Thank you to Trent & Peak Archaeology Dept
for allowing us to use the contents of their
St. Ann's Research Document 080/2014.
Thank you to Trent & Peak Archaeology Dept
for allowing us to use the contents of their
St. Ann's Research Document 080/2014.
Name: Paul Jackson
Place of Birth: St Anns, Nottingham
Year/ Date of Birth: 24/11/44
Date I Time:02/03/14 11:00 Place: Stonebridge City Farm, St Anns
START OF SA_07_Jackson
Interviewer: Laura Binns
Audio File Nos: SA_07_Jackson Transcript
Laura: Can you tell me your name please?
Paul: Err me name's Paul Jackson Laura: What's your date of birth? Paul: Its 24/11/44
Laura: And where did you live in St Anns?
Paul: I lived at err 47 Stewart Place, just off Alfred street and connected to Gordon road, so...
Laura: And what is your earliest memory of St Anns?
Paul: Me earliest memories, well I think it was my schooldays really, going into school for the first time, and er, being quite worried really. Like everybody would be. One thing that does stick out of me mind is, we took sandwiches in, wrapped up in paper, and they was put in this big sandwich basket, and I can still smell that sandwich basket as its today, [Laughs] quite a lovely thing but erm there was lots of things that I can remember. I remember err, a lot about playing in the, in Stewart place., we were quite lucky really because it was shaped in a T shape way in which there was a drive up the middle, not that cars went up there, but we could play in there, and there used to be a lamppost at the top which you'd be able to use as cricket stumps, we used to play cricket and do all sorts of. Quite an activity in there
Laura: Can you describe your house?
Paul: err yes it was a terrace house, it was next to the end house, err. had a back yard, which backed onto Gordon Road the other side of the house went into Stewart Place which had a garden, we were very fortunate to have a garden like we did, er yeah and er ..It had three bedrooms, kitchen, like I say a back yard, the kitchen was everything, as it was in them days, there was no bathroom, there was erm, what they called a cubby hole underneath the stairs, er which, as today your dad kept the paint in and all that and but mainly, it’s quite strange but when coallers delivered before we had a coal shed outside the coal was brought in through the kitchen and put underneath the stairs and erm, It was very strange to see that
Laura: How many people did you share your house with, who was in your family?
Paul: There was just me, me mum and dad and me sister, just the 4 of us, and erm...
Laura: and what else can you tell us about your childhood?
Paul: err, childhood. yeah, where do you start [laughs] I was always very busy actually in me childhood, erm the house next door was a papershop it was, erm first off as a wool shop but it turned into a paper shop and I er paper, delivers papers, from that paper shop and across the road there was a grocery shop I used to work in there, I used to have a little job on Saturday mornings filling the shelves and bringing in the potatoes from the back, and also when I used to come home from school, I used to go to Price's Bakery and fetch the bread for this grocery shop owned by Mrs Hamilton, and I used to fetch the bread for the shop and from there I'd go and do my paper round, but erm, other things erm, like all those kids of today all look forward to the six weeks holidays and I can always remember looking forward to the 6 weeks holidays and me and my friend who used to live on Stewart Place, Terry Lymn I think we'd always set off for the stamps centre in Nottingham that was always taking place, going collecting you know, stamp collecting, still got them stamps today, but it was just err, if you could get down the town, also going to the model shop, Gee Dee's at the bottom of Hockley. We used to do what everyone else was, make model planes and things like that. Erm Sneinton market was a big thing, Saturday mornings, the hustle and bustle of things there, we miss going down there me mum and dad used to take us down there and buy the odd bits and pieces, but not like the Sneinton market today. Erm.
Laura: What was your school like?
Paul: Junior school, I didn't like school at all.
Laura: Not at all?
Paul: No, because I didn't get on very (coughs] I think I thought I was a bit dyslexic really, and it weren't recognised then, and er it was hard going, and I[coughs) and I remember me mum spotting me one day walking, and we was going out, I'd been to school and she say's ·what's the matters with the back of your legs?' she say 'they're all red' and I says· oh' and t told her the story that my teacher had dragged me to the front of the class to the blackboard and I couldn't read this particular word, and she just kept slapping my legs until I could do it but I couldn't do it. So erm. school was a bit hard going, but I've not done bad so.
Laura: Do you remember any of the teachers in particular'?
