Lawrence Ashworth | Lesley Barker | Rita Barnes | Marion Beck | Renee Black | Jacqueline Boardman 

 Jean Dickinson | Norah DownesMargaret Eddleston | June Ellison



By Lawrence  Ashworth, 3rd February 2007​

I was born in 1938  at Queen’s Park Hospital formerly the Blackburn Workhouse.  When I was three years old my father was posted to Sierra Leone in West Africa.

We did not meet again until 1946.  I was educated at Witton Infants School on Preston Old Road.  
When I was six years old I was due to go to Wensley Fold Junior School but having moved to Mill Hill I was sent to Mill Hill Council School.
My earliest memories are of the empty chocolate machine on Blackburn Station, and the first Canadian apple I received from my grandfather who had an off- licence in Garden Street which also sold groceries.

When my father returned from Africa he brought back a bunch of bananas when he arrived home only one was fit to eat.  I had never seen a banana before except in books.

My grandfather Lawrence Ashworth served in the Boer War he received the Queen’s South Africa Medal in 1901 and when Edward VII came to the throne he was awarded the 1901 King's South Africa Medal.

On the outbreak of World War 1 he was recalled to serve in the army and died of a heart attack whilst drilling new recruits at Preston.  He served in the Manchester Regiment and I believe his was one of the first military burials in Blackburn’s old cemetery.

Lawrence is pictured as a young boy with his parents.
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Lesley Bar​​​​ker

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Lesley Barker, 01 February 2007
Having been born in Darwen in 1950, when only about 18 months old, mother, father and me went to live in Norfolk and Suffolk.  The writer does not remember much but one of the villages we lived in was called Diss.  With a Church opposite, a Public House, where eventually I’d sneak in for a Wagon Wheel, which they seemed far larger in those days than nowadays.
Life was wonderful, father was a Chauffeur / Gardener, we used to go picking vegetables and fruit.  I was brought up on Sweet Corn and Asparagus Tips.  Mother and father were keen cyclists and I had a seat on the back, up and down the country lanes and sometimes trips to the seaside were like mystery tours to a lick’l’un like me. We lived not very far from Sandringham although I did not meet Her Majesty, we did see The Queen Mother coming out one day.  However I did not really know who she was.
We went to garden fetes and Church do’s, had many friends who were there for you, through thick and thin not just to be nosey, but true friends.  Weddings were the norm because everyone knew each other, a bit like a soap opera ‘Coronation Street’ today.  Also we had American friends from the USA Army, they gave me an American Army jeep, which I managed to trap my foot in, so I went off it a bit after that.   I remember they ate different food to us I can’t say what but it was very different to ours.
My father did not settle and he and mother thought we were better going back to Lancashire, as if by chance we were on holiday up here with my Aunt and Uncle in Tockholes when a house came up for sale on Hollinshead Terrace, guess what, we bought it, father went back to pack up back down South and we mother and I had come home again.   Having lived a gypsy existence, in that we moved from house to house and me from school to school and now they made fun of my accent, because it was different to theirs.  I have always adored Tockholes ever since especially because I basically lived in Rocky Brook, walked miles to Sunday school and usually all the way back after Church.  Snow was fun for us but because we soon got cut off, once for two or three days, we had to be picked up usually by one of the farmers in a jeep, from School before the snow either drifted or got too deep.

Happy days I will always prefer the county life regardless of what one had to endure.



Rita Bar​nes

My memories of Blackburn market 1945-
Wednesday afternoons, my mother who had a shop in nearby Clayton used to take me to the market by bus. It was a real treat with canvas covered stalls selling everything you can imagine. But if it was raining, my word! The stall holders got something to push up the covers and woe betide if you happened to be passing at that moment, it was just like a waterfall. The variety of stalls, colours, smells and voices stay in my memory. Not forgetting the wonderful array of hats in the market house.

