The McElroys talk about their play areas, one of which they called the Bombed Hollow
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 19th July 2011 by Jenny Porter
The McElroys reminisce about their play areas. One of those was a bomb site which they called the “Bombed Hollow”, while another was a building where school dinners were made. The brothers would shin over the railings, and would occasionally climb onto the roof. They also talk about the bad smells caused by the cooking of the dinners!
Interviewee: David and Steve McElroy
Interviewee Age: Male
Interviewee Gender: Male
Date of Interview: 25th March 2011
David: The other thing about where we lived in Edgeware Street, was, you may have already said this, there was a bomb site, which would have been four or five houses, maybe a few more?
Steve: Probably more, probably about six or seven, yeah?
David: Yeah, so, that was our play area, so we had our own off-the-road play area, immediately adjacent to the house, meant going round the back way was easy as well, cos of . . . literally, you know, you just turned right past the front door and round the back you went.
Jenny: What do you call them, Steve?
Steve: The Bombed Hollow.
Jenny: The Bombed Hollow. (laughs)
David: The Bombed Hollow, yeah, yeah, that’s . . . I mean, there were a number of them, but that one, there was one there, and there was one a few doors away from Grandma lived on Chatsworth Street . . .
Steve: And there was . . . it, it, it, it would have been, like, the same stick of bombs that took out all the houses on, on the three streets, on the two streets, rather, Chatsworth Street, and both sides of our street, and in between Chatsworth Street and our street there was Liverpool City Council Dinner Centre, they used to make the, the school dinners . . .
David: Dinners day!
Steve: . . . for the . . .
Jenny: Oh, right!
Steve: . . . for the primary schools and secondary schools, and the smells were (David signs) abominable, weren’t they? (Jenny laughs)
David: Sometimes, they were. I mean, it was quite a big bulding, you know, in comparative terms, again, it was probably the equivalent of 10 or 12 houses, maybe more . . .
David: . . . with, you know, with, sort of, steel fencing around and, and so on, but it was, it was just a weird thing to have . . .
Steve: Yeah . . .
David: . . . opposite your house.
Steve: . . . and it was, remember the vans that used to come . . .
Steve: . . . the little green vans . . .
David: The little, little vans.
Steve: . . . and they used to have the vans that would take, they used to cook the stuff there . . .
Steve: . . . and the vans would deliver it to the schools . . .
David: To the schools.
Steve: . . . that didn’t have kitchens, our, our school did . . .
Steve: . . . St. Annes’s, but most . . .
David: Most of the older schools.
Steve: . . . most of the older one’s didn’t . . .
David: Yeah, no.
Steve: . . . and so the likes of, of, of . . . Chatsworth Street . . .
David: Chatsworth Street.
Steve: . . . Chatty, yeah, they, they, they’d take ‘em there, but, you know, talking about, like, pictures and sound, the, the thing you remember was these, like, big aluminium . . .
David: Oh, the trays.
Steve: . . . the, the guy’s would just, like, sling them into the . . .
Jenny: Oh, yeah.
Steve: . . . into the van, and thud against the back wouldn’t they . . . ?
David: Yeah, yeah, oh, yeah, yeah. (Jenny laughs)
Steve: . . . and they just had, kind of, like, clang to them, and when they brought them back . . . because, you know, the reason we know this, you know, we weren’t sagging school or anything like that (David and Jenny laugh), it’s because, the, everybody had different half terms in those dayd, didn’t they, so you’d always . . .
Jenny: Oh, right.
Steve: . . . there’d always be something going on, and because we used to come home from school for our dinner, you’d always hear this kind of thing, so it was, it was on the go on all time . . .
Steve: . . . and, it was also, like, one of the, one of the illicit play places as well . . .
David: (mischievously) Oh, yes!
Steve: . . . this is probably one of the reasons they used to lock me up cos we used to shin over the fence (Jenny laughs) either side from our street up and Chatsworth Street cos it was dead easy and play on the roof.
David: Yeah, so, cos, although it had railings round it, there weren’t, you know, sort of, vandal-limiting bit, like they have these days, so it was very easy, even for, you know, even for very small lads as we were to get over, and it was playing round, running round this large building, playing football or occasionally going into the roof to, you know, sort of, play on there.
Steve: It just looked like, an asbestos-type roof, we’ve probably got all kinds of, like, mesothelioma, and things like that (Jenny laughs) . . .
David: Hasn’t developed yet!
Steve: Yeah, and at the, the far end of it, there was, like, where the, thinking back, they had a, like, a brick structure with a flat concrete roof on it . . .
Steve: . . . and you could shin up on top of that, as well . . .
David: That’s right.
Steve: . . . that must have been where, like, the water tank, and things like that, but getting to the top of that, you know, that was, like, another rite of passage, wasn’t it, (Jenny laughs) when you were big enough to actually climb up to it!
David: Yeah, that was, so that was, always, except for during the summer, there was always activity there.
Categorised under: Social Life