Tales from the River Bank is an oral history project that will capture memories of life in the Trent Valley. We are gathering people’s recollections and thoughts about the past, present and future to explore how our ways of engaging with the River Trent and the landscape has changed over the years.
Do you or have you lived within the Transforming the Trent Valley Scheme area? Perhaps you spent your childhood living in Rugeley, Alrewas, Fradley, Barton-under-Needwood, Hopwas, Burton-upon-Trent, Uttoxeter or Rocester? What games did you play? Where did you explore?
We would love to hear from you.
Share your childhood memories by completing the form below.
Recorded March 2021.
I was born in Burton in 1948 and lived in Trent Street located between Branstone Road and Blackpool Street.
There were Irish, Scottish, German, Italian, Jamaican, and English families living there. The children all played together in the street; marbles, hopscotch, skipping, French cricket, football and What time is it, Mr Wolf? Play was not allowed on Sundays.
On Saturdays and school holidays we were given bread and butter or jam, water, and an apple to eat. We would explore the Washlands playing near the river, making dens, playing football.
We would explore the Washlands playing near the river, making dens, playing football
I do not remember an adult ever coming to find us. Eventually, usually around tea-time we would go home. No one had a watch to tell the time, I think we must have gotten hungry and knew it was time to head home.
The house had a coal fire and only cold water in kitchen and an outside toilet. We did not have a bathroom. To have a bath, first you had to bring the tin bath in from the garden, not forgetting to remove the spiders first! Once it was in the kitchen you had to boil water in saucepans if you wanted a hot bath. It took a long time so you didn’t have a deep bath but at least the Kitchen was a bit warmer with the electric stove on.
We didn't have a bathroom. To have a bath, first you had to bring the tin bath in from the garden...
In the winter, ice would form on the inside of the bedroom window, and you learnt to get dressed and undressed whilst still in bed.
A Burton-upon-Trent resident. December 2020.
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