, down there is Queen Mary and King George the Fifth.’ But we found out and I’ve known since that somebody must have been dressed up as them and gone round to the streets to the parties you see. Well, I really believed it was Queen Mary and King George the Fifth, staring, eating, anyway I must have fell asleep during the festivities. They whitewashed all the edgings, red, white and blue bunting and that and you name it. And I fell asleep and the next morning I woke up and I was really upset and in tears and my grandma said, ‘What’s the matter?’ ‘Queen Mary come and I didn’t see her.’ So she said, ‘Don’t go —.’ I said, ‘Well, she didn’t see me.’ I said, ‘You should have woke me up. I told you to wake me up if I was asleep.’ So she said, ‘It’s all right. She did kiss you and she wouldn’t let me wake you up. She said, ‘No, don’t waken her up.’ And I believed it. ‘Don’t waken her up. She’s in a nice sleep.’ I said, ‘Oh, did she?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Did she have a crown on?’ And she said, ‘Yes.’ So, from then on everybody — ‘Queen Mary kissed me, you know, she come down the street.’ [laugh] And I believed that for a long, long time, that Queen Mary had been and kissed me and I imagined her with it, you know, the — she used to have a high neck thing —
AM: With a string of pearls.
ET: Yeah and I’ll tell you that was their Silver Jubilee 1935. I remember that, yes, because I remember them playing the piano, “Sons of the Sea” and all that kind of thing and they were all singing and everything. I remember that day. It was, it was something that stuck in my mind because the Queen was there.
AM: And she kissed you.
ET: Yes, she kissed me but I didn’t know. [laugh]
AM: And what about school? What, what was school like? How many exams have you got?
ET: Well, I went to Holland Street School near the Red Rec where we used to end up going in the air raid shelters after. We thought we were safe there where the guns were. So, all round was the ack-ack guns firing at the planes and we was in the underground shelters. And, er, there was a big school at the bottom and it was Holland Street but in the meantime, I think it was about 1936 or ’37, my dad and my mum branched out from my grandma and they went and got this house in Ashton New Road, and it was down a side street, eight doors away from the new Royal Cinema, and I went to Christ Church then. It was a church school. Yeah, it was OK. I remember it. I can remember the headmaster, Mr Stubbs. I can, honestly. I remember him. We had to have a service every morning. It was the same hymn every morning “Every Morning is The Love”. That was the [unclear] the piano would be going, “Every Morning is the Love” [laugh]. That was wonderful. I remember some of the teachers. A Miss Lomax and she got married and her name was Mrs Wright, Miss Bates and Mrs Cole. Yeah, I do remember some of them, yeah, and Mr Carrick [?] and Mr Stubbs the headmaster and there was another one. I’m trying to think of it. Oh, Mrs Crowcock [?]. And, apparently, now I’m not sure about this whether it — but I’m sure it was her. She was coming to school, or it was either her or Miss Cole, one of those two teachers, and we all went in school and she never turned up. And she apparently she must have travelled to school on the train and she sat on this thing and she tipped over on the rails [?] just as the train was coming and was killed. Now that, that is true but I can’t just can’t tell you, can’t just remember which teacher it was now, yeah, but it was one of those teachers.
AM: That must have been quite shocking as a child, you know?
ET: Yes, well it was to us, yeah. And then the war started and my mother was still alive then and, of course, we all thought — well we didn’t but I mean we was kids — but they thought that there’d be bombing, you know, how everybody was because they was marching into all these countries dead easy. So there was a big evacuation scheme and my mother was allowed to go with my sister, as she was a baby, well she was a young kid but I had to go and look after my brother. So we went to Leek in Staffordshire.
AM: Was this the first year of the war then, 1939?
ET: Yeah. It started in, I think it was — don’t quote me again, I can’t remember. I think it must have been about October because the war started didn’t it in September? It was only a matter of weeks. It was a big evacuation scheme for children and mothers with little ones and, um, I do remember getting on a train with hundreds of children and we thought it was wonderful.
AM: On your own though. Not with any of your family? Oh, with your brother?
ET: With my little brother and, um, then I think the ladies were to be followed after and that but I do remember this, and I’m sorry to have to say this, but we were pretty poor in those areas and half of them didn’t know what an attaché case was, so they asked all the mothers to go to school and fetch bolster cases but on the beds were pillows.
AM: I was going to say what’s a bolster case then?
ET: It was the bolster that was that long.
AM: That was like a very long pillow wasn’t it, a bolster?
ET: A long pillow, yeah. One of them or a long pillow, yeah, or a pillow slip —
AM: Oh, so you mean literally the slip that would have gone over the bolster. I got you.
ET: Yeah, one of them if there was more than one children whatever and they all took them to school and they were all given these things to turn over and thread, ribbon or whatever, through them and we put our clothes in there [unclear].
AM: So you just had them over your shoulder.
ET: And the gas mask on the other side. [laugh] I remember that.
AM: What was the gas mask like then? Who showed you how to use it?
ET: Oh yeah, yeah. Well, up to five you had an ordinary — up to five you had a Mickey Mouse gas mask so they wouldn’t be frightened and it had a flap like a nose, a red nose and big goggles. Flappy nose. That was the up to five and it was a Mickey Mouse gas mask. The babies was in like a case and you used to have to pump. This is if they were gassed. The rest was, you know, used to just go on like a mask with a nozzle. But a lot of them said they was not all — they was — when I say a lot of them but it was in the paper and I wrote up and told them. It was in the Manchester [?] years ago and they showed a gas mask. They were given something at school. I think it was action Mecanno [?] and they put these gas masks with these goggles. I said, ‘No, they weren’t goggles. They was only goggles for the little ones. The gas mask had just a plain bar.’ And they wrote back and said, ‘Apologies, it was right.’ So I felt well they told the kids wrong there haven’t they?
AM: So off you went. What train station did you go from?
ET: Oh, I can’t remember the train station.
AM: Central Manchester or [unclear].
ET: I can’t remember the train station but there was hundreds of us there.
AM: So your mum, your mum had, you mum went off to —
ET: She went to Leek. She didn’t actually come with us. I think she came the day after.
AM: Right, so she went off to Leek with the, the littlest one. You and your brother, how did you get to the station? Did your dad take you?