Paul: There was one teacher at erm, Bluebell Hill school, that’s the first school went to, Mr Bradley and he was very nice, he was one of the fortunate ones in those days, he had a car. But he lived down West Bridgford, and he used to be very nice, and there was another teacher, he was called Mr Butters, and he was the opposite he wasn't very nice at all, and then err, I moved onto secondary school, Manvers, and it was ok, but school wasn't that good. But then saying that. on my last day at school, my uncle errm, who got me the job as the motor mechanic because his friend owned the firm down Castle Boulevard, up before leaving, I was always interested in cars and that, and Manvers school used to have a night school and they had a car in one of the rooms that they used to strip it down, and they actually let me attend it before I left school, and my form teacher who had just bought a car, he used to drag me every morning after the night school and asked me 'what have you learnt? Tell me what this is, tell me what that is?'(laughs) So that was me first time teaching teachers, but erm yeah I remember that, but erm, yeah
Laura: What did you do for entertainment?
Paul: Well entertainment, erm, in the very early years we used to go to the Empress cinema, and all the kids would queue up outside, ABC minors, quite a riotous place like probably everybody else has told you, quite hilarious when you look back, and you used to sit there and kids used be fighting and chasing before the film started, anything though, I've sat there and a box of strawberries hit me in the back of the head (Laughs)
Paul: Strawberries, [laughs] somebody didn't want them (Laughs] and then as soon, as soon as the film started, it quietened you know, was always told at one time, the fireworks of today, different to what we used to have, used to have one called a squib like a little aeroplane. And somebody set one of those off and apparently it hit the screen. Health and safety not that good then (Laughs). But on from then erm. Just as I left School, erm my friends who I was with at school, they'd er asked me one day 'ooh come with us, we're going to the Locarno', the dance hall you know, and I says 'oh alright then I'll go,' and er first impressions of walking in there was fantastic, you know, that sort of thing, playing the music of the times you know and the warmth of the heat coming through the door, and the carpets and the plushness of the place, erm, and the amount of people that were there that were my age you know, and that was it. It used to be open. er, if I remember rightly, Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturday mornings, Saturday Nights.
And then they had a Sunday club which started in the afternoon, Sundays, that had to call it a club because in those days places weren't allowed to open unless it was called a club. But then most of the time, after that day I was there (Laughs) and er, the various things, you know, dancing and the meeting of the girls and the lads meeting and like. Probably don’t do it so much today but the lads used to walk round the edge of the dance hall, keep walking round and round and round. and the girls in the middle and, either dancing with their partners or dancing with their own friends with their handbags in the middle, you know like they used to (laughs] and er everybody used to get to know each other eventually, one side used to, as you walked in the front door, which is the bingo hall today.as you walked in on the left hand side, used to be a bit more rough and ready that side.
And on the other side there was the quite select lads who used to get quite, more expensive suits and things be hanging about the coffee bars making out they was somebody. But er there was various people on there you know, erm, you'd get different artists on, and different things like that, you know, just yer, you know er, bad to say but I saw Jimmy Saville down there, he was this DJing at some time. His hair was in two colour. Split, black and white down the middle [laughs), but er, then there was all the bust ups and fights, there was one generally every, er night, when we were down there somebody would fall out with somebody and the bouncers would come and sort it out, on one particular occasion I didn't go down there. It was, it was a thing that the Bulwell gang never got on with the St Anns Well Road gang. and there were always falling out, but on this particular time, they'd prearranged to come and see them and they'd turned up at the wrong time, anyway they burst into the dance hall, I was told it was just like a cowboy bar, things being thrown off the balconies, bouncers being beat up and thrown in the comer, the police going in and then coming out again, eventually getting control of the place, It was a er, total mess, It was ready for the next night anyway (laughs).
Course, people have mentioned erm about all of the furniture stuff in there, there were like spittoons and they went flying off the balcony. They threw loads of them. It's a wonder no-one was killed. All gone now. But er, I think there was, there was entertainment like there is today, Theatre Royal, and the Odeon where all the artists go on, the Everley Brothers and all them, we used to have two or three of the top artists on those days. today you'd Just get the one, but er, and Buddy Holly came to the Odeon, and a friend of mine Brian Weatherbed and his girlfriend Jean, her dad used to work as a projectionist and she was the most fortunate, she went and spoke to Buddy Holly, yeah, which was quite a thing, saying, like he did look, he was very reserved and quiet. So she spoke to him. had a little chat to him, which err was quite good, yeah, we used to go to the Colemans that was err, down Clumbers street, which is now Rose's Jewellery, near Littlewoods, that would be a Friday night erm. Then you've got all the locals round here. And also erm, we'd go to Sherwood Rooms, but only occasionally. And er, Jepsons on Hockley, which used to be Burtons tailors, underneath there and you used to go above there and that was Mrs Jepsons, a bit of a more refined dance place, but there was still the jiving and everything else going on. But err, that Burtons tailors, going on from there, one of the lad used to do the tailoring in there and got quite a good name for himself and all the lads just to queue up and wait for him to get measured up because he could do a good... used to put 5 shilling down and it was 5 shilling a week for your suit (Laughs).but er no, that's it really.
