Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter remembered; Part 62

When I was a girl living in postwar Liverpool, that is the latter half of the forties and the early fifties, Easter was one of the few occasions when my sister and I were bought a new frock; the other times were Whit and Christmas. We didn't have much say in the style or colour as it was Mam who did the choosing and price was all as she couldn't really afford to buy us frocks and she was no dressmaker or knitter come to that. So it was a case of her getting a cheque from Sturla's on Breck Road and paying the money back over a period of time, either that or visiting a van that used to come round and park on waste ground. We'd go up steps at the back and inside there would be clothes on hangers hung on racks that could be bought on tick. I don't know if Dad knew about these goings-on but I remember Mam running up a bill at Begle's, which was a tiny shop that you reached by going up a back entry and into a yard and thence into a room with a counter and behind that on shelves were groceries. Dad was furious when he discovered Mam was in debt and the bill was paid in double quick time.

Mam and Dad didn't go to church but us kids were sent to Sunday School at a mission hall, connected to St Chrysostom's church in Everton, so we had to have new frocks for Easter Sunday so Mam thought. Interestingly despite their lack of churchgoing, we not only always had fish on Good Friday but Mam would never hang washing out on the line that day. On Easter Sunday Dad would boil onion skins and place hen's eggs in the water. The eggshells would get a pattern on and turn a different colour. Despite a shortage of money we always were given a chocolate egg as well. A real treat.

Come Easter Monday, Mum and Dad would take my sister and I out, For some reason our older brothers never came on these outings. Maybe they considered themselves too big to go out with their little sisters and had other plans to do with their mates. Occasionally we would go farther afield to places such as New Brighton by bus and ferry or even to Chester. More often than not it would be to Newsham Park or Sefton Park, the latter meant taking a bus. We would feed the ducks and play ball on the grass.
We would have never thought of these occasions as Quality Time as a lot of working parents and their children regard them now.

Mam did not go out to work until my younger sister was at secondary school, so for years we had plenty of time to spend with her, unless we were playing out in the street with our friends; games such as skipping, rounders, tick, giant strides, top and whip, two balls, hopscotch, etc.  There were numerous games which kept us fit and prevented us from getting overweight. We also walked most places.
This is turning into a real nostalgia indulgence so I'll finish by wishing you all a happy Eastertide.

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