ET: Oh, yeah. We had the, er, buses. They laid the Corporation buses on. They were red ones with the big lion on the side, you know, the Manchester Corporation. And, er, they all come out to all the schools, hundreds. They hardly had any buses then because they’d taken them to the schools to pick all the children up. But I’ll tell you this and I can tell you some stories and I mean this and I’m not exaggerating, you can believe me or believe me not, and I only wish I had the proof of all this, but we went to Leek and we went in the school and we sat on the floor, cross-legged, and this is God’s honest truth and I’ll stake my life on it, we got (there was no plastic then) a little carrier bag with a penny and a tin of Libby’s cream in it and a tin of corned beef, Libby’s corned beef, to take to wherever we were going, and we had them all in carrier bags. And my brother was only very young. I mean, he was only what? Five.
AM: Well, you’d be nine so he’d be five.
ET: Yes. So he was tired and there was a lot of us like that, all having to look after each other. I mean, I wasn’t just the one. There wasn’t only me. There were thousands like me. And, er, I said, ‘Well, tell you what. You carry my gas mask and I’ll carry your bag and the pillow slips.’ So I ended up with two pillow slips. He had my gas mask [laugh]. And we had this hill to walk up. Now we hadn’t — we didn’t know what a nettle was. You know nettles? There was nettles all alongside and we were getting — screaming and everything. Someone said a dock leaf and we thought it was marvellous. You know, we didn’t know what — and we sat on this grass verge and I always remember this as a child. I can even tell you where they went to as well. And, um, I sat there with my brother and I think we were the last to go because my mother said, ‘Do not be separated. Keep hold of Billy, he’s only little.’ And every chance I got, ‘No, not going to be separated. Not, wait, no, I’m not being separated. I’m with my brother. I’m going where my brother goes.’ So I lost out on a few places but they were coming in and a bit posh where we were in Leek. And they were weighing, weighing you up. They were coming and picking you off the grass verge. And they had a list, the teachers there, ticking them off and off you went. And I remember it was a Miss Bates. I told you about one of the teachers, and she said, ‘Well.’ She said, ‘The only thing we have here,’ she said, ‘but it would have to be on a temporary basis.’ We didn’t know what she was talking about. And she took us to this house. Oh, it was a big posh house it was and it was a doctor, Derek Stevenson [?]. I remember his name but his wife was a nurse and I can’t just remember her — I did know her name but I’ve forgot all about it since. But I remember she was one of those haughty things but he was alright, you know. Oh, this big posh house, you know, and they wanted grammar school girls and they weren’t arriving for another few days so she dec—, they decided, well she did, she’d take us in, you know, for just those few days and after that on your bike. And, um, what we did we went there and I think she thought she was still in hospital because about half past four, after we’d played out for a bit from school, and it was a very lovely summer that summer and, um, we had to go to bed. You know what I mean? Like lights out, kind of thing. But he was very nice, the chap. They were only very young. And this particular time me and my brother’s in bed and, er, we were talking and that, you know, and this knock come, well bell went I think or whatever. She said, ‘Oh well, come in but I don’t, I don’t approve of this.’ She said, ‘I, I do not approve of it at all.’ And I heard my mother’s voice. I shout, ‘Mum!’ ‘Stay where you are.’ So we stood there at the top of the stairs. So my mother said, ‘Well.’ She said, ‘And I don’t approve of what you’re doing either.’ She said, ‘Making my children go to bed on a lovely day like this.’ She said, ‘Now you either bring those children down.’ She said, ‘And let me take over. I’m here to see my children and then to see the sister.’ She said, ‘Now would you like — would you do that for me?’ And I remember them having words but anyway she said, ‘Come down.’ My brother put his little trousers on and she took us to the park and, um, oh we enjoyed it. ‘Do we have to go back mum?’ She said, ‘Yeah.’ But my dad was in the territorials and so as soon as the war started he was shipped off. Well, I say shipped off, he was moved out so she didn’t know where he was. It was all secret, you know, and she had heart trouble.
AM: So she was in Leek in a separate house? She was evacuated in a separate place?
ET: But she didn’t stay because my grandma gave up her home to go and live with my mum because of her heart trouble and the war being on and, um, so my grandma was coming to live with us again in Broad Street —
AM: So you all came back from — how long were you in Leek for then?
ET: Not all that long because I’ll tell you, my mother come home because —
AM: Right and that meant that you came home as well.
ET: No, we didn’t come home because of that. My mother came home because it wasn’t nice where she was billeted with this old lady. This old lady was really using her, putting on. Well, she had a bit of heart trouble. She couldn’t cope so she come home. She visited us again and she come home. But in the meantime we come home from school this particular day, my brother was sat in the corner and when I walked in she said, ‘Right, you’re going.’ The high school children had arrived, you know, from these places, so we went in this little van and off we went. Well, did you ever see that film, “No Room at the Inn”? Right, well it was like that but they was the loveliest people I’d ever known as children, honest. She was old-fashioned, long skirt, and he had a tash, you know, and he sat there with his pipe, just typical. There was quite a few children in that house and they were all from Hardwick, you know, they took — what evacuees, you know, what they took in. I mean, alright she got paid for them, but honest to God she was wonderful. She was absolutely wonderful.
AM: And this was the second house [unclear].
