Norma's Journal Keeping Begins ...
[The following is taken from notes made on loose sheets of paper]
[I was] born 19 November 1933 to Norman Goodwin and Ethel Green at 2 Fenton Street [Canal Road, Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England], and lived there for twenty years.Went to school at 5 years old to Frizinghall Infants School, about one mile away.
Moved into the higher school at seven, I think, until eleven years old when I took the 11-plus exam. I failed to make it to High School, but passed for the Intermediate School, where I went for one year, and then took the exam again, which I passed, and so went to Salts High School at Saltaire, which was a small village named after Sir Titus Salt and the River Aire, where he built his mill and all the houses for the mill workers – also a hospital. I felt quite proud, as I was the only one in the family to get to High School.
When I was 15, I left school before taking any exams and went to work in an office. It was a printer’s office at Idle. Watmough.
After one month I left and went to work with my best friend’s Jean Obank’s sister Margery at a small knitting wool sales office in Bradford. I learned to type (in a fashion) and work a small switchboard, which stood me in good stead. My Sister, Audrey, worked in a mill and earned £5 0s 0d a week. I was earning £1 & 10 shillings a week, and as Audrey got twice the spending money, 5 shillings, whereas I got half-a-crown (2 shillings and sixpence), I left the office and went to work at a big mill called Lister’s, where I learned to weave.
At this time, I was courting Victor Oscar Redmonds. He was in the army [REME] at this time doing his two years National Service. I also at this time worked as an usherette at the Prince's Hall picture house.
- - -
[Written on a piece of exercise book paper]
When I was married in 1954 , we lived in a little attic room in a large house at the top of Shipley Fields Road, Frizinghall [Bradford].
The kitchen consisted of a bathroom-type sink, a small cooker with one hot plate on top, which I shared with a man who lived on the same landing. We didn’t clash as he worked odd hours as a manager of Black & Gold Taxis in Shipley. (I was grateful for him the night Pamela was born as he had just come in from work about 2 o’ clock in the morning when I went into labour. He ran me to the nursing home at Saltaire in his taxi)
My washer consisted of 1 Peggy tub, 1 posser, and a rubbing board. I worked at Grattan’s as a clerk, and Vic worked for a company where he put billboard posters up. Occasionally he had to work away.
When we moved, we got a little cottage on the Crag Road. It had 2 bedrooms, one we couldn’t use because the floor was rotten. A front room, a living room, and a small kitchen. The toilet was outside down a flight of steps. We had a bath in a small tin bath and heated all our water on a new Gas cooker with 4 rings. Karen was born there; in fact, I was six months pregnant when we moved after having a miscarriage the year before.
My marriage wasn’t very happy. I asked Vic to leave at one period, which he did for 3 weeks. I was so lonely and fed up with myself, with little or no money, that I asked him to come back. We were never really happy together.
The next move, after the bed leg came through the floor, was to Wrose in a flat. Andrew was born at Wrose and died 3 ½ months later, so that home didn’t have happy memories. I met a lot of good friends there and had my first introduction to the church.
The missionaries looked after Andrew the baby, and Karen aged 3, while I went up to school to pick Pamela up aged 5. I told them I wasn’t interested in religion much, instead of listening.
Pam & Karen had chicken pox when we moved back to Valley Road, Rosedale St., next to the street I was born in, Fenton St. My mum was able to baby-sit whilst I worked. Life was easier.
I had a washing machine. The toilet was outside, but I didn’t mind that too much. Vic worked on nights at Dumb Mills in the spinning. He earned good money when he was working, but was off such a lot with boils and carbuncles.
Eventually he left and went to work on the railway, in the shunting yard. I was working at Grattan again – the job I left to have Pamela. Then I became pregnant with Gary.
We moved to Alma Grove, Windhill, before Gary was born, as they pulled the houses down, which was a shame. I enjoyed living on Valley Road.
After Gary was born, we moved to Bradford, to Tanner Hill Road, Gt. Horton. We were buying the house with Barry, Vic’s brother, and their mother, Annie Redmonds, was living with us. What a mix up! It didn’t last too long, but while I was there I had a kitchen built just the way I wanted with cupboards and working tops to suit me. It was nice. Eventually, Barry left, and so did my mother-in-law.
Vic was ‘bad with his nerves’ and didn’t seem to be able to cope with anything. Things were coming to a head; I had had enough and felt I wanted some peace in my life, so we split up for good.
During the period living at this house, Joanne was born and we were baptized into the church.
Undated Fragments in Norma’s hand
“THINGS I REMEMBER”
When I got married, my Mum gave me a double bed. We bought a small kitchen table and 2 chairs, a rug, a piece of lino that didn’t cover all the floor, 2 fireside chairs, and a single wardrobe.
I had quite a few necessary things in my bottom drawer, like a Peggy tub & rubbing board, knives and forks, and crockery. We had towels, tea towels, and an iron. My deaf friend from work bought me an ironing board. It seems very sparse now, but in fact, we had all we needed to live comfortably.
After a few months, we moved to Eccleshill, Averingcliffe Road. When Gary was eight, we moved to Allerton, exchanging our house for a maisonette. This meant we were within walking distance of church, even if it was nearly all uphill .
After 5 or 6 years we got a lovely house, 100 Chellow Grange Rd., Horton, which eventually I bought from the Council.
Whilst living here, I met Ronnie Bray and Married him for time & eternity in the London Temple on May 4th 1985.
We moved to Alder St. Huddersfield on Sat Aug 22 1986 (and lived happily ever after).
RETURN TO TOP