Laura: What did er, your parents do for jobs?
Paul: Jobs? Erm, me dad worked, first off he, when the war had finished he got a job on the railway, down Manvers St in the shunter yard, I think he worked on one of the cranes, and then eventually he went into the hosiery industry, his brother got him a job at Spray and Burgess, Bulwell, and he sort of stayed in that. Me mum, she was a lace work hand, used to do the lace work at home, which me uncle supplied, and me grandma she er, she was a supplier of the lace work as well, lived on Bluebell Hill, Stanley Street on the comer of Stanley Street, Stanley house actually, and she gave the lace wonk out there, sometimes she [mum) had the lace work off her [grandma]. me mum was actually trained as a Jenner, a lace jennier which, er, it was a machine like a, ha, it’s hard to describe a.it had two prongs that held a cardboard card on, and you fed the lace onto the cardboard card and jennied it up and wound it up onto the cards which was, erm, you know it sounds a bit.., there’s quite a skill in it and ha! was what used to be sent out to the shops and it was sent to shops to be sold like that. But then er she went on to doing the scalloping and er, and the drawing
Paul: Scalloping yeah, Scalloping is cutting the edge of the lace work with scissors. Cutting round the patterns to get the edging off, .and there was scalloping, warping which was, where you pull two parts of the lace apart, Which er, separated each part that was warping, then the drawing, another type, where you pick the cotton from within the two parts, pulled the, pull the cotton out, to release these two parts. That's the way it came from the manufacturers and that's the way it was separated.
Laura: and what's drawing?
Paul: drawing is just drawing the cotton out
Laura: Just drawing the cotton out?
Paul: Yeah, yeah, yeah, which used to release the, but that's er, understandable.
Laura: Did she used to get a decent wage from that or?
Paul: No, talk about a piece of work, I don't know, could be yards and yards of it, probably do ten yard for 4 pence, yeah some of these, not a lot really, when it became more on the warping side, Which I say cutting, machines were brought in a little shop, little rotating machines which the stuff was drawn through, my uncle actually brought it into the country from Switzerland
Paul: Yeah, I went with him, er when I was about 11, I think it was and we went to Birmingham airport to pick these two machines up, they're only small, they were about a foot, foot square, with a little rotating blade, and er. I went with him had the day off from school. Got into trouble for it but he said ‘come with me I want you to give me a hand’, and we went to Birmingham airport, and Birmingham airport, erm, looked like two sheds really, as today [laughs] but he bought. He brought those over from Switzerland and then er, the, money that was made from the warping then scalloping increased you know, but still very bad pay. I wasn't er it was really poor, slave labour, but people were grateful for it you know, but er, were used to, before my uncle used to supply It to us we used to go, em,,when I'd finished school, we'd get the pram and make it way up to the Lace Market and she used to go to By-yard Lane to one of the little suppliers there and get the work from there, put it on the pram and push it all the way back down Hockley to Stewart Place
Paul: yeah, sometimes I'd be treated to go into the shop and buy something on the way back but that was it. That's why the pram was used a lot in those days, you never got rid of your prams 'cause you carted your lace work round and that
Laura: So was your first job with cars then?
Paul: Yeah, yes ,as I say my uncle his friend was Archie Dutton who owned Cutting Edge, and when you get to know it, there's all these people who knew each other, in the lace market In the erm, in Central market there was a group of people who knew each other, there was quite a significant number, who all knew each other and got had got businesses you know, me uncle started me off in a small way. You know he owned, er. one or two bits and pieces, he lived on Lamartine, Street. Ah yeah when it came to leaving school, 'what do you want to do 'and no interview really, just ·yeah ok, tell em you're starting then' and erm, when I turned up on the Monday morning, that was just before Christmas cause at that time you used to leave school at different times of the year, and er I left at the Christmas holidays and started work before Christmas and in that week ,cause I was 15 then, so the right time, and er when I got there the manager that worked the shop he said, 'oh you're the new lad are you?' So that's as far as the interview went
Laura: So it was quite easy then to get a job?