ET: This was the second house and we went in and we was frightened to death and he called, ‘Come in. Come in love. Come in.’ You know, real rough like. Oh, not like, not like Dr Stevenson [?], you know. So, er, anyway she took us upstairs and we was in a bedroom with about four or five kids so you can tell, you know, there was loads of them and, um, they were running up and down the stairs and when I seen that film I thought, ‘Bloody hell. That’s just us.’ Anyway, we did that and this is something else that I remember and, as I say, you can disbelieve me if you want. I mean, there’s no way I can prove it, but my sister, I went with my sister not long ago, and I cried at the Cenotaph because it brought back — my brother died. He dropped dead in the shower in Australia and, um, brought all those back to me. Anyway, when we — also she give us a penny and she said, ‘When you come back we’re all going to feed the ducks.’ So we said, ‘Right.’ And this was to go into the town. It was a Saturday and I, I used to love those Enid Blyton books. You know, they were only about threepence or something. But anyway, she give us a penny and we went into town with our gas masks and I said to our Billy, ‘Wait a minute.’ I’d got something in my shoe or something. Anyway, he left his gas mask on the Cenotaph. Well you had to go and report it to the police station if you lost your gas mask. We would have to go home won’t we? I said, ‘Where’s your gas mask?’ ‘I don’t know.’ I said, ‘You’ve left it on the Cenotaph.’ Went back, no. I said, ‘We’ll have to ask at the police station now so if they’ll lock you up.’ And I frightened the life out of that poor little bugger when I think about it. I was the boss. We took him to police station. I said, ‘He’s lost his gas mask.’ ‘Oh, where did you it sonny?’ ‘Don’t know,’ ‘I know where he lost it?’ I was in everything. So I said, ‘Are you going to put him in prison? In the gaol?’ So he said, ‘No, no.’ He said, ‘Ah thanks.’ I said, ‘You know what’s going to happen now don’t you?’ When we come out. He said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘A German’s going to find that gas mask.’ I said, ‘He’s going to take it.’ I said, ‘You know if any gas bombs come?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Well, you can’t share mine.’ I said, ‘Two of us can’t put that gas mask on one face. So you’ll have to be gassed.’ So he said, ‘Will I be gassed?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ And he was crying his little eyes out. Oh, I was, I was enjoying it. I was a bad little bugger wasn’t I? And then all of a sudden I said, ‘Come here. I’m only joking.’ And he sat on the Cenotaph and he was crying. I had my arms round him. All of a sudden, strike me if I tell you a lie, I looked up and said, ‘Here’s mum and gran.’ And my mother was walking up the main street with my grandma with our Dorothy and I ran up to her and she said, ‘What you doing here?’ I said, ‘We don’t live at that place now mum. We live at this other place.’ She said, ‘I’ve just got off the bus.’ They’d just got off the bus from Manchester whatever. So, she said, ‘When did you come?’ I said, ‘Yesterday.’ We was only there one day, oh no, what was it? Yesterday or the day before. We were only there a matter of a day or a couple of hours. Anyway, we took her to this house. So, anyway she, the woman said, ‘I’ve got their things here.’ You know, it was all legal and everything so — she was a nice lady. She made her a cup of tea with my grandma and that. So, anyway my grandma said, ‘Well, if you don’t mind we’re going to take the children.’ ‘Well, you can’t take them without a signature.’ So, my mum said, ‘I’ll leave the signature here.’ She said, ‘And you can take it up to the billeting office.’ She said, ‘Because they’re closed now.’ They called it the billeting office. And, and we come home. So we was home then because — and things were quiet. Then, after a couple of months, my mum died. Well, she was thirty-two. I mean [unclear] really. And she died with what I went in for, stents that they do now, but there was none then. Anyway, when she died my grandma was left on her own then. My dad was in the Army. So we had to be sorted out because they just wouldn’t let our grandma take us on because she was in her seventies, early seventies, well it were old then. And, er, I remember coming home for the funeral. I remember mum’s funeral. Me and our Dorothy had little purple dresses on and little braids and our Billy had a little cap and that was Phillips Park Cemetery and then we come — oh, then after that my dad come home on leave and it was compassionate leave and he had his uniform on and, er, that was something else that sticks on my mind. He sorted it out and we had to go to the town hall. He signed us but they wouldn’t let my dad sign the three of us over to my grandma. He had, she had to be sponsored. So, my Auntie Elsie sponsored our Bill. She was responsible although mum said, no, my gran said, ‘We’re keeping them together.’ That was in Broad [?] Street, still in Broad [?] Street and then my Auntie Elsie said, ‘Right, well little Dorothy.’ Because she had a little girl of her own age. There was nobody for me [laugh]. So, they said, ‘Well, what about Edie?’ They said, ‘Well, grandma can’t sign ‘cause she’s well over her age.’ ‘Well we need somebody with a signature. Other than that we’ll have to sort out some home or something out for her to the town hall.’ And that’s what used to frighten me. Anyway, I remember the woman coming from the town hall and it was a black hat and everything. Well, I had a cousin. I owed her everything. We was like sisters. She was ten years older than me so she was like nearly twenty but she was one of those had to get married. Her husband, well her husband had been shipped out, you know, Stanley, and she had to get married, kind of thing, but this was all hushed while we was kids. Uncle Tommy was a lovely man and she said, ‘Dad, our little Edie isn’t going there is she?’ And this and that. He said, ‘No she won’t. We’ll see to that.’ He said, ‘Come on.’ So he went down to the town hall and um my Uncle Tommy said, ‘Listen. She’s having a (they didn’t say pregnant then you know) she’s having a baby. Her husband is doing his bit. She’s nearly twenty.’ Er, something like that, no she wasn’t, nineteen, yeah, I know it was very young. He said, ‘So, if she’s old enough to give birth, old enough to be a mother and why can’t she be a mother to her? Why can’t she sponsor her?’ Anyway, they sent word through and they let her sign for me, so we was able to stick together, but all that my grandma got really, it was, it was bad really, because a lot of the women went on munitions were all getting money, but my grandma had seven shillings and sixpence, I think, old age pension and my dad’s Army pay, twenty-two shillings and sixpence, for four of us.
AM: To look after you all.
ET: So she got there, she did. And, um, you know it was just — and that but she was elderly and the Red Rec was where my Auntie Elsie lived and for safety the bombers used to come at tea-time or weekends —
AM: Oh that was what I was going to ask you. Carry on though and I’ll ask you in a minute.
ET: Yeah and, um, we used to get ready of a weekend, go down to my auntie’s on Bradford Road and we used to all would walk before the raid started so we’d be in the shelters ready.
AM: So what’s your first memory of that?
ET: The night of the Blitz?
AM: Yeah.
ET: It was Christmas Eve 1941 and we was all in the shelters and the ack-ack guns went bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! It was worse than a lot — it was worse than we could remember because the soil and everything was coming down.
AM: Just, that’s just going back a little bit. So [cough] excuse me. So from you being back home with your grandma what did you see of the war then in — before the Blitz?
