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A Seventies Childhood.....

Brummygirl66

master brummie
I've been reading with a great deal of interest about fellow members childhoods and have seen that people would like to read accounts of slightly younger people's childhoods, so here goes....

I was born in 1966 at St Chad's Hospital on the Hagley Road and lived for the first 9 years old my life in Smethwick, moving to Bearwood where I lived through my teens and into my early twenties.

We lived just off the High Street, and some of my first memories involved playing in our unusually long back garden, and finding a litter of kittens in the long grass, my mom's cat had given birth to a litter of kittens, the father was our families huge black cat Enoch, he was named for Enoch Powell by my granddad after the "Rivers of Blood" speech, he liked the idea of a big black cat being named Enoch!!

Mom gave away most of the kittens, but I was allowed to keep one, a beautiful grey tabby with a ruff round his neck called Podge, I think this is where my life long love of cats must've come from. Podge came to a sad end though, he was knocked over and killed by a panda car, the young policeman was so upset at my tears I remember, he came back a few days later to see if I was ok, a genuinely nice man.

Things I remember, playing in the garden with my next door neighbours, the Hall family and putting their little sister Sandra in a pushchair , my beloved Humpty Dumpty that my nan knitted me, the little brown bear my dad brought me from Dillons papershop by the Blue Gates the day I was born, the only shop open on Easter Tuesday and my nearly as big as me doll I named Victoria Sandra.
Watching "Watch with Mother" with my nan, I especially loved Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley and had LP records with (I think) various episodes and songs on them. Mary, Mungo and Midge was another especial favourite when I was very small.

Wednesday's my nan and I would go down to the High Street to do some shopping (shops on both sides then) and pay the Relay for our TV, then we would always go to Firkins and get me either a doughnut or iced bun, then up to Matty's chippy for some chips with batters, Matty's was at the top of the High Street, where it divided into St Paul's Road and Oldbury Road, and by where the 87 would stop with the Bundy clock.

Some afternoons after a nap, we would walk up to Stony Lane Park and I would have a swing or nan would push me a little bit on the roundabout, then a walk round the pool, feed the ducks and home for tea, usually a stew in the winter.

We would also have a story in the afternoon and I could read before I started school, this led to a lifelong love of books and reading, and as soon as I was old enough, I became a member of the Children's Library on the High Street.

Well, that was when I was very little, I'll cover my school days and playing out in my next post!

Hope this hasn't bored you all too much!
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for posting those lovely memories. I enjoyed reading them and look forward to the next instalment! Viv.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Hi Brummygirl;
Not boreing at all lovely begining can,t wait to hear your next chapter
best wishes Astonian,,,,,
 

Brummygirl66

master brummie
Thank you all for your lovely comments, much appreciated.

Right, here goes part 2.....

I started school in September 1970, Devonshire Road Infants and Juniors. I was really looking forward to it, thinking I was very "grown up" to be attending school, unfortunately the classroom I should've been in was flooded and we had to start school in a basement class which was part of the juniors. I didn't like this very much and didn't really like school until we moved into our correct classroom in the infants.

I remember the Wendy House, the shop, the quiet corner where all the books were ( loved that corner!), my drawer (we didn't have desks) we had tables arranged in groups around the room and two entrances to the classroom, one directly from the playground, the other leading onto the main corridor of the school, leading to the assembly hall, where we did movement and music to the radio programme or went to watch television programmes occasionally.

We did PE in the outside playground, with balls, hoola hoops, and small beanbags which I loved playing with. The canteen was by the playground and in the morning you could smell the dinners being cooked.

The school was ok, but we were taught in what was then a very modern way, no joined up handwriting, to get our ideas down and not to worry about spelling and no basic maths, like learning times tables, which to be honest gave me huge problems when I changed schools and went to a more traditional junior school. Fortunately, my handwritingimproved a lot, but maths have been a struggle all my life.