Marion Be​​​ck

The beginning for me was January 27th 1943 in the Lancashire cotton town of Blackburn.  By the time I came along the red brick two up, two down terraced house in Lower Hollin Bank Street was already occupied by my mother, father, three brothers and one sister.  Mum and dad had the front bedroom which they shared with me and the second youngest, my brother Billy, whilst the other three children had the back bedroom.  My bed, for the first few months of my life, was a drawer lined with soft blankets and was as snug and secure as any fancy crib.  The practice of bedding babies in drawers was very common in those days and worked well until the baby was big enough to be transferred to a regular cot.
There were about half a dozen identical houses in our part of the street whose fronts were overlooked by the high walls of a cotton mill.  At the rear of the terrace ran the main line railway with a signal box right outside our bedroom window; how we loved it when the trains were stopped by the signal and we could wave to the engine drivers.  This, of course, was in the days of steam and we loved the huge bellied beasts belching out black smoke from their chimneys.  We called these great engines ‘Fatty Arbuckles’, after the film star comedian who was very popular at that time and these were our favourite engines.  The smaller more elegant engines were the passengers trains and we loved to wave to everyone as they sped their way into Blackburn Railway Station.
The front room of the house, as was nearly always the case at that time, was used only on special occasions.  In spite of the fact that we were such a large family we all stayed and played in the ‘back kitchen’.  The old fashioned range in there had a coal fire set in the large grate with a hook extending down from the chimney on which a cauldron or a kettle could be hung. There was an oven to one side of the fire, mum would make a stew in the morning and put it in to cook for the whole day until we were ready to eat in the evening.  But the oven was left to go cold sometimes as it had to be cleaned and that couldn’t be done when it was hot.  I can well remember, even as a child of four, helping to black lead the range in order to keep it in sparkling order.  We did have a gas oven but mum tried to keep costs down by using the fire oven whenever possible.
Our house, like the majority of terraced houses at that time, boasted no inside sanitary arrangements, the privy, along with the coal house, was at the bottom of the back yard. Inside toilet arrangements were hidden away under the beds. Neither did we have running hot water.  On bath nights, which were usually once a week, a tin bath would be filled from the kettle and several pans which had been previously filled and boiled.  The youngest children would be the first to be bathed, two at a time; they would then be swaddled in towels warmed on the fireguard.  By the time it got to our oldest brother the water would be going cold and not very clean but boiling up more water was not an option as the cost had to be taken into consideration.
Washing days must have been a nightmare with six mucky children plus dad’s dirty work clothes.  Mum washed in a dolly tub, squishing the clothes around with a posser, a sort of big sucker fixed to a long handle which was energetically pumped up and down using nothing more than muscle power.  The clothes were rinsed in the big Belfast sink then put through a mangle.  If the weather was good the clothes were dried outside on a clothes line, if not they were hung over a rack which was suspended from the roof and pulled up and down on a pulley.  My most abiding memory of washday was the dampness and smell of wet clothing which hung in the air for ages.
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1943,the year of my birth, was bang in the middle of the Second World War so as a toddler all the hardships of that period were normal to us.  Our dad being away was normal, the pitch black blinds at the windows and the long, long queues at the shops, it was how we lived, we had no idea there was any other way.  Normality was also being quite literally on the bread line.  Mum did her best of course but it must have been a nightmare trying to feed herself, dad and six hungry children.  I well remember her being very upset because some women in the shop accused her of getting more than her rations, none of them wanted to know that she had a big family to feed and the provisions she bought were all rightfully hers.  Our rations must have seemed huge to people with smaller families but they were pitifully inadequate for a family of our size.  As a matter of fact it was always said that our mum could make a meal out of a dishcloth and that wasn’t far off the mark.  Every week for years mum bought a sheep’s head; dad would have the brains with bread and butter, the tongue would be cooked and pressed for ‘butties’ or a cold meal and the head itself was made into a broth with vegetables and barley.  In later years dad brought home a stray and badly neglected dog who we named Gerry.  When Gerry came even the remnants of the cooked head were used to feed him, nothing was ever wasted.
Chicken was a luxury in the forties and fifties. I well remember dad bringing home live ones and feeding them up for the table.  We thought they were pets but I never made the connection between a chicken disappearing and a cooked one appearing on the table.  On the contrary, we were so delighted at the rare and delicious delicacy that I don’t think we cared where it came from.  Our Christmas meal was always chicken; a single bird had to go round six growing children and two adults, with homemade stuffing, roast potatoes and vegetables followed by homemade Christmas pudding with Nestles tinned cream – a veritable feast in those unremittingly difficult times.
There were many things we were starved of in the war years and just after; fruit was a rarity, oranges, bananas, peaches – we didn’t even know what they looked like.  One night we were woken up by mum and taken downstairs; what a surprise to find dad standing there in his army uniform, we hadn’t seen him for quite some time.  I remember feeling very shy when he picked me up, looped some strange, red round things on stalks over my ears and began dancing round the room singing ‘Cherry Ripe’.  Then mum popped one these ’things’ into my mouth.  I’d never had a cherry before and these were plump, juicy and delicious.  I tried very hard to eat the stones before mum made me spit it into her hand.
Chocolate was a real luxury too, it was expensive and you had to have ‘sweet coupons’.  In place of chocolate we had something called locust, a hard, brown, sweet tasting pod which I have since learned is from a tree grown in the Mediterranean and is a chocolate substitute called Carob – you can still buy it today.  The first time I had real chocolate was in 1946. a birthday treat from a relative.  I was persuaded to offer the little box of chocolate animals round and I did, but not before I had bitten the head off every single one.
4 children near railway.jpg
Entertainment In the 1940’s came in the form of radio, comics for the children and magazines and library books for mum and dad; we hadn’t even heard of television let alone seen it.  We had a wireless set and we used to sit around it, very much as people sit round television today, listening to our favourite programmes; The Navy Lark, The Goon Show, Family Favourites, Dan Dare and my personal favourite, Journey into Space; I was a nail biter as a child and my parents threatened to stop me listening to Journey Into Space as, in my excitement, I bit my nails until they were bloody and sore.
Being such a large family, we had a readymade concert party, many an evening was passed with singing, reciting or reading out loud; each one of us would do a little ‘turn’ and there was always a lot of laughter as we tried to outdo one another.  I think this was when I first got a love for performing and in later life took to the stage both as professional and an amateur and continue to ‘tread the boards’ to this day.
We didn’t have holidays away, very few people back then did but we enjoyed family walks at weekends and during holidays; the canal bank which ran by Blackburn Royal Infirmary was a favourite, the whole family would troop along the towpath enjoying the peace and quiet. Dad would point out the different wild flowers and insects.  We also used to go to what we knew as Kitty Fields, which is now Higher Croft. Our grandparents, who owned a greengrocer and hawking business on the corner of Hall Street, kept the horses that pulled the carts there.  Sometimes we went to Corporation Park and played on the swings and roundabouts, also, on nice days, we would listen to the band that played on the beautiful band stand; you could sit on deck chairs too, though we never did.  I suspect you would have to pay for those and my parents wouldn’t have the money.  There was Queens Park too, we didn’t go there very often because we always wanted to go on the rowing boats and, once again, there were never any spare pennies for such frivolities.