ET: Well, there was air raids and we, we — what it was, my gran used to have a shawl and she had a bag. Now, we were at home and I had to have to look after my brother. Now, I just I thought you just wanted the war but I can tell you this. That was my responsibility. I was a mother at nine, ten. I used to have to get up early, get myself ready with the slop bowl because there was no white sinks then. And get my brother up, well he was up, and wash, make sure he was washed and take him to school and then bring him home. Now that was that. We’d go to play a bit and then of course we’d have to go in for something to eat because of the siren and the sirens went nearly every night after that and that’s why I was re-evacuated. We went back again. Not to Leek, to Colne this time. That’s how all this lot come out —
AM: Is that before the Blitz or after?
ET: No, after the Blitz.
AM: Right OK. So the sirens are going and you’d mentioned the air raid shelters that you went in —
ET: Yes but that was in — we had communal air raid shelters first. They was just brick with bunk, bunk beds in and we used to take all the comics in and everything, swap them. I remember the comics: the Knockout, the Film Fun, the Beano, the Dandy. I remember all them and we used to go to, go to the paper shop and we’d say, ‘You get the Dandy and we’ll get the Knockout and we’ll swap.’ It was a lot of comics and, er, there’d be singing in the shelter or whatever and there’d be banging. But they were only the brick shelters. They weren’t — not like the Underground and, er, we used to — I remember this and do you know I had a piece of shrapnel in that shed for years and years and years and it went missing when the shed went.
AM: When you went. So did — so you went in the shelters. Did you actually see the planes?
ET: Oh no, no, no, you was inside. No. You could just hear them droning and the air raid wardens used come round with these torches inside because they weren’t allowed any lights outside and make sure everybody was OK and then — but we used to have to stand out at the kitchen door. It was a yard and I used to have to put Billy’s siren — they called them siren suits — and it was a [unclear] you’d zip it up, hood on and our Bill used to be there and I used to get him in, zip him up, ‘Right, Bill. Get down.’ But he was always half asleep, you know, how kids were and we’d stand on the — and I remember this standing on the — in the yard near the door, and my grandma would have Dorothy under her shawl and her bag and she used — you’d see it all then, big flashes in the sky, searchlights.
AM: What was it like that, seeing that?
ET: Oh, it was searchlights in the sky, crossing each other, and this way and that way. You know, you could hear them, brrrrrr. Bang! Bang! Bang! Whatever, fighting or whatever, and you’d hear crashing, the big ack-ack guns and you’d see, sometimes you’d see white hot flashing shrapnel from the shells flying past, not flying past your head but flying in the air, you know. Well, that’s what you had to be afraid of because they were white hot and, er, we used to sit there but there wasn’t only us, I mean, everybody used to hear them shouting, ‘Yeah, right now!’ And they used to come out of the thing and used to run in the shelter and my gran used to say, ‘Grab him.’ And then I used to have to hold him at his back because he was always half asleep. ‘Er, I’ll kill the Germans when they get here.’ I’d say. ‘Well, wait till they get here.’ But anyway this is how it used to be and she used to sort of — well she couldn’t run properly. She’d hurry up in the shelter. I can’t remember how she used to — I don’t think she ever went before us. You know, she used to have us in front of her, that was my grandma, and she used say, ‘Don’t let him fall. Get your hands over your head.’ And my brother used to have to put his hands over his head like that. Now, whether that was something they was asked to do, thinking it was white hot shrapnel, I don’t know but I always remember and the [unclear] used to say, ‘He won’t put his bloody hands over his head.’ Or something like that. But so it might have been something like a piece of propaganda, I don’t know. I don’t know what, what safety it was, I don’t know. All that I knew that he had to put his hands over his head and I had to grab him and we used to run with him into the shelters. Then after that it got so bad that my grandma was feeling, you know — that’s when we used to come down to my Auntie’s and go down the underground shelters with the family. That’s how we come to get there ‘cause our Phyllis was there. She’d had the baby. Of course, there was ten years between me, me and my cousin and ten years between the little one.
AM: And you. So you was little.
ET: Yeah, so of course they used to sit, you know, how they do, the babies. She used to have this bloody big gas mask, you know, all of them did, so we used to go down the underground shelters. But the night of the Blitz, um, I remember Tate and Lyle sugar factory going up on Oldham Road and it stunk for days of the sugar.
AM: What did you see? What, you know, from the beginning of it just try and describe what it, what you saw.
ET: Well, that’s, that’s the things that I saw. The shrapnel, you know, flashing pieces of shrapnel flying in the air.
AM: Could you actually see the planes?
ET: If they was caught in the sunlight, if they was caught in the searchlight, but you was never allowed outside the shelter. It was only when you were running towards —
AM: Yeah that’s what I’m thinking about, as you were running towards the shelter.
ET: If you was to look up you’d just see the searchlights going and then you’d see flashing lights, you know. I don’t ever remember seeing a plane caught in the searchlight but I did know people used to say, ‘Bloody hell. They’ve caught one in them lights anyway.’ So, it’d be a German one, wouldn’t it?
AM: Yeah.
ET: So, but I mean all we was concerned about was getting in the shelter and away from the shrapnel and watch it didn’t hit you and that. Yeah, so and then we went in but the night of the Blitz I remember oh it was awful. It banged and banged and banged all night. Oh, it was terrible and when the all, all clear went, the siren went, the all clear, we all come out and we were all like — do you know from the shells it was even shaking the shelters like and, you know, it must have been more now than on the [unclear] because there was women as well. There was ack-ack. As we were going out my Uncle Tommy (he was in the 1914 war) and he said, ‘My God, Elsie.’ That was his way. He said, ‘Town’s on fire. The sky’s, the town and sky is on fire.’ As we come out, I’m not joking, the sky was as red it looked just like flames, the sky, but they’d had a go at Manchester, Trafford and that area. I mean, next day everywhere you went there was unexploded bombs. You couldn’t get anywhere. I mean, I didn’t go down but you couldn’t get anywhere. It was all roped off. And, um, it was — and I thought the world’s come to an end, you know, you do. We’re all on fire and in own our minds we all — ‘cause the kids was — we’re all burning up. We’re, we’re all on fire because the — it was red and I mean blood red with streaks of different colours in the sky, like a rainbow I should imagine, I don’t know. But that was the night of the Blitz but it was because of the incendiary bombs and the, all the guns and everything going and the searchlights were still searching so it was like, um, a pattern, just like a pattern of different coloured lights and, you know, different colours. And that was the night of the Blitz. Well, after that it was so bad then.
