Joe McHenry remembers that there was a cow near where he lived as a boy

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 20th February 2012 by Liam Physick

Joe McHenry remembers his education at St. Hugh’s School and then Toxteth Technical Institute - or Treacle Toffee Idiots as its pupils were known locally! He and his parents then moved to Lark Lane after he completed his National Service. He also remembers how, as a boy, he would note the air raid shelters in the street, and wonder if it were possible to jump from one’s bedroom window onto the shelter roof! Joe next recalls playing football and cricket, and the fact that there was a cow in someone’s back yard!

Interviewee: Joe McHenry

Interviewee Gender: Male

Date of Interview: 1st December 2011

Interview Transcript

Jodie: What are your memories of growing up, you, did you grow up this area, yeah?

Joe: Oh, yes . . .

Jodie: Yeah?

Joe: . . . yeah, I went to St. Hugh’s School, which is on the corner of Cranborne Road and Earle Road, and I went down to, I passed the 13-plus (sic) and then I went to Toxteth Technical Institute, which is in the Dingle, which has again, has changed its name, the building’s still there, but it’s changed its name countless times, but, because of its name, it was always abbreviated to TTI – Toxteth Technical Institute – but of course the local wags all called us Treacle Toffee Idiots (Jodie laughs), that was the, that was the name for us four lads, and, and I did my, went into the National Service, and my parents decided that they wanted to move out to Lark Lane area, so, so we moved over that way, and that was quite good because there was a baths, there were, there was a bathroom for a change, you know, cos no, there was no, no, no bathroom at home, the toilet was outside, so to go to a larger house with a bathroom and an inside toilet was . . . it was, it was opulence! (he and Jodie both laugh)

Jodie: Yeah!

Joe: Course, I’d been used to better facilities, in, doing the National Service, because, well, there were showers and bathrooms everywhere, but, you know, it was two up and two down house, there was no room for an extra room for a bath. I don’t know how we all existed in those days. It seems a long time ago now. I remember as a small boy coming out of the house and always being amazed that we had concrete . . . air raid shelters in the street, actually built in the street, part of the, part of the street, not on the pavement but actually in the, in the road, as it were . . .

Jodie: Oh!

Joe: . . . and, they were quite big, I, I only remember going in them once, and then they must have knocked them down, but they were on the opposite side of the street from we were, and I was always envious of the kids on the other side of the road, cos it always looked to me as if it was feasible to jump from the top bedroom window onto the roof! (both laugh) But I never got the opportunity to see if it, you could do it!

Jodie: Aw!

Joe: It just shows you what small boys think of! But we used to play cricket and football, and I used to think the streets were quite wide, then you come back as an adult and I find it very narrow. (coughs) And at the end of Acton Street was joined onto Lindley Street, and the other side of Lindley Street was Fernside Street, I think, and in between them, the entries, well, they were called, they were called entries but we called them all kinds of, Giles, Jiggers, Ennogs, there were, there were lots of nicknames for these things, but somewhere in their was a dairy, because you could walk through the top end of the entry and you could hear a cow mooing, and it used to, I used to think I was imagining it, and, you know, it was a fantasy, but it was true, there was a cow in there.

Jodie: Oh, right!

Joe: You wouldn’t believe it!

Jodie: No. In . . . down one of the sides, down one of the sides?

Joe: Well, actually inside somebody’s back yard, as it were . . .

Jodie: Yeah.

Joe: . . . there was a cow! (Jodie laughs) You know, strange times . . .

Jodie: Yeah. I’m surprised all the local kids didn’t, didn’t want to go to and see the cow (inaudible)

Joe: Well, yes.

Tagged under: earle road, playing, football, air raid shelters, school, dingle, fernside street, cricket, national service, lindley street

Categorised under: Social Life

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By Linda on 24th July 2012

Hello Joe
Your right about the cow’s. I lived in Barnet Street and we use to cut through the entry where the cow shed’s were to get to Webster Road school. Often when we cut through the alley the cow’s were being led up the alley. Quite Bizarre in the middle of city housing

By John Wallace on 24th August 2013

The cow belonged to June McCormacks father who had a dairy in the back yard of their house. I think it was Bective Street. Wally Burns lived opposite her house. June used to be in my class at Earle Road School

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