We used to play many games at break and dinner time, skipping with various rhymes, what we called "French Skipping" which was a pair of your mom's old tights tied together, then two girls would loop them round their ankles and the other girl would skip over both legs in various steps. We also had a fad of "clackers" , but these were banned from the playground after a couple of girls hurt their hands with them, marlies, throwing a ball against the wall, ackee 123, which was tag, kiss chase and British Bulldog.

I learned to play the recorder and played it in the Christmas Play, the last year of infants.
 

Brummygirl66

master brummie
I was now allowed to play out after school and we would play many of the games that we played at school, sometimes the girls would take our Sindy dolls and play with them in the entry "borrowing" the boys Action Men so as Sindy could have a boyfriend or take our larger dolls for a walk in their prams or pushchairs up as far as the corner shop and back.

On wet days I would stay in and play with my dolls or my collection of Matchbox cars, I was a bit of a tomboy and loved my car's just as much as my dolls. I also played with the dolls house my dad made me after I saw this expensive one in a toy shop on Bearwood Road, he went and looked at one Saturday and secretly built me one for my birthday. I loved it and kept it for years, displaying it even as I lost interest in dolls when I discovered boys, music and fashion!

I used to get dressed in the living room, in front of the coal fire as it was the warmest room in the winter, listening to Les Ross at breakfast on BRMB, he always used to make me laugh, or if I wasn't very well being wrapped up in a blanket on the settee and allowed to watch the Schools programmes on either BBC1 or ATV, then Pebble Mill at One, Watch with Mother and then whatever was on ATV or listen to Radio Birmingham.

When I was about 6, we had a bathroom built downstairs which was brilliant, I remember being told not to put my hands on the concrete as it was drying and having to walk on planks to go to the toilet and use the bath. Mom went mad because the cat left paw prints when he accidentally got shut in there! I wonder if they are still there!

Having the new bathroom built meant we had a new brick coal store which was brilliant to climb on and think of different games to play on it I remember picking lilac off the lilac bush in our back garden and mom putting it in a vase in the living room and the lovely smell it had, other smells I remember are the smells of clothes coming in from being dried, a smell I love to this day, the cresote on the fence on warm day, the smell of the foundries and the M&B Brewery, if the wind was in a certain direction and you could smell the brewery, it meant it would rain.

Then when I was 9 we moved up to Bearwood, so I'll post about that later.
 

adap2it

master brummie
BRMB radio! is that still on? I have a cassette recording from the mid 70's while on vacation in the UK.

Dave A
 

Brummygirl66

master brummie
How about THIS then......just as I remember it.......including the original jingle!
Goodness that brought back some memories. Mom loved to listen to Les Ross at breakfast time and so did I, he was so funny and entertaining. Mom used to like to listen to Radio Birmingham during the day and especially liked Ed Doolans show.

When I was old enough to be interested in music, I used to listen to a mixture of Radio One, Beacon Radio which I used to get really well in Bearwood and BRMB, I used to listen to the late night phone in on a Sunday night which I think was presented by a vicar, but I can't remember his name, it was early '80's when he was on, then I always used to listen to Phil Upton, loved his shows.

I sometimes listened to PCRL late at night as I love reggae, I think they used to have a lovers rock show late on a Saturday night and I would listen to that in bed, quietly so as Mom and Dad couldn't hear it!

I used to listen to BuzzFM and was sad when that went off air, but when HeartFM started I listen to it all the time, at home at work and in my car. It was a brilliant station then, I don't listen any more as I'm not keen on what they play, I mostly listen to either Absolute'80's or Free Radio '80's Birmingham.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Hi Brummygirl
love your threads keep them coming, can i jump up a litle bit of your life and the love of music
did you ever go to the bear pub on the corner by the traffic lights and listen to the bands of great sound
they used to have great bands or did you ever go to to the Kings head on the other end of bearwood road
and Hagley road for the bands there great sounds
best wishes Astonian, Alan,,,,,
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi dave thanks for the info re your avatar...nice to know i have been missed:D just got back from a highland heritage 4 day coach tour of scotland..must admit i went with an open mind as i have not been on one before but it was absolutely great..treated like royalty..fantastic value for money:)

