G.O: Yes. From when – I used to go – originally, my mother used to take us when we first started, but then, from about seven or eight onwards, we used to walk, um, me and my friends and my sister used to walk up Holbeach Road and Commercial Road, and we had to cross the bridge, Chain Bridge, to get across the Welland. To go, um, then we’d cross the road again opposite the Ship Albion. And then we walked along there to the County Primary School, which is on the right-hand side, which is now where the police station is.
G.O: So we made sure that we got there on time. But then at home time, when we were supposed to – right, get straight home — we used to get up to mischief. Going back over the Chain Bridge, we used to jump up and down on it and it used to move, and then we crossed over to where Mr Godfrey’s shop was, he used to sell ice-creams, and we walked further along and there used to be some houses, and if they had a doorbell… we used to ring the doorbell and run away. And obviously when we were older, we realised how cruel that was.
G.O: And then in this field, also, there were these big trees between um, what is now – let me just think – the new Lidl is there now.
G.O: Which was formerly the Welland Hospital, but before that, it was another field belonging to Christopher Sly. When I was younger, I used to go bean-pulling there. Well, between Crown Drive and that field, there were these big trees, and a dike. But we used to, we made this swing out of these ropes and old boards, so we could swing in between these trees. So I said we did – we made a lot of our own entertainment in those days.
Very nice talking to you. Thank you.
So, is there anything else you want to tell me about your time at Primary School?
Glynis Overson: Well, I can remember when we used to come out of the school gates. And to the right, past the still vaults, there were some houses. And there was this little old lady, I think her name was Ginny Sparks. And she used to sell, er, sweets from her front room, from a table, er, like, um, liquorice, which we used to call rat tails, for a penny – old penny – and, um, Dolly mixtures, gobstoppers, things like that. And then a bit further along from there, there was Mr Humphries’ sweet shop, going more towards Pinchbeck, er, Road.
And then opposite the school, on the corner of Westlode Street and Double Street there was, I think, Walkers’ – another shop. And near the fire station, before these flats were built, it used to be a garage, but before that, when I was at Primary School, there was a row of old houses, again, and in the house nearest to the school, there was a lady that made –
Glynis Overson: Well, I can remember when we used to come out of the school gates. And to the right, past the still vaults, there was some houses. And there was this little old lady, I think her name was Ginny Sparks. And she used to sell, er, sweets from her front room, from a table, er, like, um, licorice, which we use called rat tails, for a penny – old penny – and, um, Dolly mixtures, gobstoppers, things like that. And then a bit further along from there, there was Mr. Hemphries’ sweet shop, going more towards Pinchbeck, er, Road.
And then opposite the school, on the corner of Westlode Street and Double Street there was, I think, Walkers’ – another shop. And near the fire station, before these flats were built, it used to be a garage, but before that, when I was at Primary School, there was a row of old houses, again, and in the house nearest to the school, there was a lady that made – Mrs Hurling, I think her name was – made her own pastries and cakes, which she used to sell from her front room and my mother used to go in there to buy them. And a bit further along, towards Chain Bridge, there was a butcher shop called Hurling’s. No relation to Mrs Hurling, I think.
And… then, um, going from the…blacksmiths towards Commercial Road on the right-hand side, um, past the Vine, there was a news – Mrs Clark’s newsagent, and, er, my mother used to go in there to order the Christmas annuals for us, when we were children. And, um, further on, there were some, um, older houses, Victorian, I think, and one of my friends lived there, it was quite a nice house. And further along, there was, um, another shop, general store – Annison’s, er, going, um, halfway up, er, Commercial Road, Holbeach Road. Um…
I think that’s all I can basically remember.
Okay. What was it like at home?
G.O: Er, very noisy… um… we used to make our own entertainment. We used to play outside together, we used to make up our own… stories and play-acting and, er, we used to have skipping ropes, and we used to play with the children from… other houses. And we had hopscotch, we used to play rounders, we used to play cricket. We used to play football. And we also used to walk up towards the riverbank, and, um, look over the… lock gates, which we weren’t supposed to do. Um… but yes, it was, it was okay, we used to have good fun in the summer holiday — you know, the holidays seemed to be quite long, then.
Did you have a lot of brothers and sisters?
G.O: Yes, I had, er… two sis… yeah, two sisters, three brothers.
And, um, can you tell me what Secondary School was like?
G.O: Er, the High School, er… I was at the, it was the old High School down London Road, and then when the new one was opened down Stonegate, we used to have to cross there, um, to do certain lessons, go across the footbridge – um, wa– those that walked or came on buses had to walk, but those that biked to school obviously could take their bicycles with them.
