We were safe to play all kinds of games and when it was 'block' the whole village was used. We all had hoops made at the pit and a sledge: also made at the pit. We used much chalk on the pavements for bays and everyone had a ‘tip-top’. We did skip and skip and the boys played marbles which were lovely pieces of glass. On a Saturday night we loved to walk past the houses to smell the lovely cooking on for supper. There would be basons of rabbit pie or meat pie. We did eat a lot of meat, lamb, beef and pork and we had a fair amount of fish, fresh. My father could very quickly take the skin off a rabbit or hare brought to the house under Mr. Allen’s coat. There were also mushrooms in the summer, again brought to the house. No-one ate a tame rabbit. We had little cake unless my aunt Margaret Jane sent some down. She was the cake maker. But my mother made fresh fruit pies and many were apple. We used a lot of milk for we were always, every day, having rice or tapioca puddings. Many eggs were used in cooking in sweet or savory dishes. Egg custards were very common. I like pastries better than cakes after all these years I can see why.

I think every house had this on a wall: "Christ is the head of this house. 'The unseen guest at every meal. The silent listener to every conversation". We did not have many pictures. One was of a great battle of last century and one of the 'Monarch of the Glen'. We also had a deer's head in the passage. My mother could read very well and had a first copy of the 'Northern Echo'. She used to say she went to school near the Welsh Chapel and there she learned her a, b, c's, and where she had to pay. I never knew her write a letter, but she could write. Her father had had a school at Trimdon Grange and had a lot of Scott's books, and my mother knew a lot of Scott's poems - and so did I. “The way was long, the wind was cold" etc. Lord Whinn’s daughter and so on. I don't remember when I learned to read because at 5 I got scarlet fever and when I got back to school there was an awful teacher with a wig, and a big one, and shoes with rubber heels. Every Friday she gave us page out of a book and we had to read it on Mondav. If it got dirty we had to give her a penny. My father went to see her about it! After being ill I went to the new infants school for 6 months then back to the old one, now 7-14 years only. At 18 plus I went back to the same school as a pupil teacher for a year before going on to St. Hild's College, Durham. It was the happiest year of my life.


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