THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 14 May 2019, 03:30

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My terrier Bess and the black lurcher at Sough in 1957.

It wasn’t all work at Sough. I managed to find time at weekends to buy the odd dog or two, go for walks on Kelbrook Moor and get up to mischief at the pub. This included breaking my duck as a virgin in a quarry up Kelbrook Old Road so that was all right! I bought a Jack Russell terrier bitch off Dick Allen at Lower Sandiford Farm, Blacko and called her Bess and she was a topper, we went miles together both on foot and in the wagon. A relationship with a good dog is a very special thing and I had a beauty there. The sad thing was that Bess had a terrible death. It happened in 1959 when we moved to Barlick and she ran onto a broken bottle in some long grass in the field and it slit her belly open. I took her to the vet who sewed her up and for a while she made a good recovery, she even jumped on my lap one day. Then she went missing and a few days afterwards the RSPCA inspector called in to say that they had found her but had put her down because she was in such a terrible state. Losing a good mate like that because of somebody else’s stupidity is very hard.
It's like that with dogs, eventually you have to pay the price for the good times.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 15 May 2019, 03:32

I'm back on an old hobby horse this morning.... I think that one of the consequences of a general town way of life and far better heating standards plus the almost universal use of cars for even short journeys has had an affect on what we wear. Clothes and footwear are a lot lighter. Crombie do not make a tweed overcoat of as heavy a weave as my old favourite, I suspect that is why it is so expensive on the retro market now (if you could find one). The dead man's Harris Tweed suit I wear was too heavy for him so he never wore it. The same applies to boots and shoes and that is on top of my mind this morning as I am going to Ilkley today to consult with my cobbler! I shall be a demanding customer I fear.
I was reared in boots and clogs all of which had heavy soles and a pronounced curve to them which meant you roll over your foot as you walk. For many years I favoured 'fell boots' which were made on a hinged last giving an even more pronounced curve. My new Tricker brogues are giving me a problem because I suspect they are mainly bought by people used to walking in town on flat surfaces. They are almost flat and I note that I am wearing the toe of the sole far faster than the sole which means I could never wear a sole out without damaging the foundation sole of the shoe. It also means that I tend to trip on uneven pavement joints and the first step of any stairs I encounter.
The body of the shoe is fine, it's just the geometry and weight of the sole.
I have another problem.... I must have very sensitive feet because I can feel the buttons on the Dainite soles and every stone I walk on and this annoys me. So, I want a heavy mid-sole putting in and a smooth heavy rubber sole on top of that. At the same time I want a bit more curve putting into the sole so I am not wearing the toe and tripping. They are good men at the Ilkley Shoe Company and I have no doubt they can give me exactly what I desire. One thing is certain, they will get clear instructions! (And yes, it will be expensive as it is a rebuild but there are no pockets in a shroud!)
Ten minutes later I switched World Service on and there is a programme on talking about exactly the same things that I have addressed above, how modern life is affecting and changing our shoes, the way we walk and the health of our feet! Spooky!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 16 May 2019, 03:54

I got on well with the cobbler at Ilkley and he is going to modify the Trickers.... I shall report! One thing became clear I am different than most of his customers. He had never heard of fell boots and hinged lasts. Have a look at THIS website where you can still get Fell Boots and I note that a modified version with even more curve to the sole is sold as a 'tug of war' boot. There must still be a demand for them.
I first saw fell boots in the rolling bent grass moorlands of South Lanarkshire. The shepherd I talked to walked on average 12 miles a day on the moor. The moors there aren't heather, they are wiry bent grass and something I noted was the high polish on the boots. He told me he just oiled them with Neat's Foot Oil and never polished them, the lovely finish was due to the constant brushing effect of the wiry grass.
(I was very tempted to buy a pair of the Fell boots but managed to restrain myself!)
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 17 May 2019, 03:53

