I mended Fred's wesher

Here are more responses to our request for childhood memories, prompted by the publication of Sheffield man Fred Pass's book, Weerz Me Mam?

Monday, 15th October 2007, 8:37 am
Updated Monday, 15th October 2007, 8:38 am

We have 10 copies to give away to the best letters, and a signed copy of his earlier book, Weerz Me Dad? for the overall winner.

We bet you too have an amusing or touching story (and photographs?) from your younger days. Why not share it with other readers.

More readers' memories will appear tomorrow.

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to Weerz Me Memories, Editorial, The Star, York Street, Sheffield S1 1PU or email [email protected]

FRED'S books bring back lots of happy memories, seein' mi dad for the first time in 1945. He had been a POW in Germany. I was five-years-old, and had never seen him before.

Goin' to help mi gran on wesh days, turning mangle for her to wring water out of clothes (no automatics them days).

Taking sandwiches and bottle water and going out to play; made dens, ponds and went taddyin' up Worrall Moor taddy pond. Out all day, no-one worried. Rope bikes wi no brakes, foot on back wheel to stop, wore ridge in sole of shoes, mi mam would go mad. Never seemed to rain in summer. Winter's went sledging, short trousers, wellies, balaclava, chapped legs and lips, Snowfire cream to cure.

Whitsuntide was special. Mi mam took me to Parker's on Hillsborough, gent's outfitters (jewellers still there). New suit: jacket, short trousers, tie and shirt, plus new shoes from Timpsons. Went round relatives showing off your new clothes, hoping for a copper or two. Sunday School trip Whit Tuesday normally to New Brighton, after walking to Loxley Chapel on Whit Monday.

"Kakin Neet" involved dressing up and going round village singin' at doors, hoping for some recompence; those who didn't pay would suffer a few nights later on mischief neet, rat tatin, bull roarin' and generally annoying people who hadn't paid. Bonfire at Grange Farm, sack of taters chucked on fire, emerged from fire later, black, burnt but fantastic.

October went to local farms tater picking in steep and muddy fields. We put taters in sacks, all for the princely sum of five bob a day, plus at the end of the week a bucket of taters (you supplied your own bucket).

Wadsley Feast arrived every year. We could walk from Worrall with five bob and go on everything - dodgems, carousel, waltzer etc and then walk home. What a fantastic night!

On leaving school, went to work at Wiggys (Wigfall's). Every house in Sheffield had summat from Wiggys - telly, hoover, wesher - all on rental. Became wesher man (domestic appliance engineer) and had pleasure in meeting Fred and his family when I went to mend 'is wesher. Happy days.

Barry Couldwell, The Grove, Sheffield S35 (wesher man from Wiggys).

Those were days

I WAS brought up in the same district about the same time as Fred Pass and knew him vaguely and was saddened by his untimely death.

I spoke to him a few years ago on the bus and told him that I had written a poem about our teenage years.

He told me I should send it up to The Star, but I never did. However, now that you are asking for memories, I thought I would enter it in Fred's memory.

Nineteen Fifties gave us Frankie Laine

Couldn't he sing Rain, Rain, Rain.

Johnnie Ray, what a sight

He was great with Such A Night.

Drainpipe trousers, crepe sole shoes,

Tommy Steele Singing The Blues.

No matter who was in the charts,

It was the Teddy Boys who broke our hearts.

Long drape coats they would put on

To go to the Unity, Roscoe and Don.

The Gaumont, Hippodrome on Sunday night

Girls in stilettos, what a sight.

The Marples, Red Lion, Travellers Rest,

Barney Goodman suits, the best.

Locarno, Glossop, City Hall,

Those were the days we had a ball!

Mrs Carole Froggatt, Owlings Place, Sheffield 6

In for 10

'Om from skool in a dash, out to play in a flash.

Darn to dyke on me trusty bike.

Mek a swing an a den got to be in for ten

Time to play, the injuns won't win.

Today wll feight the Japs an eat ar baps.

But got to be in for ten.

Time to meet, kick can on street.

We'll resel an feit jak jak shine alite,

Finger thum don't care oos wun

Cos we got to be in for ten.

Under lamp at nine, last bit of play time.

Me mam'l shart before it gets dark:

"Thy dads on 'is way, it's end of play - agen

Cos ave got to be in bed for ten.

Jack Hinchliffe, Wath Rd, Brampton, Barnsley