"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Saturday, March 12, 2011

67 Flag Lane

Reading this post by Shooting Parrots sent me off down Memory Lane to Crewe, where my paternal grandparents lived and where Dad grew up. Their house was a three storey, terraced house right by the railway line and was unusual in that the first floor at the back was the ground floor at the front. So going in by the front door led into a hall at the end of which were stone stairs going down to the living room, or  kitchen, as it was called, on the left and the back kitchen on the right. From the living room, you could walk out through the back door into the back garden, with the outside toilet at the bottom, but from the back kitchen, if you stood at the sink and looked up through the grating, you could see the feet of anyone who happened to be walking past. To the right of the sink was another door, this one leading to the coal cellar and in the pavement outside was a manhole, through which the coalman would tip the coal straight into the cellar, which, you must admit, was very convenient.
The back kitchen was dark and gloomy, a room that I was not very fond of and not for anything would I have ventured into the coal cellar but I did enjoy watching the feet going past.
By 1970, this little row of houses had been earmarked for demolition and, when I last went there number 67 was a windowless shell. Health and Safety would no doubt have been very annoyed, but we did go inside to have a last look round and even went up to the top floor to look out over the surrounding streets and the railway line.

 

3 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Just out of idle curiosity, may I ask if it was possible to look up ladies' skirts as they walked over the grating?

Jennyta said...

That thought occurred to me too as I was writing this post, YP but the truth is, I just can't remember. ;)

Dad said...

The back kitchen was where I learnt about developing and printing the old types 120and 127 films with generally eight exposures. The window and coal place door were covered with black cloth (Came in useful the following tear fo the black out)
With a red safe light the films were detached from the backing paper and soaked in cold water, then eight and a half minutes in Azol followed by a twenty minute see-saw beth in cold water. Then hung up to dry. I still have the Azol instructions
Printing was done on a home made printing fizxture again followed by developin and fixing.
I used to do any films which the other boys in the class who wouold trust to me and charged one shilling plus a penny per print.
Happy Days
Dad

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