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Maurice Tindall Remembers

This page is dedicated to the memories of Maurice Tindall who once lived in Broughton and now lives in Australia. We found his memories very interesting and thought you might too.

Hello Sue and Christine

It was kind of you to send such a nice reply.

I must apologise for such a tardy reply. I won't make the usual excuse of lack of time - at 81 I have all the time in the world; in fact I spend much of it in front of the computer.

But I hesitated for some time as I wondered if my meanderings through the past would be of any interest after so long a time. However you asked so kindly that I can hardly refuse. And you might indeed know others who might remember my family even after all these years.

Indeed Frank Newman, who is still in Broughton, was one of my boyhood friends. We smoked our first pipe together - a Woolworth's pipe for 3d and sawdust from his father's workshop. We were not overly taken with the practice.

So, adding a little from time to time as I remembered different things, this missive is finished at last.

I'm afraid it's rather long so don't feel obliged to read it all - after all I won't know will I?

But I've littered it with plenty of spaces to make the going easier.

So here goes --

I was really sorry to hear about the loss of the "Green" as we called it. It was merely a grassy area about half an acre with a few sandy depressions, quite undeveloped on the north-west corner of Sand Lane and Brooklands Avenue . We used to 'hang out' there much as kids now gather in shopping centres and play our simple games.

And just north of that was the village policeman's house, whose son Donald Parker was one my playmates. On the south side of Sand Lane a farm stretched the length of the lane and stretched down to the back.

I recall Harry's Dream as being a row of houses on the eastern side of Brooklands Avenue . But according to the map it is further to the east. It got its odd name from the Builder's son Harry who had a dream of the project. It was built during my time there. At the top of the hill up from the beck on High Street was a general store called Adlards with a hole in the wall fish and chip shop behind it - that will have gone now.

In those days there was a beautiful vicarage down a tree-lined drive on Scawby Road adjacent to which was the Sunday School and then a little further towards High Street the church. However the last time I visited in 1975 the vicarage had been sold off and was then a private residence, a common fate of such buildings.

Once a year the church put on a trip to Cleethorpes for us Sunday school scholars and parents. It was a popular and eagerly awaited event a real highlight of the year. As you can imagine just prior to this trip the Sunday school numbers increased dramatically only to fall off again the next weekend.

Early in the morning a row of 7 or 8 buses (Enterprise & Silver Dawn as the bus company was rather grandly named) would line up along Scawby Road outside the vicarage and be filled with a crowd of us very excited youngsters. Off we went with buckets, spades, bathers and packed lunches through Brigg, Brocklesby Park and points east to our the wonderland of Cleethorpes. Excited because most of the families didn't have cars in those days so this was usually the only such trip we would get in a whole year.

(A few other things as well as cars we didn't have in those days.... telephones, TV, sticky tape (we used stuff called string), gladwrap, electric lights, velcro, ATMs, tiramisu, peanut butter, email, bank cards, locks for our bikes, paedophiles (at least not overt ones), flush toilets, biros - so many things we now take for granted...)

And if any children weren't able go on the trip they were given 1/6d in compensation. And very often it was a real tossup for many - should they go or should they stay and get three week's pocket money in one lump sum?

Incidentally, talking money, I mentioned getting 2/6d for collecting paper money but perhaps I erred. That would have been quite an amount in those days when the average wage was around two pounds a week. So it was probably 1/6d. Plus of course the Mars bar - say 1d.

St Mary's Church

My days as a choirboy were memorable. Choir practice on Thursdays after school and morning and evening services on Sunday. Back then the evening services would be full, even on a cold winter's night. But the church would be softly lit and warm from the large number of warm bodies. Today only wedding services see churches as full as they were then.

The way we were chosen for the choir was interesting. One morning the vicar came into the classroom, had a few words with the Headmaster. The Head glanced around the class and picked out a dozen of us, lined us up at the front and ordered us to sing 'Aaaaah' and hold it.

When we were all in full voice the vicar walked along the line his head bent, the better to hear our individual Aaaahs. Another few words with the Head who then picked out four of us and told us that we had just been picked for the church choir, what an honour it was, how fortunate we were and we should tell our parents after school.

My mother was proud and delighted and, even though I had been going to the Primitive Methodist chapel down at Town end, was allowed to change my religious affiliation without a qualm on her part.

The Primitive Methodist Church

Now only seen in the very old photos on your site

My brothers and sisters used to walk there along the beck which at that time meandered through a couple of meadows, then up a lane to the church - a rather ugly building as befitted the no nonsense Methodist ethic.

Which brings up another happy annual event - the Harvest Festival with the chapel filled with fruits and vegetables, the old harvest hymns sung in thunderous voice - - We plough the fields and scatter - Come ye thankful people come ... words and music wondrously redolent of the fruits of the field?

