Joseph Sydney Hamilton.
Some notes on my childhood and life!
There were nine of us in the family plus Mother and Father.
This was my family in chronological order.
Father :-Walter Hamilton
Mother :-Lily Gertrude
Arthur married Minnie Bates,Children Brian and Alan
Dorrie (Dorothy) married Arthur Hawthorn one child Ann
Alfred, married Cathy Shelton one child Graham
Fredrick married Molly,no children
Syd (Joseph Sydney) married Betty Billingham, children Diana and Julia
Stanley married Irene White,children Nigel and Kerry
Norman married Olive, children Paul and Geoffrey.
Betty married Don Walklem.children Deborah Beverley and Donna
Donald married Beryl,one child Lynne.
We all attended Beeches Road Junior School, l was the first to pass for Cronhills senior school, l think some of the others went later.
We were all born and were brought up at 17 Roebuck St , number 17 was a two up and two down end of terrace house, it had an outside washouse (the brewus) the brewhouse as it was called, there was also the coal place (the coal hole) the outside toilet and a very long narrow garden.
We had a cellar which was sometimes used for coal but this always had a couple of feet of water,the top of the cellar steps was the pantry, there was no light so you had to take a candle and when you lent in to get something off the shelf there was always a danger of falling down the cellar steps.
There house had two gas lights downstairs but everywhere else you used a candle. Of course we had a coal-fire, Mother did all her cooking on the fire or in the oven that the fire heated.
Many years later we had a gas stove put in the brewus, which meant that the food had to be carried from the brewus across the yard in all weather into the house, later when we were older we did build a veranda for cover and to link the two buildings.
We were told that when our parents moved into number 17 the row of five houses were empty and they had their pick. Father picked the end one ,a prime site for his pigeon pen, the pigeons were his main interest in life that and the pub on the corner”Three Mile Oak” The upside of keeping the pigeons were the eggs which we sometimes had for breakfast, Father would kill the pigeon that were no longer useful and we would have pigeon pie. The pigeon manure which was a good fertilizer father had a very productive garden.
When we were young we were quite hard up as most people were who lived in the street in spite of living in the very affluent middle class area of Birmingham Rd and Beeches Rd in West Bromwich.
We never went short of anything thanks to our mother’s good
housekeeping management. We were expected to try and earn money even when we were quite young. Our lunch time job was taking dinners to the carriage works, our father always had his dinner delivered to the factory every day, and we also had to take Uncle Joe’s and Uncle Ernie’s in a basin inside a wicker basket. Three baskets meant two of us needed to go. I started the lunch run when I was ten helped by my brother Stan who was three years younger.
Uncle Joe lived along Trinity Rd. and I needed to leave my junior school at lunch time early (Beeches Road School.) and then later the secondary school (Cronehills) and run all the way to Uncle Joe’s, running through Kendricks Park to pick up Uncle Ernie’s dinner then down Roebuck St to our house to pick up Father’s dinner, we really had to half run half walked to get to dinners the works on time.
If we were late or spilled the gravy, we were in big trouble. Today l think this would be considered child cruelty.