Ronnie Jones

Letter from Ron & Dorene Jones

with their recollections of Summerhill Road



A nice idea, but I haven’t any photos of the old place.   Maybe a couple of photos of Mum and Geoff.   If I can find them.

Memories, I should have plenty!  From the end of the war until I moved away.  (That is 30 Years ago!)

I have a few memoirs from the war before I joined the Evacuees to Manchester. 

All the front windows blown out when the Rocket landed over in Blackboy Lane.  I remember going over there afterwards and the only thing standing was the pub sign.  No Pub!! Or Housing, Nothing for about  three streets.

My Grandfather getting a Bollocking for tying a Barrage Balloon that had broken loose to a lamp-post, because they were full of gas.  Remember the Lamp-posts were gas also.  That lamp-post was bent for years!!

The  Bon-Fire after the war in the Street, just outside your house.  Made  of crates from a yard in Clyde Rd.  A lovely fire until the Fire Brigade came out and put it out!  Then we found out the crates were not all wood, they had metal in them and it all melted into the road in a real mess! 

You mentioned about the trip to Southend.  We used to go in a Flat Back Lorry, with chairs to sit on.  I wouldn’t want to try it now!  Crates of beer for the adults and lemonade for the kids.  Always stopped at  the Halfway House. 

As kids we used to use the front gardens.  Most gardens were like jungles, or they seemed like it!  There were very few that objected in those days.

Knock down Ginger was one game, Gobs with 5 stones another.   After the  war it was Minature Cricket.  Later it changed to Roller Hockey in Lawrence Rd. because it was wider.  No  traffic  in those days!

Do you remember the McBurnies on the corner?  The big old house that they lived in, and the furniture builders who were in the other half.  All  the  garages around   the yard  at  the back.  A real mess in those days and that puddle  which  was like a lake.

No 1. I am struggling with?  No.3. was where I first saw TV.  I was invited to watch the Boat Race on a nice sunny day, and couldn’t figure ou why it was foggy on the Thames!  They were well off in those days.  He was a Butcher! Son, and Daugher Billy & Marilyn.  Bill & Maisie Stephens: the Dad and Mum.

But that side of the Street you know as well as I do. 

On my side there were always flats at No.2.

No.4. I recall the family that lived there, the Freemans.

No.6. Was Mrs. Anderson, nice Lady.

No. 8. Were the Davis’s.  Do you remember Fred and his Sister Joyce.  He was the educated one, a bit older than me, but very handy when it came to homework later on.  He went on to be a Teacher in Clitheroe, Lancs.

No. 10. Were originally The Lee’s.  Mr Lee was a Tube Train Driver.  When they moved the Becketts moved in.  Mr Beckett was a tall man, his wife was about half his size!  They used to run the fishing tackle firm Auger Accessories.  They imported the first sidecast reel from Australia for sea fishing.  They were our Landlords and Mrs Pearman worked for them for about 35 years.

We moved into 10a in about 1937/8.  I was only a baby then.  Just before the war started.

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Ronnie Jones Pictured at number 10a Summerhill Road ? - date unknown

No.12. I can’t remember who was there originally? But the family that moved in later had Two Daughters.  I believe they were Pat and Maureen Livemore.

No.14. was Aunt May and Uncle George, who had Norma and Shirley and upstairs Arthur Lee and Miss Cruise.

Then we came to the stables that were later to change to Horseshoe Coaches.

No.16. There were the Corbyns as I recall.  They had a Daugher as I remember Connie.

No.18. was where my mate Alan and David lived. His Dad was a Bookie and Alan and I used to have a bet over the phone with his Dad, while we watched racing on T.V.

No.20.  was flats.

No.22. was shared between the Potters and the Bastons.  Teddy was another Mate.  You know as much about the background of Bill Potter.  A little man who drove the Shire Horses.  De you remember him getting hurt at Harringay Arena, Horse Of The Year Show when the horses dragged him they bolted and dragged him around the car-park. But he wouldn’t let go of them!  Their Son Terry was another Mate.

No.24. Top the Mitsons/ Middle the Wilsons/Ground Tom Witkings who used to work as Gas Lights Man  for Street Lights.

No. 26. Was the Millers.

No.28. The Hardy’s and then Wally & Hilda The Green Grocers down West Green Road.

No.30. Was a bomb site.  The back was turned into a Petrol Depot (I bet they couldn’t do it now!).

No.32. Was the family I’m struggling to name, I can see them now but I’m struggling with the Name?  The Grandmother we used to call OLD MOTHER?  And there were Two Kids Boy and Girl, Doug & Jean. 

The two between I am not sure about.  I believe that the Martins lived in the one before the Piggery.   They used to fetch the piano out into the street if anybody had a Birthday.

Now!!!! The Piggery, a nice family, One daugher was Anne and one Margaret , Rosa the Mum.  But didn’t it STINK! And on occasions all hell was let loose when one got out!  And the Kids used to round it up (Or so we thought) Jack was the one did it really.

The only others I used to know on that side were the Perkins – Janet was it? Tall girl with glasses. 

There used to be Slaugher house at the top on the Left.

The families on your side I remember, were the Smalls up nearer the top. They had Three Sons, Charlie was the oldest. He went into the Army and went to Korea. The other two, I can’t remember the names?

Also there was the family opposite the piggery who had a daughter Barbara and two younger Brothers, Ronnie & Kenny. Barbara used to go to school with me. When I went to “The County” She went to the “High School for Girls” Bloomfield was the name!!

There was another family who in those days were thought to be well off.  No.15? She was a schoolteacher. But a nice Lady all the same.  Mrs Atter & Daughter taught the Piano.

I remember some of the others but can’t remember the names.

Memory plays tricks, but I seem to remember a long while ago that opposite me, Two doors down from you, there were some Nuns lived there originally?   A Miss Hall and Sister, a School Teacher.

The other thing I can’t forget Was the Robbins Dairy at the top on the junction before the Pub.  A Fat  Man and I mean Fat, He used to waddle around.  I did the milk deliveries for about 3 years from Spur Rd. to Bedford Rd.  Starting at 6am and had to finish to go to school.  The last drop was Downhills Park with a Quart. I used to have to fill up the cart 3 times (in those days it was a three-wheeled barrow!)  On Saturdays I had to go round again to collect the money!

When I asked for a rise from 10 Shillings a week (6 Mornings, All Weathers!)  He said he couldn’t afford it! He was eating a breakfast that you could have fed half the street on!! He was told that he would be doing it himself in the future. 

Ron & Dorene Jones

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Mrs Maud Jones and Grandchildren 1980's

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