Cliff Ton

Visiting the grandparents

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This might ring a few bells.

One set of grandparents lived in Radford, the others in Lenton

In school holidays we'd visit one or the other for the day. The strongest memory is how quiet the two houses were when we got there. Life definitely was much more peaceful back then. Get off the bus and walk down the road to the house, maybe there were a couple of parked cars, but otherwise you could've been on a desert island. When you walked into the house you could literally hear the clocks ticking, and maybe a very low volume radio; otherwise it was like being in a library or a church. There were never any kids playing in the streets or knocking around on bikes. All you ever saw were a few housewives doing the shopping. As well as not so many cars around, there didn't seem to be as many people either. Were all roads in Lenton and Radford like that in the early 60s? Certainly no students or "houses of multiple occupancy".

At Radford my grandad worked at Players and had a five-minute walk home for his dinner. In later years I discovered his local had been the "Pheasant" on Prospect Street, which was even closer to where they lived. Nobody ever seemed to travel very far in those days. My other grandad - at Lenton - had retired, but in summer he was out at Lenton Rec playing bowls with his other retired mates (and as far as I know that bowling green is still there). Otherwise, during the day the two grandmas were the only people in their houses. Those were the times when women scrubbed door steps and polished brass door knobs. Maybe the men just kept out of the way to avoid being dragged in to the cleaning.

Those visits could be a bit boring because there wouldn't be anything for kids to do. The Lenton house had a telly but in those days TV only transmitted for a couple of hours around midday so all you could watch was Lunchbox with Noele Gordon, or Bill and Ben/Andy Pandy/Woodentops. I'd watch it because it was there, not because I liked it. And that house had a real attic with a proper staircase and two more bedrooms, one level beyond the normal "upstairs", so If I felt brave I'd go up there. But it was even quieter than the rest of the place, and definitely spooky and creepy for a 7-8 year-old, even though up there I could find some of the toys my dad had when he was a kid.

At Radford, one of the neighbours grew fruit and veg, and it was a big thing to go to their house with my grandma to buy "some of Mr Turner's tomatoes". Probably cost something like 4d. And then we'd go back to my grandma's to do something exciting like polishing the fireplace tools (brush, pan, poker, tongs) which sat at the side of the fire and used to fascinate me.

To relieve the boredom in the afternoon, at Radford we'd either walk up the Alfreton Road area to "see if we can see grandad in his factory" (which never happened), or we'd go down to Bobbers Mill bridge near the old level crossing to watch the trains. The equivalent at Lenton was to go to the Rec for the roundabouts and swings. I remember sitting on one of the swing-things and through the park hedge I could watch the traffic go by on Derby Road - which would've been Standard Vanguards, Hillman Minxs, Ford Zodiacs and Vauxhall Crestas.

You can always tell when I've had a quiet day at work.

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My paternal grandparents were dead long before I was born, but my mums lived in Lenton too (Cycle road.) We used to get the bus from Carlton Square (39) and walk down Lenton Boulevard to Johnson Road, turning right down to the end and diagonally to the left to Cycle Road. And yes it was quiet (Early/Mid 60s being my earliest recollections)

Not wanting to sound racist, but it was the time when the blacks were starting to arrive in droves , I had never seen any till I went to see my Grandparents, I don't remember being scared of them and my grandparents didn't say anything against them so they were OK by me!!

It was always quiet as you say though , in the streets as well as the houses!!

The Cellar always had that distinct smell, and every time we were there we had to go and sit on the steps to be told that that was where they had to sit during the air raids of WW2. The real daft bit to that was that they took in some evacuees during the war, (From Greenford , Middlesex, as they always told us too!) and the closest the evacuees ever came to being bombed, was when the Luftwaffe tried to bomb the Raleigh, hitting Lenton Parish Church, and the railway line at the end of Cycle Road (Pretty sure these didn't go off, but I may be wrong!)

There was then the ground floor, "Front room" was off to the left, the hall then led to the top of the Cellar door, the small lounge, tiny kitchen after that, and a postage stamp for a back garden, although this was always cramed with Chrysanthemums, Dahlias and Granpas favourites , Roses. (Grandpa was "Chairman" Notiinghamshire rose socity, AKA St Annes rose society (I've been trying to find out why it was known as this but to no avail, as my Grandparents had no connections what so ever with St Annes!!) and they always held their annual show at Gregories on the A52.. This was another great afternoon out.!!

