" Snippets" from "Oldlancsmans" Diary. Part four.

On the street where we lived,a general merchant had his goods-yard,,where he stowed  his wares,this yard held a very large shire horse which was fed on a regular basis by all the residents, local and not so local,the merchant also kept an extremely beutiful rooster, its feathers were of many colours,it also sported a large red comb, it was a magnificent bird, when the merchant opened his yard in the morning the  rooster came out into the street as it always did, often going into the houses,it often came into our house and pecked the crumbs from the table left over from a previous meal.  Two or three streets away,was a coal depot,were stockpiles of coal, coke, logs, etc were stored,the local coal merchants went there to load their carts and wagons,and tour the streets of Preston delivering to their customers, occasionaly i used to wait whilst darkness fell i would climb the perimeter wall which surounded the depot and toss a few choice peices of coal and a few  logs,over  the wall, these were put on a hand made trolley,made of a box and four pram wheels ,and hurry homeward to put my ill gotten gains under the stairs which served as a coal store,  There were no such thing as central heating,so you can imagine how cold the rooms were, one trick we had,and i'll tell you if you promise not to laugh,we put housebricks, yes, housebricks in the oven first thing in the morning,at night we would wrap the bricks in a towel, or even an old cardigan, and put them into our beds,one per bed ,,it was sheer bliss when we went to bed and put our cold feet onto the bricks, pure heaven, the only draw back it had was at some time throughout the night, the brick fell from  the bed onto the uncarpeted wooden floor,and       frightened the living daylights out of the household      We had lots of characters in those day,s ( sadly lacking today), we had Albert  Fogg, he used to collect firewood, which he cut into uniform lengths,and thickness,tie them with wire,and tour the streets selling them from his handcart, until he sold the lot.  Then we had Mr Parks,he was a man of some distinction round our way, he was the knocker-up, he was also the lamplghter, and the window cleaner, the residents asked him to waken them at a certain time,and he never failed in his duty he had a long rod;which terminated in a fan,made of wires,he would rattle away at your bedroom window until you showed yourself to him, he would touch his forelock,smile,and move onto the next resident, (  I wonder who got him up ?). Then there were John Bainse,a fruit and veg seller, he had a lockup in the street where he kept his wares and his handcart,every Saturday,we waited for him to return from his work,he would give us all the fruit that had passed it's sell-by date,but most of it would be pretty good.  to be cont..............



◄ "Snippets"from "Oldlancsmans"Diary. Part three.

Snippets" From "Oldlancsmans" Diary, Part Five. ►


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John Embley

Sat 28th Jan 2012 15:32

I'm thoroughly enjoying reading these snippets -- it's amazing how different people from different places can have similar experiences and memories -- a lot of these tales strike a chord from my past in Sunderland -- and you're right about the sad lack of real characters today! Looking forward to more!

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