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When I was four I began school and I joined my brothers and sisters at Emmanuel C of E primary school near Ewood Park in Blackburn.  The headmaster there was a Mr. Stirrup but I was always convinced he was called Mr. Syrup and never called him anything else.  The school was very much of its day being small with a concreted playground.  The classrooms had little wooden desks with seats attached to them and there was a big blackboard at the front.  We learned everything parrot fashion in those days; tables, spelling, poems and pieces from the bible; I can still recite much of it even now.  Even though it was 1947 the infants still had a slate and a piece of chalk.
Every day at our morning playtime we were given little bottles of milk and a straw to drink it through.  Each week there were two different milk monitors chosen from the junior classes and they would deliver the bottles to each classroom.  In cold weather the monitors would line up the bottles on the pipes to heat up the milk a little before we drank it.  I loved the milk and, although it wasn’t really allowed, I often surreptitiously cajoled a bottle from someone who I knew wasn’t so fond of it.
Dinners were served in the hall at midday, a lot of children didn’t like the food but I always looked forward to it.  I had a voracious appetite and even liked the rice pudding laced with sultanas; we called it Chinese wedding cake.  After our meal we all went and collected a little camp bed and were made to lie quietly for what seemed an eternity.  I hated that and just wanted to go outside and play. 
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One really outstanding memory of my very early years is of one day when some men came to our house.  They said they were policemen but we didn’t believe them because they didn’t wear uniforms, they explained that they were special policemen who got to wear ordinary clothes; I remember thinking it wasn’t much fun to be a policeman and not wear a uniform.  They asked dad to put his fingers onto a pad full of ink and then press them onto some cardboard; we were very intrigued and after they had finished with dad the policemen let us have a go at putting our fingers on the pad and then onto the cardboard, they gave us the card to keep.  It was much later in my life when talking about this with my parents that they told me it was all to do with a child who had been abducted from Queens Park Hospital and then murdered.  All the men in Blackburn had been asked to give a sample of their fingerprints.  The murderer was eventually caught.
My memories of my early days have always been as clear as can be; People, sights, sounds, smells, colours – all have stayed with me to this day.  I can close my eyes and transport myself back to the life of my infancy.  I find it fascinating and absorbing.  This narrative is just a small part of a whole; indeed, there is a whole book inside my head as I think there must be in others.
Marian Beck (nee Smith) born and raised in Blackburn now living in Grange over Sands.
When I was a child from being about five years old I went to St. Barnabas School on Johnston Street in Blackburn.
I was friends with another girl of the same age called Irene Chew. We are still friends today even though we are both in our eighties.
I remember the Headmaster Mr Chadwick who became a great friend of the family.
At that time I had a little dog called Bunty who took me to school each day and came to meet me after school. One day I was ill in bed but Bunty unfortunately didn’t realise this and continued his daily run to the School, but sadly he was run over by the bus and I lost my very best friend!!!
Each term we had a photograph taken of each class and I am showing the one I still have below:

