My Family by Jean Pattle
My grandparents were Harriet and Dick Quinton. Grandad kept pigeon’s and belonged to the pigeon racing club which was run from the Winston Club every week. This was a hobby enjoyed by his sons, my uncles Stan and Bill from their home in Tavistock Road. I can remember when the only street light was the gas lamp outside gran’s house. My aunt Min and uncle Harry (Harris) lived in the large white house at the top of Tavistock Road and St Nicholas Lane. They had a very large garden and kept chickens and sold eggs. They also let Mr Daniels who had the boot and shoe repair shop keep his old horse Nobby on their paddock. In the summer Mr Daniel would do a school run with Nobby with the cart taking us children to school. I used to get up early to be at my aunts to help him harness up Nobby and sometimes he would let me take the reins on the way to school. I loved this and I’m sure this is what has given me my life long love for horses.
The other shops I remember are Mrs Pelham’s sweetshop. We would call into her shop after school and have a penny drink. She had a small card table in the corner of the shop with tiny drinking glasses and a bottle of Tizer which for one penny she pour you a drink, it somehow seemed a very grown up thing to do.
Another shop I remember very well was Steers General Store. Mr and Mrs Steer were so good to me. I was great friends with their daughter Jean. Jean and I went to the same dancing school. Jean had pretty long red hair and was much taller then I. We were called the Two J’s and paired together as an act. One of the turns we did I remember was a couple of swells, we dressed as tramps in top hats. This always got lots of applause and was a big laugh. I always thought it wasn’t fair that Jean was always picked as girl in the act and got to wear the pretty dress, and I was always the boy. I think to this day it must have been her long red hair. To me the Steers were very rich, they had a car, something very few people had in those days, and I would get to ride in it when they took Jean and I to the venues we would perform at. Mum got all her groceries in their shop – if she didn’t have the money to pay, it was put on the book until the end of the week when dad got paid. How trusting people were in those days.