Hazel Freeman remembers receiving a cardboard teddy bear from a Miss McGee
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 18th July 2011 by Liam Physick
Hazel Freeman recalls how her father sent her to a Miss McGee while he was working in the shop, because she and her brothers were “blooming pestering nuisances”, and how she received a cardboard teddy bear as a free gift from this woman, but unfortunately she hasn’t kept it!
Interviewee: Hazel Freeman
Interviewee Gender: Female
Date of Interview: 19th February 2011
Jenny: So, what are your memories, then, of . . . did, did you used to go in to work with your dad at all, or . . . ?
Hazel: Yes, in, you know, in the holidays, heâ€™d sometimes take us in, weâ€™d say, â€śCan, we, can we come with youâ€ť, and we were blooming pestering nuisance (sic), werenâ€™t we! (Jenny laughs) So, weâ€™d be given to one of the people, maybe somebody would be sent to Tom Connell in the garage, one of the boys.
Hazel: I donâ€™t know what my brothers did there but, you know, weâ€™d like to go to the toy department. I used to go to a lady called Miss McGee, cos there were all called â€śMissâ€ť, nobody was allowed to be called â€śMrs.â€ť . . .
Jenny: Oh, right.
Hazel: . . . if they were â€śMrs.â€ť, because it wasnâ€™t good for morale, you had this idea . . . so they were all given a â€śMissâ€ť, so everyone was . . . equal, and I went to this lady, Miss McGee, who was actually married, to Tom Connell, so she would actually be Mrs. Connell . . .
Hazel: . . . and she used to sell stockings (Jenny laughs). Now, the only reason a, sort, of, nine-year-old girl wanted to, to sell, to help sell stockings . . .
Hazel: . . . was because their name was â€śBear Brandâ€ť (Jenny laughs), and Bear Brand had a teddy bear . . .
Jenny: Oh, right!
Hazel: . . . and I liked teddy bears (Jenny laughs), and they gave these free gifts, to be displayed, and the gifts . . . a lot of the teddy bears, were made out of cardboard, and they had three legs, you know like the Isle of Man, on the back, so that a child could pick up this cardboard teddy bear, and walk it along . . . (both laugh)
Hazel: . . . and I loved this so much I would help her all day in the hope that at the end sheâ€™d say, â€śWould you like one of the cardboard teddy bears?â€ť (both laugh)
Jenny: Did you ever get one?
Jenny: Ah, good!
Hazel: But, unfortunately, I havenâ€™t kept one!
Jenny: Ah! Bear Brand!
Hazel: Bear Brand and this yellow teddy bear! We didnâ€™t want much in those days . . .
Hazel: . . . we were happy with very little! (both laugh)
Categorised under: Social Life