I was born at 27 Adelaide Street in Feb 1934 (83). My grand parents Henry and Adelaide Tranter lived at 25, they also owned no 11 Adelaide St in the early 1920s. My Aunty Joyce Tranter and Sid Hamblin lived there after. Grandfather Henry was a cabinet maker previously of Stockend Harescombe and ‘Mill Cottage’ Bondend, Upton St Leonards.
He carried on his business at 25 Adelaide St as a coffin maker in a lean-too shed against the school wall. He was also an undertaker working with ‘Salisbury’ funeral directors of Moor and High St Tredworth (small shop opposite the Golden Heart).
A little further along was Mr Wager’s cobblers shop. He was my great uncle.
Before the war Tredworth was a quiet neighbourhood with very few cars although, when I was 6, I had my first small two wheeled bike purchased by Dad second hand. On the corner of Vicarage Rd and Adelaide St I got knocked base over apex off my bike by a 1938 Austin 12 that cut the corner; I remember it well I still have the scars.
I attended HatherleyInfantsSchool, the teacher was Miss Tummy, and I remember a big sandpit to play in
Then to St James’ School in Upton Street, the Headmaster was Mr Hobbs of Vicarage Rd. He was also Special Constable during WWII. Teachers were Miss Hudson History, Mr Fred Shermer Maths, Mr Brickell English etc. Mr Brickell had a WWI Swagger stick used as a cane (which I felt the lash of many times). Last but not least was Miss Fanny Carter; she was very old and past retirement but teachers were short during the war. She had the habit of going to sleep in front of the old pot-bellied stove, it was our job to keep the stove full and hot during the winter.
One day Fred Smith and myself were on coke duty. Fred had been to ‘Barton Fair’ and had acquired a couple of .22 shorts. He dropped them in the coke bucket which eventually went in the stove. What a shermozzel when they went off, poor Miss Carter nearly keeled over and blew two holes in the red hot stove – hardly able to stop laughing. ‘It’s the Welsh Coal; very gassy stuff Miss’.
After St James I returned to Hatherley Secondary Modern, just round the corner from home. The headmaster (his name eludes me) always wore cap and gown; the teachers were Mr Dido Harris and Mr Hodgkins for woodwork. Mr Harris was also the sport and singing teacher (Welsh Baritone); he also played Rugby I believe for England (I’ll stand corrected on that). Mr Ford taught English, and Mr Stamp was science. The Hatherley Girls School was next door with glass and wood partitions so never the twain could meet, except Monday when we had community prayers and singing in the hall. Of course the two favourites were ‘Land of our fathers’ and ‘Men of Harlech’; mostly Dido sang in Welsh. During the war there were many Shelter drills as we had many air raid shelters with large iron lids in case the entrance was blocked and too heavy for kids to lift.
Whilst at St James, I joined the Choir at St James’ Church. My singing voice was never real good. Whilst at practice by Choirmaster and Organist (brother to Rev Foster-Cooper of St James) my scales didn’t come up to standard and I received an Ancient and Modern Hymn book at my head. Fortunately he missed, the return throw by me didn’t – I was dismissed immediately, ‘never to darken his doorstep again’. I finished up pumping the organ at St James’ Church after forgetting to pump and keep the air up too many times. I was dismissed from that job; he hated me.
St James’ Church was connected to our family. My father and mother were married there in 1924, my sister in 1946 and myself in 1956. My parents and grandparents were buried there, and we the family were all baptised there. At the back of the rectory was allotments during the war.
More pages to come later Royce T