Bath time was a ritual which necessitated Mum heating up various pans of water on the stove and mixing them with cold water in a steel bathtub which was placed on the floor in front of the heater.
Me, being the youngest, would be first in at which time more pans of water would be put on the stove ready for Valerie to have her bath. I would then be in bed while Valerie was having her bath.
It was at this time that both Valerie and I did, very briefly, go to the same school which was within walking distance from Keyes Close. While I have limited recollections of that time, there is a family story about an incident with the local bakery!
Valerie would walk me to school (and back) and on our route was the bakery that supplied Mum with bread etc. during the week. On one occasion, when the time came for Mum to pay her bill, she was rather surprised at the total owing. The baker gave her a breakdown of her bill and she questioned a number of little cakes, and other items, which she had not ordered. The baker explained that it was all correct as the additional items were those purchased by her son and daughter.
Apparently we would go into the shop, choose a couple of pastries for ourselves, and then tell them to “put it on our Mum’s account”! That just had to be one of Valerie’s bright ideas because I would have never thought of that at 5 years old! Actually, that was pretty good even for an 8 year old. Clearly she had talent!
Valerie’s memory of the school was that it was a two classroom building. Her room had a coke fireplace in the middle of the floor around which were placed the milk crates so that the milk bottles would keep warm during the cold months. I understand that the school was also a Chapel with the rooms being used for Sunday school and church services. The toilets were outside.
The little milk bottles (1/3 pint) were an interesting aspect of school for many years. Noting that England was still recovering from the Second World War, and food was still being rationed, the milk was provided free of charge on a daily basis to ensure that “us kids” had some assistance towards a healthy diet. Mum was also regularly provided with a bottle of orange juice for each of us kids at no charge, presumably for Vitamin C intake.
In 1951, some major changes took place…………