For Angela

Alleyways and damp rooms

and the toilet was a squalid affair in the corner of an unused damp room.

Yesterday I had lunch with my cousin Angela, which as always was an enjoyable experience. The weather however, wasn’t quite as pleasant. There was a howling gale on the top of Ilkley moor and it was cold and miserable and therefore something of a relief to leave the damp, wind swept car park behind and be welcomed indoors into the warmth of the Cow and Calf Inn.

File 16-03-2017, 17 42 59

During lunch a chance remark made by Angela, about waiting for the plumber to fix the leaking toilet in her en suite, led to a conversation about how lucky we are in comparison to what our parents had throughout our early childhood; a subject I’ve touched upon before.

Our families were poor and like many others in 1950s Post War Britain we lived in poor housing. One of us lived in a small cramped house with an outside toilet that was situated in an alley, while the other lived in a large cottage where a portion of the rooms were uninhabitable because of damp and mould, and where the toilet was a squalid affair in the corner of an unused damp room.

Eventually,  due to the massive rehousing scheme of the fifties, both our families moved to new homes with bathrooms and indoor toilets, but it is our respective homes today that are a world away from any of the homes we occupied in our childhood.

We could never have foreseen how fortunate we would become and how much our lives would change and that one day not only would we have family homes that were warm, dry and roomy, but homes that had bathrooms attached to our bedrooms and of course toilets, even if Angela’s is a leaky one!

7 thoughts on “For Angela

  1. emn

    You and Angela lived in conditions when folks had to due with harder stuff, that’s for sure. Thanks for sharing a reminder for gratitude, even for toilets. I’d hate to live without them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would imagine that that kind of housing would have been condemned years earlier if it wasn’t for WW2. It was mid fifties before mass re-building could take place

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was about four, and lived in a North Yorkshire village near Thirsk, my mother was head of the village school (two classes only, 5- 15 year olds), and a house came with the job. It had a privy at the bottom of the garden and I can’t remember minding at all. Now, I see the house has been dragged into the 21st century (the school is long since closed), and is probably changing hands for silly money.

    Liked by 1 person

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