Jacqueline Boar​​​​dman

Moving to Blackburn.
I was born and brought up in Lancaster, so I have many memories of Lancaster and Morecambe. In 1968 at the age of 19 I got married and had two sons within two years of marriage. The first house we moved into I loved even though the toilet was outside and we only had cold water. We bought a house across the road for £1,250 and had a £1,500 grant spent on it, but the only problem was I hated it from the moment of buying in to the day we moved out. We started to look at other houses, but being Lancaster the housing was much dearer (two we looked at were in the region of £12,000 to £15,000 and still wanted work on them.) One of them had to have the celler pumped out every year by the fire brigade as a stream ran under it. At the same time Bob's (my husband) work place, Storeys, was being taken over by another firm. Our reaction to that was that the firm would be closed down within a few years, and it was. Williamsons and Lansils the other two main employers had gone the same way years before.
After looking at yet another house which needed work doing on it we were asked by a friend of my parents ‘what’s keeping you in Lancaster’? The reply was ‘nothing.’ My parents had moved to Blackburn the year before to Black Diamond St just off Bolton Road where the car auctions rooms are now. So one weekend we came through to look at the houses. We looked at a few and when we went to see one on Longshaw Lane, as soon as we walked through the front door we said ‘yes, this is the one.’ The price of this wonderful house was £5,000, a third of the Lancaster prices. One of the nice things was how the road at the top of the lane ran in two directions around the triangular tree area.  We moved in on the 20th December 1979. What great fun that was, Bob had broken his right arm in a works injury a month before and could not drive. I had never driven with a trailer but I had to move all the small stuff!
Bob had got a job lined up at Cupal’s but could not take it due to his broken arm, so once that got better he had to travel back daily to Lancaster until he finished  work at Easter. I can’t remember where he started work or why he finished, but he ended up out of work. He finally got a job with the Council as part time cleaner at a school in Darwen and then as a caretaker in Little Harwood. Meanwhile I had a school kitchen job, going to different schools in Blackburn. I can remember being at Shadsworth when there was a tremendous thunder storm and lighting ran down the length of the kitchen and hit a tree; I was washing tins at the sink by the window. I had to ring Bob up to take me home as I had gone up on a push bike.
Soon after that I had  a interview for a job at B.R.I  resulting in my 13 years working for the health authority as a bum rubber and layer-out till I was finished on health grounds in the early 90s.
By Jacqueline Boardman  26.2.2008
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Jean D​icki​​nson

Football in the 1949 years
Horses delivering milk
Gas lights          
Cleaning the step and flags every Saturday morning
Cutting up the Telegraph to hang in the loo
Mum making curtains to make 5 shillings
Making peg rugs out of old cloths; after buying a sugar sack at the corner shop for 1 shilling.
I  was born in Darwen and went to St. James Junior School. I remember the bad winter of 1947 when the snow was as high as the bedroom windows.
I was in the Brownies and we had a trip to Southport Pleasure Beach. We had a great time. I also went to dancing classes at Miss Grogan’s home.
I went to the Grammar School and on the very last day went for an interview at Blackburn Telephone Exchange. I was accepted and had to go to Manchester for a month’s training. Afterwards I worked at Darwen Telephone Exchange for several years.
We had a local Fish and Chip shop at the bottom of the road .We also had a little Baker’s shop run by Mr. Schofield who used to sell small loaf shaped bread for one penny.