lyn
 
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Brummygirl66

master brummie
Hi Brummygirl
love your threads keep them coming, can i jump up a litle bit of your life and the love of music
did you ever go to the bear pub on the corner by the traffic lights and listen to the bands of great sound
they used to have great bands or did you ever go to to the Kings head on the other end of bearwood road
and Hagley road for the bands there great sounds
best wishes Astonian, Alan,,,,,
Hi Astonian, by the time I was old enough to go to pubs there wasn't really many bands played at those two pubs, the Kings Head got refurbished around '83/'84 and I tended not to go in the pub itself, but the wine bar at the back called Cheekys. It was all done out in pastel shades and chrome, very '80's but we loved it, the Bear (as we always called it) was very old fashioned to us and I only went in there once, to a 21st party in about 1987.

Funnily enough, we went there just before Christmas to watch West Brom play Chelsea ( yes I'm a Baggie!!) and it has really, really changed, it's lovely in there now.

If we wanted to see live bands, we used to go to the Odeon New St.
 

Brummygirl66

master brummie
Been thinking the last couple of days about books and comics I remember from my childhood and the enjoyment I got from reading them.

I always used to have a comis called Bunty and I think School Friend, with different comic strips and usually a type of serial story, about school or a ghost type story. Bunty used to have on its back cover a cut out doll and clothes with you see to attach using the paper tabs.

Mom used to paste the doll onto cardboard so as it lasted longer and I spent hours playing with these dolls, making up stories and dressing the dolls in different fashions. I would also enjoy both the comic strips and the serials, looking forward to the next installment every week.

I used to very occasionally have a comic called Look In, it was described as the junior version of the TV Times and again had various comic strip stories about Children's programmes on ITV or ATV as it was then, features and a poster of a pop band or singer.

When I was a bit older, going into my teens, I used to read Pink, Blue Jeans and Jackie, I especially loved Jackie as I used to try and do my hair in the fashionable styles and as mom allowed me to wear makeup from my 13th birthday, saying she didn't want me to go to my best mates house and sneakily put make up on there, instead we used to nick her mom's cigarettes and smoke out of her bathroom window, but that's another story!! The problem page in Jackie used to be a good read and I used to get my pictures of John Travolta from all 3 magazines!!

Books were always a great love of mine and once I was old enough to be a member of the Children's Library at Smethwick library, I used to go there as much as my mom, nan or dad would take me. I had so many favourite books and authors, and when I wasn't playing out or with my dolls and cars, I had my nose stuck in a book! Mom even used to say I would read the label of the HP sauce bottle at teatime if I could! f I'm still the same now, but I have a Kindle which is brilliant.

Looking back I'm amazed that I did so much after school and during holidays, but I suppose it's true about having more energy as a child, but if I wanted a quiet time, I would find a nice shady place in the garden (either under the lilac tree or on the coal bunker) and lose myself in Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Milly Molly Mandy, Ballet Shoes or Enid Blyton's various books.
 

Brummygirl66

master brummie
I also loved school stories, so apart from Enid Blyton's Mallory Towers and St Clare's school stories, I used to read the Chalet School series of stories, sometimes Angela Brazil's stories and a series of stories about Cherry Ames going through her nursing career, I wonder if any other ladies remember reading them?
 

Simon4130

master brummie
I had quite a long Enid Blyton phase too although in my case it was the Famous Five (I still collect rarer items of them today), The Secret Seven and the Five Find Outers (Mystery series) but do confess to reading Mallory Towers too :eek:. When staying in Brum I used to always use a hotel in Bearwood until it unfortunately closed down, its an area I like, always felt at home there even though I would only be about for a few days at a time.

Simon
 
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