We too used to (Occasionally) go to play on Lenton 'Rec', but more often than not we went to see Grandpa play for "Lenton United" on the Cricket ground, "6 a side" matches being particular family favourites.

Christmas was always great, and "Peter Kaye's" Christmas memoirs were so true , two chairs with a plank across with all the kids sat on it , and every one else on different levels , high stools, low chairs, even a poofee on a poofee springs to mind !!

There would have been Mama, Grandpa, Mum, Dad, my Sister Jackie, Me, my Brother Chris, Aunty Christine, Uncle Colin, Cousin Nick, Aunty Muriel, Uncle Frank, and Cousins Alison, Jane, and Kevin all sat round that table for Christmas evening meal (Cold cuts, salad and Picalilli spring to mind !!)

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Two excellently written contributions, on a very evocative subject.

So much of what you both write rings numerous bells...

The "quietness/clocks ticking" mentions being a particular prominent memory!

My own maternal grandparents had died in the 40's, so I was left with my other grandparents on Zulu Road, Basford.

Will attempt tomorrow to add my own memories to your own...because I've had rather a Bad Day at Black Rock day!

Cheers

Robt P.

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My paternal grandparents were dead long before I was born, but my mums lived in Lenton too (Cycle road.)

Small world. My Lenton lot (on my dad's side) were on Dunlop Avenue, which is almost a continuation of the top end of Cycle Road

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My Visits to Grandparents were a little different ...we used to ride the Pigs and tease the Goats and the Chickens...they like us had a Pig farm...so it was like still being at home but with dif'rent Pigs to ride.

