The Netmaker

"The Netmaker" the story follows four families who are all linked in some way to the Wilkinsons Lemonade Factory that was bombed during WW2. This is a tribute to the 107 people who lost their lives on 3rd May 1941


9. 9

Sam looked out of the scullery window and saw Tom coming then took the money off the table and hurried onto the fish and chip shop. He ran like the wind along Burt Avenue then turned left. The chippy was about half way up the road on the right. Further up was the Rex Picture house where he went on Saturday afternoon to see Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. Since the birth of talking movies that came about in the thirties the picture houses were full every night. Lightburn’s made a fortune from cinema goers who could smell the fish and chips frying as they came out and they were hard to resist. It certainly made a change from the coal fire smoke from every house. The only draw back these houses had was they had outside toilets and a tin bath which hung on the wall. Every night Sam dreaded having to get up from his bed to go to the toilet. He had to light the candle first as there was no light then quickly close the door. Many a time there had been no paper and he’d climbed the fence and used Mrs Glass’s loo.

She always had paper so he’d pinch a few sheets that were tied to a lump of string and keep them for an emergency. He nearly got caught one night though as he heard the back door to Mrs Glass’s house being unlocked. He had to just pull up his pants and jump the fence then clean himself in his own toilet before going back to bed.


“Two Bags of chips Edna wi some batter on and salt and vinegar please.’

“Edna knew the lad had been in every night this week asking for the same thing.’

Times were hard she thought as she scooped up four big heaps of chips and threw in two fish cakes along with a mountain of batter. “That’ll be tuppence ha’penny Sam.’

“Here you are Edna.’ Sam handed her a thru’penny bit then got his change.’

“Thanks Edna he said as he took the parcel and flew back down the bank and back up Burt Avenue. His mother was frying three big pieces of cod as Sam came in he opened the range and placed the parcel of chips inside and closed the door. That’ll keep em hot until the fish is cooked mam.’

“Good lad said his mother. Now go and wash up before I serve this up. “Don’t forget to wash those ears and your neck.’ I don’t want to see a bloody tide mark and a dirty towel.’

“Alright mam said Sam as he stripped to his waist and bent over the sink. He picked up a bar of red Life Buoy soap and began to rub it onto the blue coloured flannel. He remembered a few years back when he was only five and he would sit in the big sink and have a bath without waiting to fill up the tin bath. He would stand naked as a jay bird as his mother washed him totally innocent and unashamed as the window was open to the whole street. Now he had to wait until Sunday when his mother then Tom bathed first and more hot water was added. Emily took out three plates from the small cupboard. They had the willow pattern on them which was popular then.

I will get my rations tomorrow so I can get some meat and veg’ for us.’

“Good said Tom I’m sick of fish.’ I could murder a cup of tea as well.’

Sorry son, I will get some tomorrow I promise.’

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