Early Years

Memories of Bright Street

Bright Street, Wolverhampton. Violet was born at number 25. Courtesy of David Clare.

I remember very well our next door neighbours - I think he was a bank manager, because I can remember him in those days wearing a silk hat and a frock coat.

Mother used to say their name was Adams and at night Mother used to put me in the front porch by the gate - I can remember it had an iron gate - to wait for Mr Adams to come home.

Mother said that I used to run back and say “Mummy, ‘Mamers’ is coming!” And he used to come up to the gate and he used to say “Ah! My little Violet” or words to that effect.

He had two daughters. They were lovely people. And that’s about all I can remember of Bright Street. Oh, I can remember that Mother’s friends kept a grocer’s shop very close and their name was Benton, and funnily enough Dorothy when she started - Benton they were in the grocery trade and eventually he moved away and they were in the confectionery trade - and later Dorothy went to work for him to manage one of his shops for him, which was rather funny, as it was many years since Mother and Dad had lost contact with them - And that’s as much as I can remember of Bright Street.
Memories of Horseley Fields

I think we must have moved back to Cleveland Wharf because Grandad and Grannie Harley they’d broken up. They’d parted and Dad went to manage the coal yard for them, so we must have moved to Horseley Fields.

Then the First World War came along and Grandad and Grannie Harley - ’cos she was a monster really. She disliked my Mother very much and she wouldn’t have anything to do with her, and of course that caused Dad obviously to take Mother’s part.

Horseley Fields. Courtesy of David Clare.

Well, she (Grannie) came down and kicked up a row because they’d decided to go together again and she accused my Father of all sorts of things - I was only small. I only heard what Mother said about it - and Grannie accused my Father of all sorts of things. One of the things was stealing money. You know, that sort of thing, but that was one of the things my father wouldn’t tolerate. So as a result of that, he joined up in the army and the next thing…

He had to get out of Horseley Fields and after that we went to Sunderland. Mother took Brother and myself and we left Dorothy with Grandad and Grannie Stevens back in the Midlands. Well, we were up in Sunderland I should think for about two years. I went to school there.

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