Silver Street, Stockton c1986 Posted on May 9, 2019 by Picture Stockton Team A view of Silver Street in Stockton. Share this:TweetWhatsAppEmailLike this:Like Loading... Related
Maddox”s I loved the smell of that shop, I was at the Richard Hind School during the war years and once a month I walked from the school to Maddox’s to collect a big bag of corn for the hens we kept, it was on ration. Clutching the large paper bag I would then get the “0” bus home making sure the bag did not get punctured on the way home, a slight hole and grain would fly in all directions.
We Kept hens for egg laying plus a dozen Cock birds for selling at Christmas the only time we ever ate Chicken, it was not the everyday food you get today.
Hens laid eggs in season so we collected spare eggs each day which we put into a large stone chatty filled with water and Isinglass which sealed the egg shell preserving them, you could crack an egg months later and they would be as fresh as the day they were laid.
The laying hens had the run of the garden and kept the bugs down, the ducks and geese were penned into a large area though let out and walked across the Green to the Duck pond every other day, A sight I never forgot, “Dad” come on girls and they would line up behind him and trot across the green babbling away and into the pond, after a good swim it was come on girls and they followed him back home.
We also got Ground Meal from the Maddox Mill in Prince Regent Street, Dad collected that by truck delivering some of it to other pig owners in Norton.
I started work next door to the Maddox Mill with Francis Browns Sheet Iron Works and loved the smell of the mill which seeped into the works.
That is pictures for you they all contain memories even down to the smells I can conjure up as I write this.
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Did you know Jack Phillips from Norton he had a pig or two
David, off hand no, I cannot recall a Phillips. A good many Norton people kept pigs hens geese, if you had a bit of spare land not turned over to vegetable growing in war time you put pigs on it. We had properly built pig sty’s not many had, to have a pig in wartime meant you could feed the family and extended family with extra rations.
The law at the time was you could kill a pig for yourself but had to give one to the government, we killed two a year so that was two for the government, the Farrowing sow had one litter a year and we sometimes took in part litters that people did not have enough land or feed for. Having our own transport meant we could collect pig feed from food production factories, Jam factories, Sparks and other bakeries and waste vegetable matter from my Uncle Arthurs Farm. We would scour a Potato field after potato picking and collect sacks of potatoes they had missed.
My job was to light the outside boiler and boil potato’s after scrubbing them in a tin bath with a bass broom, I had it down to a fine art often taking potato’s back in the house covering them in butter and eating them myself. (Aunt Mabel on the Farm made her own butter and we also got it in the Boxes from New Zealand twice a year) I would not touch Margarine with a barge pole. Taking the potato’s out cooling them and putting them into drums the Cabbage or other greens went into the water for a few minutes and then put aside. i then mixed Potato, green waste bread and cake waste fruit from jam making and some Meal this would feed the pigs twice a day for two or three days then do it again.
The Government allowed a ration of meal, some Fish Meal and from Darlington a factory collected all the waste from households and factory canteens that was boiled down made into blocks then sold to pig owners, Dad would never use anything but the ground meal.
We were allowed to kill and butcher on our own premises so from being knee high I knew what came out of an animal and we ate everything from the head, Brawn, to the Trotters considered a treat in my time. We salted the Bacon cured the hams all with salt, salt petre and rum, we ate bacon every day for most of my long life, if we listen to the experts on diet I should have been dead years ago, so much for experts.
Frank up Station Road there were allotments on the right hand side behind the houses and nearly all of the allotment holders had pigs and one or two cattle. One belonged to a friend of mine father called Garbutt who lived in the cottages on Norton High Street next to Currys butchers. Another who had pigs, cattle and a horse was Wilf Simpson who was manager in the Co-op butchers in the High Street. He did pig killing for quite a few people. Also my g/father Jackson Walker the market gardener had pigs as well as hens as did all the allotments owners with hens as well. Not much veg was grown on those allotments.
Bob, The Walker family as you would know had Market Gardens round Norton and stalls in Stockton Market plus others markets around the area, they still had land adjacent to William Newton School into the 1970’s Mac and his wife.
Norton then was a Village with allotments all round including from Norton High Street down to Billingham Road behind the old tram sheds. The Barrage Balloons were stationed on part of that land during the war and the girls lived in Chestnut House in the High Street.
Any bit of land was cultivated for food it was needed as the rations were meagre, we had a fully growing garden and pigs plus fowl and both Dad and Mother were on war work which was why I did help in keeping the animals. The Italian and then the German POW’s at Kiora worked on some of the Market Gardens and for the Coal merchants even the Blacksmith, I had lunch many a time with the Goldsbroughs, Mrs G would cook a meal for us and the German POW’s we all sat down together and chatted they even washed up for Mrs G after the meal.
Most gardens around us had either Hens or a pig I even went to school with a lad who’s Father kept a pig in the back yard of a street house? Tommy Hutchinson killed our pigs then butchered them we salted the meat down.
Needs must we did what was needed to feed ourselves and the extended family plus some of the Ladies who’s Husbands were in the forces Dead or in one case in Jail for stealing root crops from an allotment to feed his children.
I had a big argument with a Daughter who thinks war is Knights of the round table, those of us who went through it know otherwise.
The “D” Day anniversary is coming up much of the news will be about the Landings and the Bravery of the Troops involved but we also saw the wounded who were shipped back on the same boats then sent by train to Sedgefield Middlebrough and other wartime Hospitals around here. Walking wounded were allowed out in their first world war dyed blue uniforms and told it as it was.
It was a help others time, all muck in, none of this me me I deserve a life business we have today, think about that when the 6th of June arrives.
My dad was a firewatcher on top of Maddox’s during the war.
In daytime he worked at the ICI and had a small allotment near our house in Craister Street in Tilery. I don’t know how he managed to do it all!
Frank, love your story telling about your life around Norton. I only lived on the Green for a short few years but loved every moment of it. Dad used to work for Mr Smith on his nurseries down Junction Road. That was in the 60’s when ICI was in full swing and Stockton was a thriving town.
Thank you Glennys. To me it was the past until the BBC made me a Researcher in 2000 then all those held in memories poured out. Names long forgotten and events not talked about. What did I have for breakfast today, “Err” not sure, what were the names of the boys and girls we played with, all there crystal clear, most now gone but never forgotten they are immortal as long as I continue to live.
My own Family read Picture Stockton to find out what they never knew or even asked about, Parents come out of tins ready to be parents it would seem. Did we have a life before, you can bet on it and quite exciting at times.