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I ONLY HAD MY FATHERS MOTHER ALIVE WHEN I WAS YOUNG AND WOULD OFTEN GO WITH DAD ON A SUNDAY MORNING TO GO AND SEE HER THIS WOULD BE AN ALL DAY THING AS SHE LIVED ON WESTMINSTER TERRACE OFF WEST MINSTER ST ST ANNS. THIS JOURNEY WOULD START WITH US WALKING FROM NETHERIELD TO CARLTON SQUARE TO GET THE 39 TROLLY BUS IN THEM DAYS GET OFF AT PORCHESTER RD ACROSS THE RD TO WERE NEW HOUSING ESTATE NOW IS. THIS USED TO BE ALLOTMENTS . UNCLE ALBERT POUNALL WHO WAS A RAG AND BONE MAN KEPT HIS HORSE HERE AND WOULD ALWAYS BE THERE ON A SUNDAY MORNING SEEING TO HIS HORSE WHO WAS CALLED HURCULISE THIS WAS LONG BEFORE THE STEPTOE AND SON SERIES ON TV. HE ALSO KEPT ANGORA RABBITS OF ALL COLOURS AND THEY HAD TO BE GROOMED EVERY DAY AND THE FUR WAS PUT INTO SACKS TO BE SOLD LATER. OUR FIRST PORT OF CALL WOULD BE HIS ALLOTMENT WERE I WOULD HELP TO GROOM THE ANIMALS I LOVED TO PLAIT THE HORSES MANE AND TAIL I USED TO STAND ON A CHAIR TO DO THIS.UNCLE ALBERT USED TO GIVE POTS FOR RAGS SO THERE WERE ALWAYS LOADS OF WOODEN BOXES ON THE ALLOTTMENT FULL OF POTS WHILE DAD AND ALBERT WERE DIGGING UP VEG FOR GRAMMA I HAD TO FIND A DOZEN GOOD CUPS AND SAUCERS FOR US TO TAKE HOME TO MUM.OFTEN THERE WOULD BE TINY COFFEE CUPS AND SAUCERS AND I COULD TAKE SOME OF THESE HOME TO AS A DOLLS TEA SET IF I WAS LUCKY I MIGHT FIND A SMALL ONE PERSON TEA POT OF A SIMMILAR DESIGHN. THEN IT WOULD BE OFF TOWARDS GRAMMAS VIA A FOOTPATH AND DOWN DONKEY HILL I WAS GLAD IT WAS DOWN AND NOT UP BUT IT COULD BE A BIT DIFFICULT IF IT WAS ICY. ACROSS ST ANNSWELL RD TO THE BOTTOM OF WESTMINSTER ST THERE STOOD THE OLD WESTMINSTER PUB.IT IS STILL IN BASICALLY THE SAME PLACE TODAY BUT THE ORRIGINAL ONE WAS PULLED DOWN AND A NEW ONE BUILT. THIS WAS AS FAR AS DAD AND ALBERT WOULD GET UNTILL AFTERNOON CLOSING .THEY WOULD BUY ME A BOTTLE OF POP AND A PACKET OF CRISPS AND THEN SEND ME UP TO GRAMMAS WITH THE BAG OF VEG. GOOD JOB IT WAS NOT TOO FAR TO GO AS IT WAS ALWAYS VERY HEAVY FOR ME . MY GRAMMA DIEDWHEN I WAS 7 SO I WAS REALY YOUNG . BUT I ALWAYS REMEMBER HER AND HER HOUSE JUST TWO UP AND TWO DOWN OUTSIDE LOO. YOU ALWAYS USED THE BACK DOOR NEVER LOCKED I USED TO GO IN AND GRAMMA WOULD BE SITTING IN HER ROCKING CHAIR WITH HER LACE CUSSION ON HER KNEE.SHE WAS ALWAYS IN THE SAME KIND OF CLOTHS AS FAR AS I CAN REMEMBER DARK DRESS WITH A WHITE APRON ON BOTTLE OPENER TIED ROUND HER WAIST WIT A BIT OFF STRING LONG HAIR IN PLAITS WRAPPED ROUND HER HEAD. NOT MUCH IN THE KITCHEN SINK ,DRESSERBIG RANGE FIRE WITH A BIG GUARD ROUND IT BIG KITCHEN TABLE AND ALWAYS UNDER THE TABLE WAS A CRATE OF BEER DOUBLE DIAMOND USUALLY.I WOULD KNOCK AND GO IN SAY HELLO GRAMMA TO WHICH SHE WOULD ALWAYS SAY WHICH ONE ARE YOU AND PASS ME A BOTTLE FROM UNDER THE TABLE I CARNT EVER REMEMBER SEEING HER STANDING.I WOULD GIVE HER THE BAG AND TELL HER DAD AND ALBERT WOULD BE ABOUT AN HOUR TO WHICH SHE WHOULD SAY YES AN HOUR AFTER CLOSEING TIMESHE KNEW THEM AS WELL AS MY MUM.I WOULD SIT AND CHAT TO HER FOR A WHILE AND THEN ASK IF I COULD GO IN THE FRONT ROOM LOTS OF INTERESTING THINGS IN HER CABINETS IN THERE BUT ALWAYS WARNED NOT TO OPEN THE DOORS ON THEM OR TOUCH ANY OF THE OTHER THINGS IN THERE. WHEN I GOT FED UP IN THERE I WOULD TELL HER I WAS GOING TO SEE MY AUNTIE MABLE WHO LIVED ROUND THE CORNER ON HUNGERHILL RD SHE WOULD ALWAYS GIVE ME SOME LUNCH DINNER IF GOT THERE BEFORE SHE DISHED UP OR A COLD MEAT SANDWICH IF THEY HAD ALREADY EATEN LUNCH. I WOULD THEN PLAY WITH MY COUSEN PAMS DOLLS HOUSE FOR A WHILE I LOVED THAT DOLLS HOUSE UNCLE JOE HAD MADE IT YEARS BEFORE FOR PAM. SEE WAS SIX YEARS OLDER THAN ME AND ONLY HAD ONE BROTHER UNCLE JOE TOLD ME I COULD HAVE IT WHEN I WAS A BIT OLDER BUT I NEVER DID GET IT AND LATER FOUND OUT THAT AUNTIE MABLE SOLD IT TO SOME SHE KNEW. BACK TO GRAMMAS BY THIS TIME DAD WAS BACK WE WOULD HAVE A CUP OF TEA AND MAYBE A BIT OF CAKE AND THEN START OUR JOURNEY HOME IF I WAS LUCKY WE WOULD GET THE BUS DOWN ST ANNSWELL RD TO HUNTTINDON ST TO GET A BUS BACK TO NETHERFIELD . BACK HOME OUR SUNDAY LUNCH WOULD BE IN THE OVEN WITH A PLATE ON READY FOR US WHEN WE GOT HOME IF WE WERE LUCKY IT WOULD NOT BE TOO DRY BUT MUM WOULD ALWAYS MAKE FRESH GRAVY WE ATE OUR MEAL BY THIS TIME IT WOULD BE TIME FOR MY BATH AND BED BEFORE SCHOOL ON MONDAY. WE ONLY HAD THE OLD TIN BATH .THIS WOULD BE IN THE KITCHEN WHEN WE GOT HOME AS MUM AND THE OLDER GIRLS WOULD HAVE HAD THERES IN THE AFTERNOON WHILE WE WERE OUT AS WOULD HAVE MY YOUNGER BROTHER SO ON THESE DAYS I HAD THE WATER ALL TO MYSELF AND COULD STAY IN AS LONG AS I LIKES OR AT LEASTE TILL MUM MADE ME GET OUT TO GET READY FOR BED HOT TEA OR COACO IF I WAS LUCK.