G.O: Um, and it was, er, quite a nice school. I particularly liked the London Road one because it was old. You know, it was built in about the 18th, 19th century. And I preferred that to the new one that was built.
G.O: Um… it was very nice teachers. Um, one of them that taught me for English and was my form teacher… years and years later, erm, when I had a family of my own, my son… and the teacher’s son became friends at the… Spalding County Primary School.
Okay, so what, what year did you go Secondary School?
G.O: That’ll be 1958.
Okay. Um, where did you like to go in Spalding for fun when you were a teenager?
G.O: We used to go to the Youth Club. Oh, no, first of all, we used to go to what was called the Fenland Milk Bar, which was on the corner o– where the traffic lights are, on High Bridge, on the corner of High Street, going round into Church Street. And that’s where, in those days, the teenagers used to congregate. It wasn’t just a milk bar, you could have coffee, etc.
And then we used to go to the Youth Club. Sometimes in the week, not very often when we were at school, because we had loads of homework to do. And at the week – they used to have dances at the weekend, and we used to go to those on a Saturday night. And also there was of course the picture houses, the Savoy, before it became a bingo hall. And the Odeon, which is off London Road…
Did the Odeon…
G.O: They pulled it down –
Yeah. Was that where the Civic Centre is?
G.O: No, no the Odeon is, er, you know where the Grammar School is?
G.O: You go from the Grammar School up towards London Road, and it was on the corner of London Road and – is it, Haverfield Road? It was there, but they pulled it down.
Can you remember where the Youth Club was?
G.O: The Youth Club was near the Savoy, up, er, New Road.
Okay. And was there anything else that you liked doing at that age?
G.O: Well, when we were teenagers, obviously we were at school till we were 16, and obviously, we had tons of homework to do, so you would be a bit restricted in the week to er, going out. And then of course you had exams. Erm, so it only left… left the weekend, and if you did go out dancing that would be a Saturday night and obviously you’ve got Sunday to catch up on all of your, er, homework, before you went back to school on the Monday. We used to bike of course, in all weathers.
G.O: Which a lot of children did do. I used to bike with my friend who, er, lived at the same end of the town.
And when did you start your first job?
G.O: My first job was at the Spalding Telephone Exchange down Gore Lane. It used to be th- then, it was still the old Post Office.
G.O: Um, before it was pulled down, and um, the Telephone Exchange originally used to be above the old Post Office, but then they built the Exchange at the bottom of Gore Lane, I think in the 30s, and that’s where I um, first passed my interview and test to, er, work at the Telephone Exchange, which was quite interesting, there – beside operating, you used to do inquiries and you used to do accounts – you know, the bills.
G.O: Um, so, yes, it was quite an interesting job, and it was a well-paid job, as well, for Spalding.
How old were you?
Wow. Okay… Is there anything else you want to tell me?
G.O: Spalding has changed a lot from then. Um… it was a nice market town, um… everybody… really knew each other, um, friends and family-wise, and there was always plenty to do, um… obviously, there was a lot, a lot of public houses and that, but, you weren’t allowed to go into them in those days until you was 21, um, and there was, three picture houses, um… The Regent was another one I can remember vaguely going in when I was younger at Primary School. We used to call that the Flea Pit, which is near Hughes’ now –
G.O: But, after The Regent was pulled down, it was the Trustee Savings Bank. Um…
Do you know why it was called the Flea Pit?
G.O: I don’t – it’s just a nickname it was given. Um… yes, oh, and of course, there was the old Corn Exchange, of course, Tointon’s the newsagents next to it, and then Scuppham’s the butcher’s. Obviously, that’s all changed. That’s all gone and I can vaguely remember the Greyhound Hotel, which was pulled down and made way for Hills. Um… and I can remember… just remember the water fountain, I think, that was still in the, um, marketplace, which is now apparently in storage in Ayscoughfee Garden somewhere.
And I think the library, was originally I can remember the library was originally at Ayscoughfee Hall, that’s where I used to go to get my books.
G.O: Um… and apparently the bus station used to be um, further up er, towards the footbridge, opposite Love Lane, before it went down to Winfrey Avenue.
G.O: Er, that’s where some of the, er, school buses used to congregate, to pick the children up from the High School and the Grammar School…um…
I don’t think I can, er, remember anything else at the minute.
Okay. Very nice talking to you.
G.O: Thank you.
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