Photo 1. Looking down what is actually the ‘back’ entrance to Garden Cottage but this was the common entrance, c1950. The gantry at the bottom of the lane was used to carry coal and/or coke to and from the big coke-making sheds out of view on the right behind the cottages. See photo 4.
Photo 2. This is the view of the three cottages at the top of the ‘T’ formed with Garden Cottages, c1950. From left to right are 33, 35 and 37 East Street and I was born in No. 35. In No. 33 were the Marsh family trading as chimney sweeps “Tester & Tuck” there were two sons only Alan and Leslie, the oldest. Leslie Marsh was 19 years old when he joined the Navy as a Stoker 2nd class. He was killed aboard the HMS Penelope, a light cruiser, on 18th Feb 1944 in the bay of Naples, Italy. They were torpedoed by a German U boat No. U410 as they were leaving after refuelling and rearming in the port of Naples. In No. 37 lived an old couple who I believe were named Edwards but not sure.
Photo 3. View from the back bedroom window at No. 35 its back garden and the gardens of Garden Cottages served by a narrow lane, c1950. A long fence can be seen on the right which was the border twixt the lane and the property of the Keeling family who, I believe were ‘removers and furnishers’. The trees on the Keeling’s side of the fence , top right corner, were damson trees and overhung the lane a lot. Needless to say, we scrumped them but also collected them and my Gran made damson jam which was delicious.
Photo 4. From back garden of No. 35, looking down Garden Cotts, notice the gantry as mentioned in photo1 and what I called the coke-making sheds which now can be seen, c1950. My bike can be seen in the foreground and the Anderson shelter re-used as a shed after the war. My brother and I are seen helping to install the shelter originally in 1940. (See Photo 6)
Photo 5. In back garden of No. 35 looking towards the property of the Keeling family, c1950. The ‘box’ on the side of the house was a high level porch to protect Mrs Keeling’s entrance to her home. I believe the lower half of the building was used for storage. As a young boy I met Mrs Keeling a few times and ran a few errands for her. She seemed very nice and must have been 60 ish.
Photo 6. This was taken c.1940 and shows my brother supposedly helping Dad to erect/bury the Anderson shelter. I remember waking up in the shelter a number of times during the war but one time in particular a bomb flattened the my infants school one night but I didn’t hear a thing. The school was further up East Street on the opposite side of the road just a bit up from level with the swimming pool.
Images and text courtesy of Brian Waterman