Margaret Edd​leston (m. Radley)

My Early Years in Blackburn, Lancashire
I was born in 1924 in Lynwood Road, number 79, just above Higher Bank Street.  Kathleen Ferrier lived at number 57 below Higher Bank Street in the house immediately above Sacred Heart School.  There is now a plaque on the wall to commemorate this.  At that time, Kathleen would have been a pupil at the High School.  Little did anyone realise what a legend she was to become!
Our part of Lynwood Road was typical of the era and that area of Blackburn.  We lived in one of the terraced houses, as had previously my father’s father at number 101.  On the opposite side of the road were the “semis” where the more affluent white-collar workers lived – bank employees, civil servants and bowler hatted men who travelled daily to Manchester and who worked on the Stock Exchange.  One of the occupants of the semis was a Mrs Robinson, a very handsome woman, who had a very good looking son (unfortunately a bit older than me!) she was widowed, or divorced (unlikely then); she had a paying guest (“lodger” in those days) who by coincidence was also called Robinson.  He was the Town Clerk.  Eventually they married and presumably moved away from Lynwood Road.
My parents were artisans.  My mother was a tailoress and my father a tailor’s cutter and fitter – both skilful jobs, much undervalued and underpaid.  They both worked and met at Bottomleys, which was the leading tailors in town.  Around 1929, I think when I was 4, the firm went out of business, due largely to the advent of mass producers like Burtons and the Fifty Shilling Tailors, so my father, along with many others in thos terrible years of the Depression, became unemployed and worked from home, making tailored suits and coats.
Higher Bank Street between Leamington Road and Lynwood Road was our local playground in our younger days.  We skipped and played various ball games according to what was in season – no traffic worries for my parents as there were hardly any cars to come whizzing round the corners; a carefree childhood. Guy Fawkes Night was a time of great excitement for us.  We foraged for wood in Kinders Fields, which we stored in the barn of the Dog Inn at the top of the road where there was also a large yard and on the fifth of November, we had a huge bonfire – sharing our fireworks. (How I hated those Flip Flaps!).  Our mothers contributed treacle toffee and we had hot potatoes roasted in the embers.
Until I was about 10, I think, we attended the Primitive Methodist Church at the bottom of Montague Street. So our Sundays meant long walks from Lynwood Road down Dukes Brow to the church, back again after morning service and then back again in the afternoon for Sunday School.  Only rarely did we go on the West Park Road bus from the “Ribblesdale”.  The “City Dairy” was located next door to the Sunday school and was a great fascination.  We were also very conscious of how poor some of the families who lived at the bottom of Montague Street were.  Many literally were in rags.  We seemed always to be practising for concerts, reciting poems – our mother used to sing – much to our embarrassment – she had entertained the troops in the First World War singing songs like “Roses are shining in Picardy”.
Most of our friends went to either Leamington Road Church or Saint Silas, so when we were about 10 or 11, our parents allowed my sister and I to go to Leamington Road Baptist Church.  The minister was the Reverend Charles Radley – my future father-in-law!