I took the concept of this topic a bit too far this morning. I made the mistake of opening up Google Street maps of my old haunts in Stockport! Guess what, I blew away 20 minutes without noticing it. Such changes! I knew they had happened of course but taking the aerial view and looking down on what's there now..... So many things have gone, blown away by the motorway . My old school and all the pubs and shops on Travis Brow. Slight consolation to see that my old home is still there and the Wycliffe Congregational church and Sunday school on George's road but as for the rest....
It doesn't make me sad, change is part of the human condition but I still regret seeing that the small things like Mather's greengrocer's shop at the bottom of Travis Brow on the corner of the old bridge across the Mersey leading to Brinksway has completely gone.... Fresh liquorice root from Pontefract, not the dried variety, the soft delicious roots, and penny apples even in the war.... Ah well Stanley, move on!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 18 May 2019, 03:58

Mention of Mather's shop reminded me of the imaginative ways retailers tried to evade sweet rationing by offering alternatives. A little known fact of the textile industry is the use of the locust bean to make a gum that is valuable as an agent in sizing yarn for weaving. It was imported during the war as it was a strategic material. It came in as the whole pod and the beans were separated leaving the sweet casing of the pod as a by-product. It was sold in Woolworth's in Stockport off ration as a substitute for sweets made from sugar. I think it was probably very good for us as it was a natural sugar and very high in fibre.
It can't have been very common, I haven't ever seen it mentioned by anyone else.....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 19 May 2019, 03:45

I was lucky enough to have never lived in terraced housing as a child. The House on Norris Avenue was a modern semi and the one on Napier Road was a typical middle class house of the late 19th century (although come to think that was in a terrace of four houses) so I never lived with donkey stoning.

Image

Donkey stones. Hard on the left (Lion Brand and moulded), soft on the right (a natural stone).

However, I saw plenty of streets where it was common even during the war. It was very competitive, housewives tried to outdo their neighbours in finding new areas to decorate and this could get out of hand. It started by simply stoning the front edge of the doorstep but I have seen coal holes in the pavement lined out and even the edge of the kerb at the road edge. My father once told me that one street in (I think it was) Ashton under Lyne reached the point where the tramlines were being black-leaded. This was a mistake as the street sloped and it got to the stage where the trams got wheel slip! He said the council had to step in and stop it. I wonder if that happened or is it apocryphal...
That brings back a memory..... I was told once that a punishment used somewhere was to put the miscreant in a barrel with internal spikes and roll it down a hill. I wonder if that was true?
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 19 May 2019, 09:49

There was also Bath brick used for scouring and polishing and sourced, not from Bath, but from the waters of the River Parrett estuary at Bridgwater, Somerset. LINK The boatmen would beach their barges at low tide, shovel the clay mud into the boat, then wait for the tide to come in and carry them back into the town for unloading. They did the same for clay for the brick works too. It was a dangerous business because the tide could come in fast and if you barge was badly loaded it would tip over. Also the barge had to be loosened from the mud or it would be swamped. The men would sit in the barge drinking cider and smoking until the tide started to rise. Then they'd step out into the mud and rock the boat from side to side until there was a loud squelch as the suction broke. They had to jump in quickly or they could be left behind to drown!

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 20 May 2019, 02:44

"The men would sit in the barge drinking cider and smoking until the tide started to rise. "
A proper job. I never managed to find one as good as that!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 20 May 2019, 08:38

I subscribe to the Postcode Lottery and checking the results yesterday I found that my old postcode for my house when we lived on York Street has won, nothing for me yet here but properties on St James's won a few months ago. Sods law working at the moment. :confused: :smile:
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tripps » 20 May 2019, 13:38

PanBiker wrote:
20 May 2019, 08:38
I subscribe to the Postcode Lottery

I'm shocked :laugh5:
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 21 May 2019, 02:09

Each to his/her own. I don't normally gamble but have just taken a punt with a fixed price 4 year package for Talktalk....
The only national lottery used to be the Post Office and 'Ernie'. Now even kids are gambling online and John Major opened the floodgates to national lotteries. The odds are too high in my view and I have never indulged. I did the pools for years but even on them I lost over time.
I used to be a runner for the local illegal off-course bookie when I was at school. I took my mate Sid's bets to a council house in Didsbury that was just a hole in a council house back door. Exciting stuff! I knew it was breaking the law.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 21 May 2019, 08:31

