Graham Middleton describes the impact of both wars on Edge Hill and its inhabitants

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 7th October 2014 by Jenny Porter

In this piece, Graham recalls the signs of destruction which were to be found on each corner of Edge Hill. Most significant of these were the bombed hollows with its heaps of rubble and broken glass, as well as the dust-filled air. Additionally, Graham describes the lasting impact of World War I which was evinced in the physical wounds some of Edge Hill’s population carried with them. Thus, highlighting Edge Hill’s deep connection with both Wars.

Interviewee: Graham Middleton

Interviewee Gender: Male

Date of Interview: 14th August 2014

Interview Transcript

Graham: My parents were married in St. Catherine’s church which used to be on Tunnel Road – that’s all gone now and there’s all these modern houses built. I certainly remember the hollows, the bombed hollows, where there were corners of the street missing where there used to be houses. It was just sort of rough rubble and invariably broken glass – if you fell over you got a little piece of glass in your knee, a little chipping of glass. Dusty. It all seemed to be sunny when it surely wasn’t, apart from when we used to get these pea soupers. As a baby, I had a bad chest and all that.
Graham’s wife: Tell her about the times you said to me about people who were ill. People who had rickets and things.
Graham: Yeah. There used to be a lady who lived on the corner of Chandos Street and Chatsworth Street, a Little old lady. And we used to –as I suppose children, I suppose it shows how things have changed today – if you saw people with say a club foot and you used to obviously see a lot of WWI victims who used to stand on Wavertree Road and they were having only one leg. And on the leg that was missing, the trousers was bent up and pinned at the back, and they’d be selling things, or be playing accordions, or whatever, just to make a few bob. But, there were people if you saw anybody that was sort of out of the ordinary, as children for some reason, they would frighten us. And there was this little old lady, God love her, and she had obviously had rickets when she was young, because her legs were really bent. And she was walking – I don’t even know how she could walk – and when we saw her we would used to run away. Now, people are far more educated. Very few children now would bat an eye if they saw someone who was disabled, but to us it was frightening. And she didn’t know we were running from her, we just sort of hid away.

Tagged under: chatsworth street, bombed hollows, edge hill, chandos street, disability, world war i, world war ii

Categorised under: Change & Communities, Social Life, The War

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