A story of two sisters growing up in Post War Birmingham.
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"This book tells of our early lives in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, after which our lives followed different pathways, yet we still maintained our closeness as sisters."
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My sister Pauline and I lived in Coneybere Street, Balsall Heath, with our mom during the mid to late 1940s - up the terrace as it was called - Newport Terrace to give it its proper name. It was a back-to-back house at the top end of a row of terraced houses. It was a two-up and two-down house with a patch of ground outside the front door, called the garden, but I can’t even remember weeds growing in it let alone flowers. The washhouses were at the top of the terrace where the women took it in turns through the week to do their washing. I see the old mangles and a boiler fetching a small fortune now at the antique fairs. We never thought where we lived was a slum. Why should we? We knew of no other life except that small house at the end of the row.
We would jump over the side fence to go to the toilets housed in the yard. From what I can remember, there were only about eight toilets for the whole terrace. We shared with neighbours from along the row, early unisex communal toilets.
The only memories of the very early years I have are when Mom sat me on the side by the sink and gave me some cod liver oil followed by malt. I was very young then, no more than two or three I should say. The malt was delicious but the cod liver oil diabolical.
Mom told me she would carry us girls down Coneybere Street first thing in the morning to take us to the nursery in Parker Road, run by Matron Green. It must have been really hard for her struggling through the war years to bring us two girls up.
I never knew my father as Mom divorced him soon after I was born and he never saw me. I do have memories of my grandparents in Derbyshire. They must have thought a lot of us girls as they kept a photograph of Pauline (my older sister) and me on their sideboard.