And the Monday evening service when it was all auctioned off. But there were no bargains - the proceeds went to the chapel funds. Then followed simple chapel-like games - spinning the trencher, charades and so on. Once again - a very full house.

School days....

In my first year 1931 I had two delightful women teachers, both spinsters; a Miss Sergeant and Miss Steel, one small of stature, easygoing and smiling the other tall, stern and strict as her name. Later on we had an art teacher Jack Smith who, standing at his easel in his garden on the High street just above Sterne Avenue , would paint the scene down the High Street, drawing on a long churchwarden's pipe. I only remember two other names - Mr. Hudson and Mr. Woodcock - head and deputy head.

When I was eleven I won a scholarship to Brigg Grammar School and a number of us boys and girls would catch the bus every morning to Brigg opposite the Red Lion.

The Fair

Another happy memory is that of the fair which came each year and set up on a field down near Wells' farm at the bottom end of High Street; swings, roundabouts, coconut shies, gloriously lit up by paraffin lamps at night - a real wonderland for kids.

And bonfire nights and fireworks on November 5th, no restrictions in those days. Caroling at nights at the approach of Xmas and, as I recall, we gave value for money, not merely one verse and then knock on the door, but a full repertoire

The Pictures

Saturday afternoon to the pictures (silent of ourse) at Brigg - the Grand I think, near the top of Grammar School Road . Twopence for the bus fare, 2d to get in and a penny to spend in the market stalls, lit up with flaring lamps - leaving a whole penny to last the rest of the week.

But we were able to augment this pocket money by potato picking at farms around about - cold days when at lunchtime we gathered round an open fire near the hedgerow roasting potatoes for our lunch. Not easy work for kidsl; there was always a sprinkling of adults also eager for the extra money, of which they got much more than we boys.


Down at the River Ancholme at Broughton Bridge; a fairly long walk but on fine warm days there would be up to 20 or 30 kids there splashing about and jumping off the bridge. And a sprinkling of fathers relaxing with a day's fishing. 

Sunday afternoons -

Everyone would go for a walk in their Sunday best; Scawby and Appleby Roads Ermine Street and the High Street were popular walks. And through the woods of course towards Ravensthorpe where we could pick the bluebells and in season the blackberries. Also, when the lilies of the valley were flowering part of the woods was closed with a small charge of 6d to pick them. I was glad to see from the aerial photo on your site that most of the wood are still there.

The Horse and carts

Almost everything was delivered by horse and cart - bread and cakes, fruit and vegetables, milk.... An enterprising man by the name of Freeman was one of the first to deliver by lorry - 1 cwt bags of coal which he and his helpers would carry on their backs to the backyard and toss the coal into the coalhouse.

Other visitors to the backyard in the early hours of the morning were the men with the 'night cart' whose unenviable job was to empty our non-flush toilets.

My family moved to Scunthorpe in 1937 just before the war broke out so I have no memories of the war as it affected Broughton to offer.

As a coda perhaps you might like to know a little of myself to round out the picture.

After my naval service I studied at London University , obtained a BA and Teaching Diploma, joined the brain drain, or the 10 pound per head migrant scheme to Australia in 1952 with my wife and daughter. I taught for some years at the two top private schools in Adelaide - a rather pleasant little place still replete with parks and reserves and old architecture which has as yet not been too plundered by the developers and their earthmovers. But, I fear, not for much longer.

My wife died of cancer in 1969 at the age of 42.

My daughter Jane and her husband Peter, visited England , taking in Brigg, Broughton and Scunthorpe last October and were enchanted by everything they saw and experienced there, especially the sense of history that Europe exuded.

Four years ago I had a nasty car accident. After three weeks in a coma, three months in intensive care and a further eight months in an orthopedic ward I recovered sufficiently well to go home. The medicos dubbed me the miracle man but it was their care and the devotion of my wife and daughter during that long year that was the miracle. Now I can eat normally and walk tolerably well, albeit it with a stick. But I do miss driving.

Sorry this has been such a discursive and rambling account but, as you see, it didn't lend itself to a nice neat essay-like format. I would like to hear from you again but don't feel obliged to do so.

Finally a few names I remember...

Harry Ward, Ken, Freda and Pearl Stothard Pastor and Allan Winter, Les Axon, Nellie Dewson, Dorothy Frankish, Frank and Eva Newman, the Gathercoles, Harry snd Freda Gibson, Renee Sowerby, Eric and Barbara Bell, Hazel Parish, Nancy Tacy, Arnold Clarke, Rex Padley.... Of course most of these will be my age and some may have passed on but I know a few of them are still with us.

If any of your older colleagues know any of them I would be happy if they would pass on my kindest regards and best wishes.

And yes I do believe Connie Graves and her father ran the newspaper shop but I can't be sure - the name rings a faint bell.

(But at my age - I 'ask not for whom the bell tolls', it might be tolling for me:) Sorry - couldn't resist.

My best wishes to you both