My special memories
REDCAR – Early 1950’s
Walking the length of Coatham Road –
- A Child’s View
It was Saturday morning, armed with a shopping list off I went to earn my weekly pocket money, shopping for Mum.
Walking along Coatham Road, the allotments on the right had husbands and fathers scattered all over them as they each worked on their own personal bit of land, growing the vegetables etc., for their families. My father being one of those…. Weekends and evenings there was always someone working on their plots.
After the allotments I walked past Coatham Church on my right and Coatham C of E school on the left. Next after the alley way came Vaseys mixed business store whilst on the right The Gables stood proud. Looking down Blenheim Terrace I could see my school White House….. thank goodness it was Saturday no school until Monday. At the other end of Blenheim Terrace, Stead Memorial Hospital could be seen on Kirkleatham Road. Past the butchers and the paper shop, temptation to walk along the low concrete wall’s at the front of the houses is to much, I imagine I’m walking a tighrope above the circus ring. There’s the Wee Shoppe, what a wonderful little shop that was, they sold every sweet and confectionery you could think of, big glass jars brimming with Gob Stoppers, Sherbet Dabs, a paradise!!!!
On the next corner was the Post office and down the alley between the Post Office and behind the Lobster Inn where the stables…….. you could ride one of their horses for five bob an hour, even a trot along the beach was included, five bob was a lot of money to us kids in the 1950’s. We never did get to ride those horses.
Crossing over Lobster Road, the British Legion stood on the corner on the left whilst the cricket Pitch was across the road on the right.
Further along on the right stood the Municipal Buildings and the Cenotaph, then came the Library, Adults section at the front and children’s at the side please!!! Sir William Turner Grammar school for Boys came next on my right. Then my first destination, The West End Corn Store, over the road I went, no traffic lights then, but there were’nt many cars either. The rolled down sacks stood outside in front of the store on the footpath, rabbit hutches stacked against the wall between the Station Hotel and the Store. Inside, I had to weave my way between the rolled down sacks to reach the counter. “Two pound of fine Dog biscuits please”, these were weighed and tipped into a brown paper bag, the top neatly folded.
Back across Coatham Road where it meet Station Road, over on the corner stood Boagy’s with their wonderful Victorian glass and steel awning which went around the corner to the end of Boagy’s Windows. The steel was always painted bottle green as were the window surrounds, as you entered the store a loud bell jingled. On the opposite side of Station Road stood a Butchers a couple of small stores, then an exclusive Sports store which also sold School Uniforms. Then came Lonsdale’s Tea Rooms upstairs and downstairs. The end of that block stood Barclays Bank on the corner of Station Road and Queen Street.
My next destination was the Co-op on the opposite corner of Queen Street, here I queued for the week’s milk tokens, marveling at the way the assistant put the money into a little canister and placed it in a vacuum tube, the change came back the same way. Crossing over Station Road I can see the New Pavilion at the far end of the road on my left, whilst the Railway Station is at the other end on my right.
The chemist is on the next corner as I cross the road and further along is the Regent Cinema, what fun we had waiting in lines at the side of the cinema for the Saturday morning sixpenny matinee , rebels throwing bits of ice blocks into the queue to see us all jump. Further along on the right was a thin alleyway leading down to Henderson’s fish and chip shop, best fish and chips in Redcar in the 1950’s. Mr Henderson and his School teacher, wife lived in Henry Street.
In front of me in the middle of the road stands the Town Clock, with its lovely flower filled gardens surrounding the base, West Terrace to my left and West Dyke Road to my Right, On the corner of West Dyke Road stood the Midland Bank and on the opposite corner the Clarendon Hotel.
Hinton’s was next on my list, I stood and waited my turn looking at all the open square tins of biscuits, sacks of flower and sugar, big drums of treacle and molasses. “Half a pound of butter please”, the butter was cut from a large slab, placed on a piece of greaseproof paper and weighed, then carefully wrapped. The money put in the embossed beautifully decorated till, whilst the amount appeared in window at the top of the till.
Now for Mum’s brown loaf of uncut bread from Forbes Bread shop, it smelled delightful in there all the freshly baked bread. The loaf was wrapped around the middle with a fine white tissue paper leaving the ends of the loaf protruding, by the time the loaf reached home all four corners would be missing, nibbled off!!!!!! Did Mum ever wonder if the loaf was baked without corners!!!! Or did she just let me get away with it???? The latter I think.
Greenwoods Wool shop was the last on my list, all those different coloured cubby holes filled with wool, the shop was always full of people buying their couple of ounces of wool to see them through the week. My shopping list complete I knew the change I had left would be exactly the amount due for my pocket money. So off to Woolworths to see how quickly I could spend it.
Memories, it was fun to be a kid in the 1950’s.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
by Wendy Hall (Australia)