AM: When, when you came out of the shelter then in the morning you said that the Tate and Lyle factory had gone.
ET: Yeah, well yeah. I can’t remember whether it was that night or not but I have no memory. I remember coming out one day —
AM: What did it smell of?
ET: I don’t know. Burnt sugar but —
AM: Just burnt, like horrible burnt sugar caramel smell?
ET: Burnt sugar. Yeah, yeah, very strong.
AM: When you did came back out the shelter after the Blitz did you see houses, any — the damage?
ET: Yes, we had some rel— relations, my dad’s cousins or something, [unclear] I don’t know if you’ve heard of that. That was right near Phillips Park cemetery. They used to have a little black dog and they’d come out of the shelter, this particular night, and it had got dark the night of the Blitz they went in this shelter but they never used to go in it and that was bombed. Now Energy Street, the next street up, now I don’t know whether that was the night of the Blitz, but I remember a land mine dropping in that street and everybody was evacuated out of it but half of it went up. That was in Energy Street. That was, that was near the shelters.
AM: So how near, how near to being bombed out were you?
ET: Well, I don’t — well, only in the shelters that’s all, but not in the houses. There was a house went up a few streets away and everybody went. You’d have thought it was — what they call it? Blackpool Illuminations. Everybody went to see it. [laugh] ‘Ay, go and see the house that’s been bombed.’
AM: So as kids you were looking.
ET: Yeah we was all there looking. We were on the ground picking up the shrapnel up from the floor and, you know, the shells and sticking in the soil, you know, from those, these shelters but, um, then in the shelter we’d say, ‘What time is it?’ Such a thing. ‘Ah!’ When the all clear went. ‘Ah!’ We’d all have to go to school but if the all clear went after a certain time we didn’t have to go [laugh].
AM: Right.
ET: You know, so its kids wasn’t it? Then we went to Colne. Now that was a different thing altogether.
AM: That was when you were evacuated again?
ET: This time my mother had died and everything so this time off we went again —
AM: When you say we —
ET: Me, Billy and Dorothy.
AM: So the three of you.
ET: But I had to look after Dorothy this time. Billy had to be on his own.
AM: He was a bit older now.
ET: Well when I say older, he was only twelve months older. He was still a baby to us and I remember the buses coming again, picking us all up, and I do remember all this crying and one thing and another because things got bad then and I remember my grandma waving to us. And I’ve thought back since, I’ve thought we had no mother or no father to wave us off, you know, we was just three on our own.
AM: Yeah because how often did you see your dad, not very?
ET: No, my dad was in the Army.
AM: Yeah that’s what I mean so —
ET: No, we didn’t see him for years.
AM: Not even on leave or anything like that?
ET: No, well no, he didn’t come home on leave. They didn’t go on leave like they did — and he was waiting to go abroad but he was in a unit where he was shipped him from one place to another because his unit had gone. He was a signaller so they used him here. But I mean he was in London. He was all over the place.
AM: So, basically, you’re three kids on your own. You had your grandma —
ET: Well, that’s it. Yeah, we were. We was — they used to say we were orphans. Anyway one Saturday — oh, and then we went to Colne.
AM: What was that like? What was Colne like?
ET: Very nice. The people were a lot different. They were us. Do you understand me?
AM: Because Colne was a working — a mill town?
ET: A mill town, yeah. It was our thing. They were more understanding and I’ll tell you it was thick with snow when we arrived and it was at Christ Church School in, um, Wycoller, not Wycoller. It was Wycoller, Trawden — oh, what was it called? Yeah, it was [emphasis] Wycoller but it was Christ Church. And, um, there was, there was Trawden nearby, all round that area, but when we arrived it was thick with snow and we was freezing, really cold, and they give us all a muffin and I think it was drinking chocolate to warm us up and we sat there in the school and it was lovely and warm. There was teachers there and it wasn’t coming and picking you. They were just coming to the counter and they were saying, ‘A little boy.’ You know, well, ‘A little boy over a year.’ You know and things like that and they ticked them off. And they put transport on for them. Yeah, they did. They were volunteers. They were coming and taking them because it was thick with snow, ‘People won’t —.’ They kept saying, ‘People won’t be coming in.’ Because there wasn’t many cars then. ‘They wouldn’t be coming on the buses to pick a child and then go all the back to Trawden.’ So, they laid all the transport on for everybody so that they would come and pick the children and they did. And, er, I remember somebody shouting, ‘William Tate.’ I said, ‘You’ve got to go Billy.’ ‘I’m not going.’ I said, ‘You’ve got to.’ ‘No I’m not. I want to stay with you.’ I said, ‘You can’t.’ And he was crying. Anyway, he went up to the thing and he had a lovely lady. They wanted to adopt. Oh, they were lovely with him. He stayed there nearly all through the war. He went in the Army from there and everything.
AM: But you did get split up the three of you?
ET: Yeah, yeah, well no. Well, Dorothy, she was very young so my brother went and we went to a lovely lady called Mrs Bolton and her husband was in the Navy. She was going to Plymouth to stay, be stationed with him, but she was just taking us on because this other lady’s mother had an accident or something and she couldn’t take us in so she did the honours till — it was only for a few days. And we went to bed but she was lovely. I said, ‘I just want to know where my brother is?’ Because we didn’t know. She said, ‘I’ll find your brother for you.’ I said, ‘Will you?’ She said, ‘Yeah.’ Well, our Dorothy and me was in bed. These are sentimental things. Do you want to hear them?
AM: Yeah.