Paul: Yeah, wherever you wanted to go it was like it even later on in the motor trade in the 60's,if you left that job you could walk into another the next day. Most of the skilled jobs, there was always somewhere to go. Yeah. no Cutting Edge was, we did all sorts of vehicles there, there was right from Jaguars, Rovers right up to the heavy goods ones supplying the British Sugar Corporation, tankers and things like that, very, some exciting times there,
Laura: And do you have any other memories of St Anns you'd like to tell us about? Any childhood memories or any other stories or anecdotes?
Paul: Err. well me cousin lived at the top of Bluebell Hill, just before Donkey Hill just before the last house onto the, what was then a park, and I used to think it was exciting going up there, you know. It was all quite, he'd got a big garden and trees and that and that was quite good. And one of the funny stories he could tell you was me grandma, he used to go to me grandma’s on the, erm Stanley Street, and he used to walk up home and his mum used to help me grandma. but erm, one day he was going from me grandmas back home and he passed this chap pushing a pram with a cloth over the top and thought no more of it, and when he got home, they'd been burgled and that cloth was there curtains on top (laughs].Yeah there's lots of things, erm, you can remember them afterwards, but err, yeah things like, the swimming baths, went to the swimming baths a lot, leant to swim there,
Laura: Is this Victoria Swimming baths?
Paul: Yeah that's right yeah, yeah. Erm ice stadium yeah, went to the ice stadium, me and me friend, that's another thing we used to do when we was 9 or 10, the ice stadium used to have a Ideals Home Exhibition up there, was quite good fun going in there and see how many leaflets you could collect you know, random but it was somewhere to go, but err, also they had personalities on there, visit from personalities and I remember getting Shirley Eaton's autograph and a couple more film stars, Shirley she was in some of the early Bond films you know, and that was quite a treat there, things like that, it was good for ice skating, not very much, a lot used to go quite regular but the odd times going down there on Saturday mornings erm, and drinking the first coke cola there, cause I think it was really introduced there, because of the Panthers Ice Hockey team were a lot of Americans, Chick Zarnick and somebody, so it was err an American influence. At the time I thought it was horrible (laughs) the coke cola I thought this is a strange taste, obviously it’s become the norm hasn't it? Nah I think err generally, trying to think of other things
Laura: tell us about the fire on Stewart Place
Paul: oh yeah, when I lived on Stewart place, as I've said before, the erm, the shop next door to us was a paper shop eventually but in the first place it was a woolen shop, selling clothes, and err, Mrs Lowe I think her name was, who ran the shop, err, and err one morning, I was woke by me dad saying· I think you'd better get up the shop next doors been on fire, it’s been gutted' and I was left in bed just sleeping there while the fire just took hold, but they didn't think it was worthwhile le waking me up, but err, my memory was looking out the window and seeing the firemen running in and out with their hoses and the place had been burnt down, but eh, obviously thought I was safe (laughs).Still here! Err, and then it turned into a paper shop, and err, forget what his name was but er, he was quite a joker really from this paper shop and his family, quite good fun, and our back yard wall separated the kitchen door from overlooking their kitchen door, and he was quite a prankster, I mean err, when it was bonfire night he'd think nothing, cause he sold all these fireworks, he always used to err, frighten me mother, he'd get these jumping, very
big jumping jacks, and wait till the kitchen door was open and throw one of those into the kitchen, of course there was no flammable flooring, it was all stone tiles and there was brick in there and just me mum screaming her head off with these jumping jacks going off in there.