Our social activities centered around the church, morning service and Sunday School on Sundays. Friday night was Guides’ night, Tuesday – Young People’s Fellowship, most Thursdays there seemed to be social evenings with potato pie suppers – those enormous white enamel washing-up bowls!  And Jacobs Join suppers, where everyone contributed something.  As we got older, the Dramatic Society occupied much of our time. Mr W. H. Hilton, the chemist in New Bank Road was our producer.  He was also the Church organist; quite a talented man.
Margaret & Norman Radley participating in a local amateur dramatic production
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Primary School for me was Saint Silas’ School; one of the more prestigious schools at that time, always achieving good results in the scholarship exams. Ambrose Merill was our headmaster.  His son Bob was in my class; there were about 54 of us in each class but I don’t remember any serious discipline problems.  There certainly weren’t in Miss Middleton’s class; a formidable character.  Russell Harty, who was also a pupil at St Silas’ some years later once wrote one of his Observer articles about her entitled “Miggy the Mistress”. Standard 5 was the scholarship exam year and we all anxiously awaited the results to learn of our future destiny.  Those who passed went to either the High School or the Grammar School, next were the Blakey Moor schools, then the Parish Schools and for the others; they stayed on to Standard 6 at St Silas. I was awarded a Leyland Scholarship, which meant that I had a free place at the High School until I was 16; a privilege in those days when school leaving age was 14. I also had all my books provided.
And so to Cross Hill for the first two years of my life at Blackburn High School (BHS).  I remember being so proud to be wearing the school uniform but apprehensive about the new school life.  I was put in Form 3A2, form mistress, Miss Shrubsall. I spent wakeful hours trying to remember her name; a crime if you did not call a mistress by her full name!
Our summer uniform was new, I think, the year we went to the school and instead of the pale blue and white subdued check had become a hideous pale blue, navy and white geometric design print, which, I believe, had been chosen from those submitted by older pupils!  And those long black woollen stockings even in the summer!  Our winter blouses weren’t very flattering either – square necked affairs!
As we moved up to the Preston New Road building, we became a little more daring in manipulating our navy velour hats to give a more jaunty angle – cutting the brim from the crown, which we shortened by one or two inches, but some of the mistresses on door duty were adept a jamming our hats on straight and woe betide you if you were not wearing gloves!
Margaret Radley (4th from left, front row)
Girl Guide Group (any further information about this particular troop would be appreciated)
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​Margaret is 4th from the left on the front row.
To her right (our left) is Moira Temple ( m. Edwardson) life long friend who died in 2013.
To Margaret's left (our right) is Irene (Rene) Radley ( m. Russell, then
Close)- Margaret's future sister-in-law.
 Fifth from our right still on the front row is Dorothy Eddleston (m.
Cowpe), Mum's younger sister.
Mum, Moira and Rene all attended the Blackburn High School Old Girls London Branch Association.
When teenagers they were called "the Minxes" !!!!
Gym lessons were in our black knickers and blouses but I can’t remember whether we took off our stockings or not – but if we kept them on, how did they stop up – no tights then – we all wore suspender belts.  It seems hard to think now that if you wore a bra you were considered to be “fast” – all those bobbing boobs in gym lessons!
Staff, of course, made a great impression and impact on our lives.  Who could forget how you quaked if you had the misfortune to have been caught talking in prayers and so have to face those piercing blue eyes of the otherwise very gracious Miss Burrows.
Miss Smith – Music – terrified me, as she always seemed to pick on me to compose and sing a tune.  She wore her hair in “ear-phone” style and when she was conducting the Choir, her hairpins always seemed to fall out and she was constantly trying to get her hair-do right whilst conducting. Miss Ownsworth – Gym – she also terrified me, as I was rather a plump teenager who had no eye for a ball nor any aptitude for gym.  I never could vault over the horse without her hauling me over.  How her counterpart, the diminutive Miss Goodall, managed the heavy weights I do not know!  How I envied the girls who wore team girdles or position stripes!
My final year at BHS was 1939-40 – a very unsettling time for all.  We had to cart our gas masks with us to school and it became compulsory to stay at school during the lunch hour (we called it the “dinner hour”).  We each took a packed lunch which we ate in our classrooms – previously, only girls who lived too far away to be be able to go home for dinner stayed at school, where they had dinner in the Hall – on the days they had fish – the smell was revolting!
1940 was Matriculation Year for me, but the Northern Joint Board changed the title to School Certificate.  Because of the disruption at the beginning of the school year for city schools, I think standards were relaxed somewhat and many of us perhaps had better results than we could otherwise have had.  I can’t say that school days were the happiest of my life, but compared with many youngsters in the town, they were privileged ones and certainly impressionable ones.
Margaret Eddleston (m. Radley), October 2003
June Ellison 17.2.07
My name is June Ellison, I was born in 1929, and attended Holy Trinity School until 1937, I then went to St Barnabas’s when we moved to Whitehall area. I then went to Darwen Grammar School until 1945.  I distinctly remember the war being declared and the lads running round the grave yard at Belgrave Chapel cheering. In January 1941 we had a snow storm which lasted all weekend, our windows in the gable end were completely covered. No question of not going to school, went to school walking all the way as there were no trams running. We were cut off from Bolton for 3days. When we got to school we were promptly sent back home as a lot of the pupils came from the outlying areas and it was impossible for them to get there. Also we had evacuees from Manchester, so had to go part time until things were sorted out.
Had the usual childhood illnesses, chicken pox, measles followed by pneumonia, scarlet fever followed by jaundice, that was just before Xmas and I was not  allowed much of the usual Xmas fare, so waited until everyone had gone into the other room when I hid under the table with a piece of Xmas cake, was discovered and hauled out. Also had whooping cough, in those days doctors came several times a day when need be.
I remember taking my oral French exam for the school certificate the day before VE day. We were more interested in whether the war would end. The following day, we got a day off. When I left school , I took the civil service exam, but whilst waiting for the results, had the opportunity of a clerical job with I.C.I. in Darwen, so I went on  3 months probation, and stayed for 43 years ending up as works cashier. I did pass the civil service exam, but all the vacancies were out of the area.
June Ellison.jpg    June Ellison text.jpg

June Ellison's father Jim was a grocery manager for Darwen Industrial Co-operative Society. This article from the Darwen News is about his retirement in 1964.
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