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Lovely memories, Babs. Kids of today don't have anything like this to remember. My 2 grannies, were old fashioned grannies, my grandson will most likely remember me as a golfing, bowling, hiking granny, who stripped for a calendar.

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That reminds me Kath , It's your birthday soon isn't it

There will be loads of new members (Freudian slip!!) who haven't seen the pics !!

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When I used to visit my grandparents on Wilford grove there was always a pan of stew on the range and a clean table cloth on the table, on special occasions I was allowed in the "front room", always seemed cold and damp to me but in there was a big three piece suite covered in blue velvet type material most uncomfortable and prickly to the backs of bare legs when one only wore short trousers, other grandparents in Bulwell also had a clean table cloth on the table and a bottle of sterilised milk and tea pot, at one end of the kitchen was another small room called the "scullery" where the sink with obligatory curtain wire and curtain going from the bottom of the pot sink to the floor to hide all the cleaning materials which I think consisted of Vim or Ajax, a small scrubbing board (where's me washboard Beefy)a big bar of Fairy soap a box of soap flakes a packet of Dolly blue for the whites and a mouse trap. also in there was a cupboard that was called the larder where all the tinned food was stored, anyone remember them?

Rog

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I remember when my Granddad came back from the war with one arm we still don’t know whose it was?

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my paternal Grandparents lived on Saxondale drive,i still think about them when i drive past,i can almost still smell the TCP that Grandad used for everything.

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My Maternal Grandma's on Vicarage St, Notts always had a lovely smell of Polish and if I timed it right, there would be the delicious aroma of Dinner. If I was lucky, she would always manage to dish up a small plate for me. When I worked at Raywarp, I gave her Half Crown a week for Dinners, five days a week.

My Paternal Grandma's house, always smelled of home made bread. She baked every day. But to get in the house, there was a porch with a toilet and coal hole. On the floor of the toilet would be two or three little white square disinfectant tablets. Very strong smelling. Every so often I will be some where and get a whiff of them. I don't know what they were called, but i'm sure some of your Gran's will have used them?

I must say, visiting both of them, us children didn't run amock, we just sat and behaved, until we got bored and then Mam would take us home.

AAAH I hope your Mammar's were nice like mine.

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I even remember visting my Great Grandmother in Kemps,Cottages bottom of Carlton rd opposite the park,she lived until the early 60s and was in her late 90s

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My Maternal Grandma's on Vicarage St, Notts always had a lovely smell of Polish and if I timed it right, there would be the delicious aroma of Dinner. If I was lucky, she would always manage to dish up a small plate for me. When I worked at Raywarp, I gave her Half Crown a week for Dinners, five days a week.

Polish? I never knew people from Poland had a particular smell. ;)

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you mean 'BABCIA AND GAH DECK,

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I visited my maternal grandparents down the Medders at least once a week and before I started school I'd go with Mum on the train from Netherfield to the Midland Station 2 or 3 times a week. They lived on Queens Grove, just down Queens Drive and only yards from the station. The front door was always locked and we had to walk down an entry and along the back of the houses, past the rows of outside toilets, down a couple of steps into the back yard and straight into the scullery when there was always something cooking, very often stew. I was the first grandchild and was given a lot of attention. Grandad would sit me on his knee and teach me to draw (he was quite an artist). One memory I have of being in that house was seeing my Granny coming up the cellar steps with a dead rat on a dustpan!! Grandad died when I was only 4 but that Granny lived a further 10 years, remaining in the house.

My paternal grandparents lived on Devonshire Promenade in Lenton when I was very young. I didn't go there that often because my Grandad wasn't a very nice person and my memories of him are few. My Granny was really lovely and took us in their car to the seaside, he never went out of the house! That Grandad died the same year as the other one, 1954. Granny moved to May Avenue, Wollaton to live with her spinster sister, who herself was by then living alone since my Great-Grandad had also died in that year!! Not a good year for our family!