ET: And I was in bed and I kept thinking, ‘Where’s our Billy? I wonder where our Billy is.’ And our Dot would say, ‘Are you going to find Billy?’ I said, ‘Yes, we’ll find him tomorrow.’ And she put a little radio on for us beside of the bed. You know, ‘Now go to sleep. Be like good girls.’ She said, ‘And I will see what I can do tomorrow.’ So we said, ‘Alright Mrs Bolton.’ And I’ll tell you what come on. Now I said it was Gracie Fields. She did actually sing it but apparently it was Vera Lyn. But I said there is a record I’ll swear there is, “Goodnight children everywhere. Your mummy thinks of you tonight. Lay your head upon your pillow. Don’t be what’s that weeping willow.” I was crying my eyes out. It was on the radio and our Dot was fast asleep. The next morning she’s, upon my life and I’ll never stir from here. We gets up and she had twin nieces, and they was twin nieces there. Lovely girls. I think I’d say about fourteen. I’m guessing ‘cause — so she said, ‘Mrs Bolton’s gone down to the billeting place.’ She said, ‘In cold, in the streets, to find out your brother is and we’ve come to stay here until she comes back.’ I said, ‘Oh, alright.’ And she come back and I can remember the names of the things. ‘I’ve found out where your brother is.’ ‘Oh, have you?’ ‘Yes.’ She said, ‘Number 14, Holme Street.’ ‘Where’s that?’ ‘Round the corner.’ It was round the corner, in Cottontree.
ET: Have you heard of that?
AM: No.
ET: Cottontree, on the Colne. And I said, ‘Round the corner?’ She said, ‘Yes. So if your get yourself ready you can go round.’ So, and their names’ Mr and Mrs Greenwood. So me and our Dot went by the gate. We wouldn’t use the back. The gate was that high. So we’re knocking on the gate. Nobody could see us. So anyway, I put my hand up and this woman said, ‘Who is it?’ And I said, ‘Is my brother here?’ She said, ‘Oh, is it Billy’s sister?’ So I said, ‘Yes.’ She come and opened the gate and he was crying. They’d got him a little policeman with some sweets in and he was crying his little eyes out. He’d cried all night for me, yeah. And, er, so it was OK. So, I had to write home then to my gran to say we’ve found Billy, he’s alright and this that and another and we’re alright. But we touched for a rotten home. I’ve got a mark here on my shoulder here now. He cut me with a leather belt.
AM: What, the people —
ET: The farmer where we went after. Yeah, he did, yeah.
AM: Why?
ET: For laughing [laugh]. It — well, that was the name, Catlow, Kitty Catlow and, er, her husband and he had — he worked on the farm at the side of the thing. Anyway, we had to be billeted again so they took us then to this house near the moors, but not far on the other side of Christ Church School, and it was called, er, Bluebell Cottages and I remember that. And we went and they were little thatched cottages and they were beautiful. So we went in and her name was Kitty Catlow, Mrs Catlow. They was only very young. They had no children and he was big and he only had one eye. I always remember it. And she was alright with him but she was always at her mother’s down in, in the centre of the town and, er, it was one of those cottages where you used, used to go upstairs and sleep on the landing. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen them. There’s a lot of them in these places. I mean, not so much now I don’t suppose. And we had this bed on there. Of course we had the giggles me, didn’t we, me and Dorothy? I was always bloody giggling. And he told us to shut up. So we did. ‘He, he, he, he.’ Oh, and all of a sudden he came up with this leather belt and a buckle on it like that. It was a big farmer’s belt. He said, ‘You’ll get this if you don’t shut up.’ Well, we didn’t, did we? We were still tittering but not out loud. Oh, this belt come up. I got it here on the back of my neck and he hit me. I went over Dorothy like that and he hit me and it poured with blood. And it was really, really sore. Anyway, listen to this —
AM: Imagine nowadays.
ET: Oh, ay. I was screaming and that. Anyway, she — I don’t know whether she just wanted to, wanted Dorothy there, the baby, the little one, and be rid of me, obviously for some reason or other, but she, she blackened my character. She kept saying I was very cheeky. I wouldn’t do as I was told. I was really a bad’un, you know, but in one way she couldn’t cope. But the little one, yes, but not me. So, anyway, this particular time — also I went to school, come home from school, and she said, ‘Don’t make yourself comfortable because you’re not staying.’ I said, ‘Oh, aren’t I?’ She said, ‘No.’ And it was a little van come up, another little van, and we went to Alkincoats Hall in the park and we went right near where my sister lives now. She lives, still lives there. Alkincoats Hall, it belonged to Coat’s Cotton, you know the reels of cotton. It was a mansion and they gave it to over for any evacuees and all. It was all evacuees nobody wanted, you know, thieves and allsorts. I went there and our Dorothy was sat on the doorstep crying for me. So I was separated from her then wasn’t I? So I went to Alkincoats Hall then. I was in a dormitory with all these young girls and they were alright. But some of the experiences in there. I had to dance. We used to roll brown paper up and smoke them. We thought we were big. We’d have a stay in, you know, draw the curtains. And the nurses from Ancoats Hospital looked after us. Yeah, they all — the nurses used to come and looked after us, this and that. Then one day I was playing and somebody said, ‘Edith Tate’s wanted.’ I thought, ‘I haven’t done anything.’ I thought, ‘Nobody’d seen me smoke.’ Because we were all doing it. You know how you do? Nobody’d seen me smoke and that. And I walked out and there was my Uncle Tommy and my dad and my Uncle Tom was a lovely man. He’d have looked after us. I said, ‘Dad. Uncle Tommy.’ You know, and my dad was crying, and he said, ‘You alright love?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Have you been to see Dorothy?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘We have.’ He said, ‘Dorothy’s at home.’ Oh I said, ‘Is she?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Can I come home?’ He said, ‘Yes you can.’ He said, ‘I’ve come for you.’ But he’d got a visitors [?] and when he got there the teach— she was a teacher next door, she said, ‘Can have a word with you Sir?’ So my dad said, ‘Yes.’ He was in his uniform. She said, ‘Well.’ She said, ‘I don’t want any reprisals. I don’t want —.’ But she said, ‘If I was you I wouldn’t let the children stay with her. Well, I should say your little daughter. She’s got rid of the big one.’ He said, ‘What do you mean?’ She said, ‘Where she is I don’t know.’ She said, ‘But she was taken away in the van yesterday.’ So she said, ‘And she’ll be at her mother’s as usual down town.’ ‘Well, where does her mother live?’ ‘Well I do know where her mother lives.’ She said, ‘But don’t tell her I told you.’ So she told my dad. Well, my dad was on his own. So he went looking and Dorothy was in the back yard in her mother’s. And he said, ‘Dotty.’ ‘Dad.’ So he comes over. He said, ‘Where’s my daughter?’ So the mother, she said, ‘Kitty’s gone shopping.’ She said, ‘I don’t know here she is.’ He said, ‘Yes, you bloody do. I want to know where she is now.’ She said, ‘I honestly couldn’t tell you.’ She was frightened of telling him. So my dad gets on the bus to bring my sister home but he was frightened to death. He’d come home on compassionate leave from London.