That's how it was then you know ,I mean now days it'd just bum the house down, probably straight away, but there was one thing, I still remember the early days of the ration books, early days, well late on, when they were just finishing and I think sugar and sweets were the last thing to come off and errm, we used to take our ration books in but he was quite errm, generous, he'd not take the ration off you and a thing at that time was Smiths crisps were quite a thing to get hold of and people used to say 'have you got any Smiths crisps' they used to come in a big square tin. and I always remember him banging on the wall saying 'we've got Smiths crisps in if you want some'[laughs), now you buy them in the truck load but, it was quite a thing, there were other crisps about but they were the good ones. And then there was, you know thinking about food.. There was the chip shop at the bottom of Stewart Place which was quite a gathering place, you could get fish and chips and pieces there for about a shilling, and I think it was something like that, which was quite, now you can't just hang around chip shops, too expensive
Laura: Apart from the Price's bakery, were there other shops around you, such as grocers and
Paul: Yes, just up from Price's bakery, there was a set of houses and then going up Gordon road. and on the opposite side of the road, erm, oh same side as Price's bakery, there was Mrs Hamilton's grocery shop, which she had as one shop and then next door to that was a cobblers, erm, and then the cobblers packed up and Mrs Hamilton took it over and had two shops, and then there was another shop next to that, I think that was generally empty, it wasn't used, then there was a few more houses, still going up Gordon Road same side, there was another one that was empty, then there was a beer off which er, which sold everything, you know your cheese and everything as you want, er and next door to that there was a hardware shop, a er little old lady used to run that, you got everything in that and next door to that there was a butchers shop and like people are complaining today about stuff being hung up in the windows he used to hang the carcass up in the door way and chop the carcass in half in the door way and he used to spear it, you know, one leg on each side of the door, sounds a bit barbaric but that's what was done then you know and then on the opposite said of the road, same side as us was the pub, the Garners pub, and then a little bit further up there on the comer of Lytton Street, there was erm, another sweet shop, and then across the road from that there was another bakery I think, and then there was shops and shops all the way round, and Ted's the butchers further up which was renowned for its faggots where people used to queue up there on a Friday night with their basins and collect their faggots complete with gravy and dumplings, queuing outside for those cause they was, you know, a favourite, I could go on longer here [ laughs]
Laura: You can do
Paul: And then a bit further up from that, there was another wool shop, then there was another grocery shop. bigger grocery shop next to the pub on the comer of Pym Street across the road on the other side there was another bakery shop, on the other side on the comer of Pym street there was a, I think there was another butchers. Yeah there was quite a few places really.
Laura: So you had quite good access then to all the sort of
Paul: Oh yeah yeah you were never short of anywhere to buy stuff from, quite good really. Further on there was still more paper shops and things yeah, and that's about it.
Laura: Did you enjoy your life in St Ann's?
Paul: when I look back now, yes. Yes it was good, you know. erm, I was born there from '44 to '66 when I got married, and me mum was there till the demolition time, yeah it was, good times you know, different characters and people saying things to you, and the eras and different things you know, going out, like I say going down Locarno. People used to talk to you a lot more then. I always remember one chap, when the Beatles came, and he knew I was going out dancing at the Locarno. He’d say 'ah these Beatles' he said 'they're a 6 month wonder (Laughs) that was a good statement, but er, no it’s er looking back on it.
The other half lived on Lamartine Street, the one who distribute the lace from there, that house is still there, It had er a little factory place at the back of it, you used to have these little factory places, and he always used to get me up doing bits of jobs and things you know. Because I used to clean his cars on a Saturday morning at one time, his van and his car, he used to give me some spending money for that. and er, this particular guy, he said I've bought this little factory in er Wrigley street I think itis off [indescript word] Street, I think I'd been at was, I was at work , and er, he said I want it painting, he said his son in law and the time, he says he'll give you a hand. He said get one of these, at one time there used to be a vacuum cleaner that had a spray gun on the end. And he used to brag about he'd got this spray gun, and erm got silver paint, he'd got loads of silver paint don't know where he got that from.
But it was synthetic stuff, unbeknown to us, and also he bought a little motorised spray gun, he said, there you are, go do that for us, and anyway we set off spraying the walls and factory silver cause he got it for nothing, that why, he didn't choose it as a colour, he just, it was for nothing, so he thought that'll do. And we were spraying this and we didn't realise how bad it was erm because it nearly killed us off really, It wasn't until this Malcolm his son-in-law was drinking a bottle of lemonade and dropped it and started laughing and giggling and I said come on we're out of here, it was just that err (laughs) it was killing us, you know, the fumes, that was the sort of things we got up to. Nobody cared then did they? No health and safety.
And people talk about the fire round there, those factory fires were quite common round there, Plantagenet Street one on Roden Street, now days if there's a factory fire there a 1/4 mile cordoned off but then you could stand next to the firemen and watch the fire. But I remember the one on the factory on Roden Street catching up the storey, cause they were all wooden floors you see, things like that. I think that's about where we are. yeah
Laura: Ok, Well thanks very much for coming down to talk to us today.
Paul: It’s been a pleasure
Laura: Thank you