Carnivals Every year and usually on May Day there was a Grand Carnival which paraded through the streets of Jarrow and via Albert Road and Park Road to the West Park, where prizes were awarded to the best of those taking part, i.e. Jazz Bands, Floats and also the best dressed horses – usually from the Co-op and the “Cleansing” dept. Also solo comic turns like “Sleepless Nights.” A fair was also held in the park.
Shopping with Mother In our early days Mother shopped at Birch Street stores – alas long gone. These stores comprised all under one roof. The Groceries and Flour departments, The Bakers (with the Bakery at the back under the supervision of Mr. Young) a Butchers shop and at the rear of the whole emporium a Dairy on Beech Street and where I lived at No. 16 Beech Street. You just had to “Pop” across the street and where you rang a bell and your jug was filled with Milk from a glazed earthenware container. Truly an old fashioned supermarket.
When in the Grocers department you got your first purchases at what was known as the “Butter side” and there you carried across in your arms to the “Tea side” and where the whole of the provisions were neatly wrapped in stout Brown paper and tied with string – the assistant doing the string bit. It always fascinated me when snapping the string. Then it was home, either Harold or me carrying the parcel – never Iris.
Bikes When I was 16 Mother bought me my first “Bike” from Graves of Sheffield - Two Bob a week. It was a proud moment when I picked it up at the goods and parcels office at Jarrow Station and wheeled it back home to remove its protective wrapping. After that I cycled everywhere, even to remote parts of the Tyne Valley in company with school friends. We always returned home tired and weary. Iris said I was a menace flying around the streets and back lane, with neighbours crying out “Here comes Fuller,” I wonder why. Iris had a Racing Bike and before the War she and her friend Kitty Walker used to cycle to Reyrolle’s in Hebburn. Later Harold got a second hand bike. I don’t know why, as Mother loved him very much.
Harold was very independent. At 14 he left the Grange and found a job with Thomas, Wireless dealers. Harold’s job was to deliver accumulators to those people without electricity – early days of Radio. The accumulators were carried in a small trolley. Later he took a job with Stills the Baker’s and pushed an even bigger trolley between Maud Street and the other shop just over the Pontop crossing. It, the trolley, was so high you couldn’t even see Harold. Mother protested but to no avail. We of course were still at High School, Iris being in the Central in Oak Street. Later he went to Aldermaston. He stayed there nearly 2 years.