LIKE MOTHER LIKE SON

The story focuses on three families. The Kinnear's, The Millsap's, and the Owen's. All different. They live very different lifestyles. Albert Kinnear the Librarian, who's parents came from Swindon but live in Pinetree Gardens, his father Jack is an engineer. He is a keen gardener and Pigeon fancier. Albert meets the daughter of Charlie and Elizabeth Millsap. They live on Kenton Road, in a bought property. He also is a pigeon man who has wangled his way into a chairman's job. he is a welder down the docks. No one is good enough for their daughter and they resent the relationship between Laura and Albert. Then there is William Owen(Willick) a roofing builder who lives in Cedarwood Avenue with two son's and a daughter. Alan is a jack the lad; he will sleep with any woman given the chance. Harry the youngest is a joiner and the brains in the family. Evelyn his daughter is twenty five and her father is pushing her to meet a man and get married so he can have grandchildren.

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In most cases it would never happen they were destined to remain poor. They had little hope of achieving anything apart from ending up either on the dole or even worse pregnant at an early age. They would invariably end up pushing another pram around but this time instead of a doll inside, it would be their own child.

Willie went to the toilet, the bowl was stained brown with the urine and faeces that had collected over the years and the string that pulled the cistern to clean the thing would break and the stink from the drains outside in the heat of the afternoon sun made matters worse. The houses were poorly decorated and had very little in the way of furniture. What furniture they had was either bought from Palister’s or from Feetonby’s second hand stores.

A lot of it came from people who had got so far in arrears with their rents the bailiffs would come with a flat wagon pulled by a horse and cart would take what little they had until they were left homeless. The women were forced to go out and try and earn money any way they could, Young children were left to their own devices and invariably ended up in trouble with the law. Cold and hungry they would steal from shops or from the better off in order to survive. Willie was one one’s the lucky ones who had a job. He worked for James S. Pearson a local Building contractor. The work was hard and very dirty as he ended up taking out or repairing old chimneys and the black soot would cover him in black dust. He would come home most nights looking like one of Billy Cotton’s black and white minstrel’s that graced the TV screens on a Saturday evening on BBC1.

Willie had two son’s still living at home.

Alan was the oldest at twenty two worked as an upholsterer at the UBU (Universal Bedding & Upholstery) on Norham Road. He had bounced from job to job since leaving Ralph Gardner secondary modern at the age of fourteen. Jack Spark had tattooed his strap on Alan’s arse over the years for his insolence and Alan had lost count at the amount of times that he’d had the belt from his father. Harry his youngest boy was just 17 and no trouble at all. He was an apprentice Joiner for Hastie D Burton’s. His daughter Evelyn worked for Dukes and Marks clothing factory which came in handy as she could make or repair clothes. She adapted second hand clothes on the old Singer sewing machine that she had bought from Palister’s. She either bought material cheaply or stole it to make dresses, blouses and pinnie’s to wear for her and her mother. The lads got shirts all hand made.

“Are you lot getting up or what shouted Judith who had made a big pan of porridge to eat? The lads would spoon Heinz Golden Syrup into it to give it some flavour.’

It would have to do them until lunch time when they would eat two cheese and onion sandwiches and a packet of Tudor crisps. Evelyn would help her mother to make them as she had to go to work herself. Judith had a little job working in Macy’s down the bottom of the street. Robert Macy would not tolerate lateness. She had been warned once before and was afraid in case Bob sacked her. She needed the job because it brought in extra money to help out. The lads were all on five pound board per week and Evelyn on three pounds a week. The rent had gone up to eight pounds a week and the household food bill seemed to be costing more each week as well. Willie never kept her short and whenever he worked overtime, he would stump up a few quid to help her out. There had been a queue for the bathroom as the two lads washed and shaved in the small sink, taking turns to wash and rinse their faces after shaving. Using the same shaving mug with boiled water that their father had. They shared the same brush to lather their faces and had their own razors with different coloured electricians tape on the handle so they didn’t get mixed up. Harry had black, Alan red and their father blue. The towel was passed from one to the other then they would put a clean shirt on. 

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