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THIS is not a history of how the Trimdons came to be, but of the way of life at the beginning of this century. When I heard children asking the meaning of the words “pantry” and “fender” I realised how very different life is now.

Youngsters no longer seem to have an innocent childhood like those in the past. We no longer see them playing games in the street – games that taught them, without them knowing it, comradeship and the ability to share and also providing them with healthy exercise. Above all, parents knew where they were and so they could quickly be called home. When they wanted someone to begin a game they had a democratic way of deciding. Standing in a circle they would recite a rhyme like “Eenie, meanie, miny, mo, pointing to each one of the group separately until the chant was finished and the leader picked. It seems such a shame that modern children now have knowledge that only adults used to have. They were far more able to amuse themselves by inventing various games and never getting bored – games that cost nothing like imaginary shops and houses.

Men, especially miners, worked hard but so did the wives and mothers. It was non stop hard work but they did it knowing nothing of all the future labour saving inventions. Though at the time they were not considered important enough to warrant having a vote, they were the salt of the earth being able to care for and feed a family, often a very large family, on about 30 shillings a week (£1.50).

There is so much more we could have included in this book, but I hope that the reading of it might encourage more people to put their memories down onto paper. Some people call the past, the bad old days, but in many respects they were really the good old days. Times were more neighbourly and people lived without the fear of muggings and break-ins.

Thanks are due to all those who attended the late John Etherington’s history class, and very special thanks to my colleagues Tony Magee for doing the typing and to Eddie Pike for printing the photographs from our Past and Present Exhibition.

I sincerely hope that this book will show the young ones what life used to be like and to revive some fond memories for the older ones.

Eveline Roberts Johnson.

 

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