The postcode lottery supports a range of charities. Reading their T&C's led me to find out that they also maintain a pot that allows them to offer funding grants for projects taken on by smaller registered UK charities. Quite useful for Bosom Friends, we can apply for up to £20,000 which will, if we are successful with our bid allow us to complete an exciting project idea that we are currently working on.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 22 May 2019, 03:56

Good to hear and I wish you well Ian, you and Bosom Friends deserve it. However on the whole I am sure that you, like me, deplore the extent to which gambling has grown of late, particularly on line gambling and FOBs in betting shops.
I once found myself in a casino at Squire's Gate at Blackpool one evening in the 1970s and I remember being amazed at the amount of folding money that was passing across the tables. I was told that the gamblers were mainly boarding house landladies, the owners of Chinese restaurants and take-aways and some old textile money that still survived on the Fylde Coast. I put a coin in a one armed bandit just to see how it worked, I won £10 and pocketed it.... No way I shall ever be turned on by the gambling bug, I have seen it's effects too often.
Having said that I once put a bet on with Tommy Fitton in the Craven Heifer when with drink taken. In the end I won over £300 when the weekly wage was a tenner. That was my last bet! I shall go to my grave in front of the bookies, not many can say that.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 23 May 2019, 03:24

Funny stuff inflation and the devaluing of money. Looking at that £300 it must be the equivalent of over £10,000 today if compared to the industrial wage. In the lean times Vera and I survived off a wage of £8-10-0 a week and we were paying back the bank loan for Hey Farm at £30 a month. Seems totally incredible now. I could never understand how it was that the value of the farm rose steadily but the loan repayment was constant. The sharks missed a trick there!
Looking back even further, my father was Works General Manager at General Gas Appliances in Audenshaw, about 1500 workers I suppose and his wage was £850 per annum, about £16 a week. I wonder how that would compare now?
Of course the answer was that it cost so much less to live. I remember buying a pair of Loake's shoes when I came out of the army and needed a new wardrobe. They cost £6 in Cole, the same shoe today is £250. In 1978 my Tricker boots cost £14 a pair, they are £650 now and the price is about to go up to £700 according to the stockist in Ilkley.
The most punishing price increase has been in the cost of housing. I used to collect the rent for a semi that my Father owned in Norris Avenue, it was 6/- a week in 1950. I've just looked on tinternetwebthingy and here's what I found, "The average house price in Norris Avenue, Heaton Norris, Stockport SK4 is £238530" I have to admit that I can't get my head around these prices!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 23 May 2019, 08:55

Stanley wrote:
23 May 2019, 03:24
I have to admit that I can't get my head around these prices!
Nor can I! There's a house not far from here that's on sale for about £450,000 and is described as being in a `sought after location'. It's down a dirt track and next to the place where the local college keeps its waste bins.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 24 May 2019, 03:16

To be honest Tiz I've given up trying. Did you note the price of my Omissi book? I paid £126 in 2012, the cheapest now is £230.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 25 May 2019, 04:01

I was thinking about the recent report of a study which suggests that the rarity of public lavatories is inhibiting some people from going out, particularly the ladies. I can understand that and it got me to thinking about the subject.....
I often say that one of the great attractions of home for me is the fact that I am always only two minutes away from my own lavatory and I know exactly how clean it is.

Image

I have often told you about my old friend John Wilfred Pickard who was a local GP famed for what people thought was his eccentricity but this was in fact simply the interpretation he put on the world in the light of his great experience and totally logical thinking. Here he is with me in the engine house on a working day (and they paid me for doing this!). We always had wonderful conversations, partly because my mind worked in a very similar way to his. I knew he had once been a volunteer doctor at what was then called a 'VD Clinic' in Burnley so I asked him about it and what he had learned. As usual he had very definite views on the subject! I asked him if it was true that you could catch a disease simply by sitting on a toilet seat and he said that it was not common but, given the right (or wrong!) circumstances was certainly possible. He added that by far the greater danger of contamination of any form of disease was handles on chain pulls for flushing or door handles. He said that due to his experience at the clinic he always put his hand in his jacket pocket before touching anything like that. He added that the same routes of infection existed in things like bannister rails on public staircases and similar surfaces which were commonly used by many people, and this exposed you to a far wider spectrum of diseases.
Whilst I admit that too much cognisance of these dangers could verge on OCD it makes sense to me and I always have it in mind. John Wilfred said that the best defence was hand washing with good soap and a good rule of thumb was to hum one verse of a favourite hymn tune while washing them. This ensured that you did it long enough. Eccentric? Or simply common sense based on knowledge and experience?
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 26 May 2019, 03:46