AM: So where did the three of you end up if he’d gone back home then, back to your grandma?
ET: Yeah, we was at home, yeah, we was back. And anyway he went to the farm. I believe the language was awful. [laugh]
AM: Did he know about the belt thing?
ET: No, not until later on. No, no. And, um, he went to the farm. He says, ‘I want to see Catlow.’ I can just think of his face now. So this young lad says, ‘Well, he’s busy.’ He said, ‘Not too busy enough to see me.’ Well my Uncle Tommy had come with him you see and my Uncle Tommy’s a big fella. He said, ‘Not busy to see me.’ He says, ‘Get him here now.’ Anyway he wouldn’t come. So my dad says or my Uncle Tommy says, ‘I’ll bleeding go in.’ I’ll not swear. ‘I’ll go in there. I’ll soon go in there and sort him out.’ He says, ‘You’re trespassing Tommy. No. Wait until he comes out.’ He said, ‘I’ll wait all night. He’s got to come out this way.’ Anyway he come, shaking. Well, I believe it was choice see and the remark was passed, ‘You’ve got one so and so wife and you won’t have your other eye if you don’t tell me where my daughter is now.’ He was frightened. ‘Alkincoats Home.’ ‘And where’s that?’ And that’s when my dad come. It was the next day. He’d been looking for me and he took me home my Uncle Tommy had gave me a comic and all. Oh, they was thrilled and I come home and I was home for a bit.
AM: So you and Dorothy come home. Did Billy come home as well?
ET: No, Billy had a lovely place, yeah, Billy. He was really good. And then, um, that was it.
AM: So what year are you in now, ’43?
ET: Now, well I’m guessing, I’d say about ’43.
AM: ’43.
ET: ’43 yeah.
AM: So you are thirteen by now?
ET: Yeah, near of enough. That could be — I could be well out there. I don’t know about that. I can’t remember all the years. And then I left school at fourteen.
AM: So, you left school at fourteen?
ET: Yeah and I went to JD Williams’s in town, you know the place, for nineteen and eleven pence.
AM: So, what was that. What did you do there?
ET: It was clerical work because I was quite clever at school. I mean not, you know, not whatsit but I was and I passed and everything but there was no money. I couldn’t go —
AM: No you couldn’t — so you didn’t do a school certificate even?
ET: No, well you didn’t have them, yeah, unless went to grammar school or something but that was out of the question. So, I went to Johnson Street Senior Girls School near Palmer Street Baths, you know, going up towards Openshaw and, um, when I was fourteen I left and I went to JD Williams’s.
AM: How did you get the job? How did you —
ET: The school.
AM: Right.
ET: The school got me the job because I was going to go machining and it was a bit low that I believe at the time. I don’t know but I remember the headmistress saying, ‘You’re better. You can do better than machining Edith. And I’d rather go to what I think you’re clever at.’ Because I’m not being funny but I was. I didn’t tell him. My dad was an exceptionally clever man. His father went to Oxford University and he taught me a lot. There wasn’t nothing, you know, he was very good. So to cut a long story short so I left and it was nineteen and eleven pence starting. Where the eleven pence come in I don’t know but, um, after three months I got a rise of two and sixpence. So I got one pounds two shillings and five pence so I got an extra threepence spending money.
AM: So you had to give it to grandma?
ET: Oh, yeah. I had to give it up to grandma, yeah. Then my dad come home on leave again and when he went back they said, ‘We’ve no records of you.’ They were all bombed and that, in London, his records. So he said, ‘Well I’m still alive. I’m still here.’ So he had — they gave him a ticket. It was legal. War class reserve. They could call him in any time at all, any time, but until then they had to sort him out. Because they said, ‘You should have been in Malta.’ He said, ‘Yes, I would have been in Malta if it wasn’t for my wife dying.’ He said, ‘I was sent home to sort the children out and that band they’d gone. Well I didn’t know they’d gone. Well nobody knew where they were going.’ Anyway it was like that. So he was at home then and so it was great, you know, but he couldn’t get a job. Nobody in munitions would give him a job.
AM: So we’re still in the war years?
ET: Oh yeah, yeah and they couldn’t give — it was only the last twelve months or so. It wasn’t, it was — and it was nice to have dad back but they wouldn’t give him a job because they were all munitions and they weren’t allowed because he was a serviceman.
AM: Right.
ET: It was something to do with a legal thing and he was on war class reserve so they dare n’t so he got an old man’s job and it was a, a real good one, The Ruberoid on Stretford Road, Trafford, and it was felting, you know, all felting for roofs and stuff, um, bitu— bitumen and the ruberoid it was called. [loud noise]. He used to get — close the door Sam.
ST: Close the door Sam. [unclear] You’ll have five more minutes.
ET: Men. Anyway — mind you, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me, you know, honest to God it is.
AM: Good.
ET: Because I couldn’t get back to my true self you see [laugh]. Anyway, um, he got this job at Ruberoid and then — but I started then. I got an offer of a job. It was on munitions but because I was underage I wasn’t allowed to take it, a part in munition things, because you had to register at fifteen.
AM: Because you were fifteen by then.
ET: So I was able to go and all the rest of it. I didn’t have to register or get supported or anything because I was fifteen, going on sixteen, and I went to Rich— Stevenson’s Box Works on Pollard Street, don’t you ever know that or not? Ancoats way.
AM: Well I know where Pollard Street is.
ET: Well there’s a fire station near there and also, er, Carruthers Street, you remember that? Well this was Stevenson’s Box Works and it was turned into a munitions factory because he used to make bullet cases and bomb grenade cases. It was all cases, all boxes. It wasn’t the actual armaments.
AM: Explosives. It was the — yeah.
ET: But it was considered a munitions factory because they couldn’t export the live things, you know. Well I started there and I got five shillings more. It was wonderful. That’s why I went because I got five shilling more.
