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|Syd, across the road from the public baths [swimming pool] where we used to go, was a little shop which sold nothing else but buns dipped in hot dripping, with onions!|
This is an extract from a book I’ve written, but which is unlikely ever to be published!
..." I recall very little of primary school, but Intermediate was at the High Colliery School, in Seaham on what was on the then A19, and memorable for a variety of reasons. Not all of them pleasant... The school was very old and with poor heating and no inside toilets. It had been condemned in 1939, but the war saved it apparently. We always regretted the fact that the Germans didnít bomb it when they had the chance. The roof leaked, and burst water pipes in winter were a regular occurrence. It was 102 years old before it finally gained an inside toilet, and that was for staff only. Oddly enough, despite my youth, [I was there from age 7 to 11], I can clearly recall both the Head Teacher, a Mr. Shipley, and his Deputy, a Mr. Page. I was a keen, but inadequate soccer player, and enjoyed outings to away games to many schools, some of them as far away as five miles. A huge distance for a kid! These trips had to be paid for however, and I recall many an occasion being ushered onto the bus despite not having come up with the few pence required of each boy. Money was always a problem in our house. I suppose we were relatively poor, but as everyone else was in the same boat, we didnít actually know we were poor, and therefore didnít care. It simply wasnít an issue without the pressure of todayís commercialism and of course there was no TV! Mining communities were also enormously supportive of each other, and not only looked after their own, but were very generous to those who had even less than they did. I was often given items of clothing handed down in one family until there was no one else to whom it could be handed. There was no stigma attached to this, and such kindness was greeted with some pride in fact. A new item was new, no matter how many previous owners it had been through".