Sunday, August 2, 2015

Bio #39 - Living in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England

This was a town of some 280,000 people, in the Pennine range, in the industrial north of England, in Yorkshire county, which has three ridings: North, East and West. Most homes here are made of stone, the natural building material for the area. Some of the houses are one hundred and two hundred years old, not centrally heated, just fireplaces using coal. Most had hot water heated by a box at the back of the fire, and a tank upstairs in a closet, and a water tank in the attic. This is how ours was, anyway, and it was very good.

Ron had been in Huddersfield a week before I arrived, but had left for his embarkation station in the south of England, so I missed him and felt so sorry.

I lived with Mrs. Livingstone, Jean and Bill (her two unmarried adult children) for ten months. We got along fine and I helped all I could, and sewed a lot, but I missed Ron and was often homesick. All this time I was house hunting. 324 Newsome Road was a lovely modern house and I had a room to myself, but Ron and I had to have a place of our own when he got out of the RAF.

Finding a house in Huddersfield in 1945 was like looking for one in 1976 in Calgary. But after living with Jean and her mom I was finally lucky. Jean's sister-in-law, Blanche, saw her neighbour move out, and went to see the landlady. Because I was from Canada she let me have it for about 4s. 6d. a week. Boy, was I ever lucky, so I got busy with paint, paper etc., and had it all fixed up as best I could for Ron to come home to. Mrs. Thewlis (Blanche's mother) was alive then, and sometimes came round with a hot baked potato rolled up in her apron. She was a nice old soul and was always ready to help out. She died when we had been there three years. I still have a vase she gave me. This house was 26 Cross Lane, Primrose Hill, where we lived for over eight years.

Thanks to the magic of Google, you can see the actual house if you click the link above. It looked different then; there were no hedges or high wooden fences, and I believe the homes to the left in a different type of stone are newer. The house to the right was Blanche's home.
Letty and me, about four months old, 1949, outside our front door.