AM: And what was it like? What was it like working there then?
ET: They put me with this woman, a tall lass, broad laughing, very crude, but she was lovely. She married a Yank. She was nineteen and she would come in in the morning, well, there couldn’t — and she’d say, ‘Here. Come here littlun.’ Littlun! And she used to give me lipsticks. The lipsticks.
AM: Oh right.
ET: The things that she said and I was that naive I didn’t know what they were, you know what I mean? She’d say, ‘Here you are. Don’t give that away.’ And I’d say, ‘Thanks Mary.’ ‘Cause they were still in the case. It weren’t lipstick of hers. ‘Oh that’s a Max Factor lipstick.’ You know. She was wonderful with me. But like I say the things she said. I’d say, ‘What?’ They’d say, ‘She’s talking about —.’ But I knew it was bad and I knew it wasn’t right. I couldn’t ask my grandma. She’d have thrown me out. So I kept it to myself because I knew it wasn’t nice. But I was so — but well at that age —
AM: Well you were fifteen.
ET: Yeah, I mean — but I enjoyed it there and then, of course, I went on after that, you know, when things had calmed down. The war had finished and everything and that was it.
AM: And that was it. The end of your war. So what did you end up doing after, after the war?
ET: I went to Miller’s Baking Powder and, um, that was Cheetham Mill and while I was there we all had penfriends and I had a penfriend that was in Karachi. At the time he was in the Air Force. I can’t get away from it. I worked at Aerospace and all kinds. I can’t get away from it. And, um, actually he come home, you know, when they were having like freedom.
AM: Now, so a penfriend who was in Karachi but it was somebody who was English.
ET: Yeah, he was in the RAF. Yeah. No. It wasn’t him.
AM: Oh right. It was different. Right.
ET: No, it wasn’t him.
AM: We’re pointing at a photo and we’re saying it wasn’t him.
ET: No, it wasn’t him.
AM: So not the person who became your husband?
ET: No and that was a little bit of an episode and what have you after that and I went on Phonatas [?]. That was a lovely job. I loved it. Went to all these places in town and everything. And I went to S and J Watts, now the Britannia Hotel. It was S and J Watts. And it was a marvellous building.
AM: Right. So what did they did do there?
ET: It was a warehouse where they did shirts, all women’s things, clothes, you know, and I went there one morning in my uniform, brown uniform on, you know, went up the stairs and, er, cleaning the phone. All of a sudden this lad come up. ‘What you doing?’ I said, ‘Cleaning the phone.’ ‘Oh.’ It was him.
AM: [Laugh] We’re pointing at the picture of her husband now.
ET: So, I said, ‘Oh.’ So he said, ‘And what else?’ I was sort of telling him. So I said, ‘Have you just started here?’ He said, ‘I’ve just come out of the RAF.’ Oh, I said, ‘Have you?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘I’ve only took this job really temporary because I have something else in mind.’ Oh, I said, ‘Right.’ He said, ‘Where do you go?’ I said, ‘I go to Bellevue, Speedway, down Prestwich [?].’ Which I did. ‘Do you go with your friends?’ ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘I go with a few girls, one in particular, Beryl, you know.’ So, he said, ‘Only I’ve got a cousin.’ He said, ‘I’ve been going out with since coming out of the RAF. We’ll meet you at Bellevue if you want in the ballroom.’ ‘Yes if you can do.’ And we did and from then on —
AM: And that was that.
ET: Yeah. Yeah. She went with his cousin for a while but she got someone else after and that was it.
AM: Was the zoo thereat Bellevue then?
ET: Yeah the zoo was yeah.
AM: With the elephant.
ET: Yeah. The elephant I can’t remember, the elephant I don’t remember that being there when — but I remember as a little girl I used to have a ride on it.
AM: That’s what, that’s my memory of it. The elephant you could all ride on the elephant at Bellevue Zoo.
ET: Yeah you used to go and have a ride on it yeah but I don’t remember riding on it after that so whether it had gone or not I couldn’t tell you about that.
AM: There’s a picture of it in one of the museums down on Oxford Road.
ET: Oh is there? Right.
AM: So then you got married and lived happily ever after, had your daughter I think you said.
ET: One daughter yeah.
AM: A daughter and you got grandchildren as well?
ET: I got one granddaughter. She’s thirty six and my little great-grandson there. He’s twelve months old.
AM: Ah.
ET: He’s a little darling. He really is. He’s funny.
ET: And you were married for how long? Fifty seven years?
AM: Yeah, when he died, yeah. Got married in 1950.
ET: But what I happen to know for the tape is that Edith and Warrant Officer Sam Thompson 9 and 103 Squadrons previously interviewed by my husband and Dorothy and enjoyed spending time together. Is that, is that a good way of describe it? You enjoyed sending time together.
AM: Oh definitely. Yeah we do.
ET: So you’re enjoying life.
AM: Yeah he comes in.
AM: Trials and tribulations.
ET: I mean he’s come here now for this week and I go back with him on Monday for another week.
AM: And you go off on your holidays don’t you?
ET: Oh. Yeah, yeah and that’s how I come to meet him at Richard Peck and we still go there.
AM: You told me. Yeah. Wonderful.
ET: Yeah, that was just out of the blue that was.
AM: I tell you.
ET: Yeah and even at Richard Peck they’ll say they used to love us and I said, ‘I hope they’ve kept our seat open because had a seat there just for us.’
AM: Where was that?
ET: Richard Peck where we go.
AM: That’s your holiday home at St Annes.
ET: Yeah but we go for the same price, such and such, they must say, ‘Right, your seat’s there.’ And I say, ‘I hope you’ve kept it right an’ all.’
AM: And all your family like him and his family like you.
ET: Yeah, they do.
AM: And why would they not.
ET: My daughter [unclear] the rest of them do [unclear].
AM: That’s another story and —
ET: Oh yeah. But that don’t bother me because I just went like this [unclear]. ‘You know your son.’ I said, ‘I know it’s your family [unclear].’ He’s come in now.
AM: Sam and Gary have now appeared and we’ve come to the end of the story so I’m going to switch the tape off.

Collection

Citation

Annie Moody, “Interview with Edith Taylor,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 30, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/3500.

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