This blog is designed to record the findings of our family history, mainly for the benefit of the family, and to document the dead ends, the breakthroughs and the journey.
I’ll post the family stories as I’ve written them to now, and I’ll be grateful to anyone who can add further information or pictures, or point out errors.
Particular thanks to my sister Julia and my cousin Mandy who between them have done much more of the work than I have.

Friday, 29 March 2013

A brush with Royalty

More from my father Joseph Sydney Hamilton

When we were young we were quite hard up as most people were who lived in the street, in spite of living in a very affluent middle class area, Birmingham Rd. and Beeches Rd., but we never went short thanks to our mother’s house keeping management, but we had to try and earn money even when we were quite young. One was taking dinners to the carriage works, our father always had his dinner took to the factory every day, and we had to take Uncle Joe’s and Uncle Ernie’s, in a basin ina wicker basket. Three baskets that meant two of us. I started when I was ten helped by Stan who was three years younger Uncle Joe lived down Trinity Rd. and I left school early Beeches Rd. and then Cronehills, run all the way to Uncle Joe’s run through Kenricks Park pick up Uncle Ernie’s Dinner down Roebuck St, then to our house pick up Father’s and we half run half walked to the works. If we were late or spilled the gravy, we were in trouble. To-day this would be considered child cruelty. One day taking the dinners I had my brush with Royalty. We had to pass the Albion ground to get to the works. And that year the Albion had won the cup, an when we approached the main entrance, men in bowler hats and police inspectors lined the pavement, and we barged through only to be pushed back has the Prince of Wales who later became the Duke of Windsor, came out and the men raised their bowler hats and cheered, and very nearly walked in to him. From there they went on to the Carriage Works for a conducted tour and father and uncles did not get their dinner till past two, their dinners were cold but could not blame us. We used to get a shilling a week for taking the dinners which mother had. One other thing we had to do was to fetch coal from the pit a Saturday morning, we had this big wooden trolley , home made which held as cwt of coal. it was quite awkward to cope with as well as the fact we had to pull it over the railway bridge. There were other lads fetching coal we left the trolleys at the bottom and we all helped to pull the trolleys over the bridge one at a time. When we unloaded we went back, to get coal for neighbours for money of course. And then when we were twelve we went golf caddying at Sandwell Park Golf Club
The rules were you had to be twelve before you could be a caddy till you were sixteen. The fee was one and sixpence a round (seven and a half pence in to-days money, sometimes you got a bit extra, mother had that and you got a penny back. We went Saturday and Sunday and evenings in the summer, that is after the dinner and coal run. When we started work we still went caddying but had sixpence back. As time went on into the thirty’s and more of us were working we came reasonably better off, than quite a lot, we were the first to have a car. Arthur bought a Austin Seven for twenty pounds in 1934,He got married about that time, and we had better cars which brother Alf used to drive and look after, A natural mechanic was Alfred. Mother had certain rules. When you started work at fourteen mother had your wages and gave you a shilling (5p). When you got to sixteen you kept your wages and paid board an looked after yourself, bought your own clothes etc. So life was not so bad compared with others

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