Saturday, 3 December 2011

The Woodcroft Story of our 50's childhood. How it all began.

Leslie Smith at Crown Point. Lancashire. 2008
Text of Maureen Fisher's letter to the  Rossendale Free Press, in 2000, which set off a chain of others. Leading to a reunion in September 2001 

"I agree with your correspondent Mrs Wilkes- Rawtenstall market should be left alone. It is 31 years since I left Rawtenstall, and on my (sadly infrequent) trips back it is always a delight to find the market virtually unchanged from the days of my childhood. It is like stepping back in time and the more to be treasured for that reason. I hope that the council and public ensure that the market is preserved, it really is a jewel.
Another Rawtenstall treasure is Les Smith, whose witty letters never fail to amuse me and recall memories of when he lived near me in East Street. His daughter Vivien and I were best friends for the duration of our school days at St Paul's Constable Lee. My best memory is of the attic in her house, where we would troll about in dressing-up clothes to the strains of old 78 rpm records played on a wind-up gramophone.
Our favourites were "Rustle of Spring" , "The Cobbler's Song" and " A Bachelor Gay am I"
Happy Days!!"       

Maureen Fisher. Front row at the left-hand side   
"Woodcroft" Reunion in September 2001

Reply from Peter Fisher, Maureen's brother. 
I read the letter from my sister ......and the replies .......
"The Woodcroft area was a great place to live as a child.The area from Rosedale Street to Newchurch Boot (factory) had a community feeling all of its own.
All the children played together..Sledging, building bonfires...and those wonderful days playing by the little stream that fed the lodge above Broadley's factory, a place we called "Little Blackpool".Many times we were told off for trying to build dams and endangering the factory's water supply.
There were two "gang huts" at the top of East Street. One was for the girls and one, rented for 6d a week, for boys.It was full of comics and I remember spending many hours there reading for all I was worth. When my mother or sister came to find me, I pretended not to be in.
From the top of  East Street to the top of Woodcroft Street were lots of pens, full of hens. A paradise for fathers and children. There was also Donald Howarth's garage. He kept his car spotlessly clean. I am  sure he spent more time cleaning it than driving it.
One particular memory is the Coronation. I think we were each given a mug and a spoon. It felt like we had each been given some treasure."

Peter Fisher on the right (front)

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