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Couldn't resist this. John Wilfred and Fly taking their ease at Hey Farm in 1976.

We had a very high class of visitors at the farm in those days. Some better looking than others!

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Very happy times....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 27 May 2019, 03:07

We complain these days about the spammers who infect the internet. We had a sort of equivalent during the war. There were many who, in some cases had dodged army service and lived under the radar making a living on the Black Market. This was regarded very seriously by the government but thrived because to most ordinary people it was almost a national sport, any chance of alleviating war shortages was taken. It even operated in some shops, favoured customers got a bonus from 'under the counter' and this was common in any trade where there was wastage to be exploited, particularly in butcher's shops. I don';t think there was ever rationing of fish, it was so scarce it rationed itself. Another meat that was never rationed was horse meat, we had a horse meat butcher in Stockport called Bert Slack and he had a shop off Prince's Street in the town centre.
After the war we still had rationing until the 1950s and then there were the shortages of luxuries. The people who took advantage of this were the 'Spivs' or 'Wide Boys'. If you wanted a bottle of whisky or a pair of nylons they were the place to go. See THIS for an account of Arthur English who made a name for himself on the stage as 'The King of the Wide Boys'. Remember Joe Walker in Dad's Army? This role was a reprise of Arthur English....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 28 May 2019, 03:20

Norman Evans came to mind this morning. He was a well-known and very successful music hall comedian whose act was always the same, he played a large blousy woman with her arms folded under her ample bosom (She hitched them up every now and then) having a conversation with a neighbour 'Over the Garden Wall'. Les Dawson later did exactly the same act on TV. I saw him live at the Stockport Palladium and many other pre-war acts that had got a new lease of life due to the fact that there were no newcomers to push them aside because of war service. Look him up, and Wilson Kepple and Betty doing their sand dance. Another was Arthur Lucan and Kitty McShane as Old Mother Riley and her daughter 'Kitty'
I've always been glad that this effect of the war meant I could see them. The same thing happened when I was at grammar school because many of the masters were 'Mr Chips' from pre-war days, kept in service for the same reason. I've always said I had a 1920s education in the 40s and 50s and no bad thing!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by plaques » 28 May 2019, 07:48

Stanley wrote:
28 May 2019, 03:20
and Wilson Kepple and Betty doing their sand dance
Always made me laugh. Sand Dance

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 28 May 2019, 08:26

I can remember roaring with laughter at their act!

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tripps » 28 May 2019, 09:38

Stanley wrote:
27 May 2019, 03:07
The people who took advantage of this were the 'Spivs' or 'Wide Boys'.
I've treated you to a book on the subject. No details - I'll let it be a surprise.I'm sure you will enjoy it, and get more out of it than most. Should be with you in a few days. :smile:
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Whyperion » 28 May 2019, 10:51

One of the WW2 effects I found when working at an insurance brokers in the 1980s was families that had bought houses relatively cheaply from people who feared either invasion, bomb damage, or just wanted to move out and the market was not exactly robust. The purchasors made quite a portfolio of properties they rented out and had been passed on down. I dont know if this was just a London thing, I know on the other side of London most of mum's properties they and family had lived in were rented (one Landlord was a Milkman, and another a Grocer - I think in his wife's name who would serve beer into jugs at their house door.).

Drawing the effect of seamed stockings with gravy browning I am told was common when going out.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 28 May 2019, 11:29

Whyperion wrote:
28 May 2019, 10:51
Drawing the effect of seamed stockings with gravy browning I am told was common when going out.
I'm told that women did it too. :extrawink:

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