I LOVED visiting Granny and Aunt Con. The house backed onto the cricket field and they had a stile into the field so me and my cousins had a lovely time playing on the field. Aunt Con was a great cook and I remember going to the Wollaton Village Fete on the cricket field and witnessing her winning first prizes for her cakes.

I must admit that us kids did use to run riot in that house, playing hide and seek, hiding in wardrobes, under beds etc. we had some great parties there and I do occasionally drive down May Avenue to have a look at the house that I haven't stepped inside for 25 years, in those days there was a silver birch tree in the front garden but that is long gone.

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Brings back some good memories. Often used to visit my paternal grandparents who lived off one of the streets on the Carlton side of Carlton hill. Like many here mentioned mostly very quiet. Grandpa not a very friendly soul but grandma always had the kettle on and made tea you could stand the spoon up in. She used to have one of those old pump organs and liked to play "Abide With Me,". Which I now like to play. Must be where I got it from. They eventually moved to Mablethorpe so didn't see them so often.

Maternal grandparents lived on Godfrey street Netherfield. Went there just about every day after school as mam was working afternoons at Boots on Station Street. They had tv but I hardly ever watched it. Used to play out back around the allotments with the other kids until it got dark. No worries about strange people in those days. Allotments now gave way to the ring road, Morrisons etc. not the same anymore. Brings back a line from that old hymn I mentioned, "Change and decay in all around I see......." Of course those who might have remembered Netherfield before the railway yards might have said the same thing.

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I visited my widowed paternal grandma every Saturday for my first 7 years, till she died suddenly in 1954. [Granddad had died when I was 3, I just remember him] Dad and I used to walk from Amesbury Circus to Bell Terrace in Cheltenham St, Old Basford, and didn't think a thing of it. Pram to start with, then pushchair then shanks's pony, for me. The main thing I remember about my visits, is dad dropping an orange into the hot water boiler at the side of the fireplace, leaving it a little while, then fishing it out again. I was told it was to make it peel easier. Grandma had a piano and piano stool, the latter fascinated me as it opened up to reveal the sheet music within. I'm pretty sure we got this piano stool after her death, with a cut moquette cover in maroon.

Maternal grandparents looked after me for several weeks when my mam was about to have my baby brother. I used to walk from Marlow Avenue, along the High St to Nuthall Rd, cross it by myself, and catch the number 1 bus to Wm Crane school, then reverse after school. I wasn't yet 9. Granddad would set me some long division maths, which I loved to do, and he had a spittoon on his mantelpiece. It all seemed so normal to be spitting in a mug all the time! I remember when it was time for me to move back home, he said he was going to put up a sign that said, PEACE, PERFECT PEACE. I always could 'rattle' ten to the dozen.

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Weird.

I seem to have started this thread 3 and half years ago, but I don't particularly remember writing it. It's brought back a few memories for me as well.

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Grateful to you for starting it, Cliff ton. Some great memories posted by others in the last couple of days helps rekindle your own - true Nottstalgia hellothere

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I used to hate visiting my granny as my mum used to wipe my face with a wet smelly dishcloth before we went. Then on arrival, my gran would kiss me and her wet whiskers would reek of Park Drive cigs and tickle me. An horrific experience.

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I know what you mean about those 'Wet Sloppy Kisses' we had to endure from relations as kids. YUK Lol My family have always been a kiss on arrival and departure family, and because there were so many of us, it could be a horrible experience for a kid to endure! The Parkies and Cigars and Pipes. Plus those Bright Red greasy Lipstick Kisses. As a kid you get to recognise the oncoming departure of family and craftily sneak off and hide in a Wardrobe or somewhere. :ninja: ANYWHERE!! Then you get the call from Mam... Come on down and kiss everyone. They are going now!! :biggrin:

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I remember before my Grandad passed away when I'd visit there would always be an old western film on or James Bond! When I was leaving he used to walk me to the door with his arm around me and gave me a huge sloppy kiss and his stubble would always hurt my cheek! Then he'd stand on the doorstep and wave me off and say 'mind the roads'. Oh I do miss him!

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Lovely post Melissa.......think all of us have fond memories of visiting grandparents although the role has somewhat changed.. My 2 yr old grandaughter loves telling everyone she wears the same shoes as nanny ( converse ) !!!!!!!

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