I had just started school when I got scarlet fever, very prevalent then. It left me with a swollen gland and a swelling that used to burst and look awful because I had to wear a dressing round my neck. Some children went to Durham Hospital to have their necks 'treated' and an awful mess it made. My mother would not have me go and had faith in Scott the chemist's salve. It took several years, but it healed and left the scar I still have. In the middle of all this, I fell off a high see-saw and broke my left elbow badly. Again my mother would not let me go to hospital, so my father took me to Byers Green to have it 'stretched' by a bone setter he knew who had worked at Kelloe pit. He was a nice man and gave my father big tins of jelly to put on my arm and showed him how to get the elbow to bend. I still cannot touch my shoulder or neck, but I can manage everything else.
Our house was in Green Street at the end of one row. It had three bedrooms, a kitchen, a sitting room and a passage. At the other side of the yard, which was not big, was the W.C., the coal house and the wash house where all the cooking was done. We had an oven in the fireplace in the kitchen, but the whole place had been electro-plated and my mother would not have it used. On the mantelpiece there was much brass and all these candlesticks and other pieces were cleaned every week. In the sitting room the brass round the fireplace was elegant and so were the long pokers and shovels. We had a big pantry where there was always a big bowl of water, kept for the sink in the wash house. There was a big bowl for bread which my mother baked, and baked well, every Thursday. She made big loaves and little ones and fadges. Always a piece of bacon and ham hung from the top and my father cut it when needed.
There was plenty of furniture in the bedrooms. There were many drawers especially in one big elegant piece of mahogany, a wood greatly used and lovely to look at. In my parents' room there was a grandfather clock which never stopped ticking and also a cupboard over the stairs where we hung coats and where my father had a safe. The sitting room was quite something with a good piano, a real suite of chairs and settee, a big piece of furniture in one corner with drawers and a china cabinet, and had we some china! At the other side were dozens of small ornaments and pairs of ornaments big and small, some of which, now, I can see were really nice. A gold clock with a glass cover, stuffed birds in a cage were there too. There was a what-not where the music was kept and there was a table of rose wood, heavily carved with three monkeys and round leaves. Helen has this now in her hall. Over the fireplace was a big mirror. It made three after my mother died and I have one now. My father collected rents for Mr. Robinson who had a big shop in Stockton, and we went there twice a year and this was where my mother saw all these goods that were then coming from the Far East, Japan possibly, and bought. When Tom went to college his trunk came from Robinson's and I had it afterwards.