Elaine Shearman

Good morning, my name’s Deborah Norrey and I’m working on the History at Hobsmoor Project. Today’s date is Tuesday the twenty-third of January 2018 and I’m here with Elaine. Elaine, can you please tell me your name, your date of birth and where you were born please?
My name is Elaine Shearman, my date of birth is the fifth of October 1954 and I was born 10 Preston Road, Yardley.
Can you share with us, Elaine, one of your earliest memories please?
My earliest memories is living with my nan and granddad and having a bath in a tin bath. There was m, er my brother, my sister and myself and we all bath, had a bath in the tin bath. [Draws breath] Erm, we didn’t have any hot water so it had to be, boiled or in a boiler. Erm, and when the water, we’d finished with the bath the water then was put down the yard to swill the yard. [Draws breath] I lived with my nan till I was six, I had a bedroom of my own, er, mum and dad and my sister and brother was in one bedroom and nan and granddad in another bedroom. And be, as we got older, we couldn’t, the room, there was, there wasn’t enough room for us all so erm dad, my dad, worked at the Bakelite, then he went to help my uncle with spraying which my father did, he was a sprayer… to get extra money to get a deposit for a house.
Uh, when I lived at Preston Road we had erm a baker come, every day a baker come with a big straw basket with the bread in. There was no sliced bread, it was all a tin loaf, a bloomer, no cakes, just bread and that was Mother’s Pride. The milkman, we had the milkman, the milkman used to come with glass bottles. It was glass milk bottles. We had, we didn’t have supermarkets, we had shops on the Coventry Road, and we used to go to the grocery shop [draws breath] and we used to get butter, but the butter wasn’t in a packet, it was in a big piece of butter and they used to cut so much off, and pack it like a s, like a pack of butter. Then there was the butcher’s and then there was the greengrocer’s.
So, [tut] can you describe to me the house that you lived on, on Preston Road?
The house on Preston Road, you went in the front door and on the left was the front room which we used to live in. Then you went through a door into, the living room where nan and granddad lived. There was erm a big sideboard, as you went in, on the left and on the right there was a table and chairs. There was two armchairs, there wasn’t three pieces, they didn’t have a three piece, they had armchairs. There was a television up a cor, one corner and where granddad used to sit by the window, he had a big table with a radio on, and then by the side of granddad was the stairs to go up the stairs. When you go up the stairs there was carpet, but to keep the carpet in place there used to be brass rods and they used to have to be cleaned with Brasso. And upstairs you turned to the left, that was my bedroom, you turned to the, no, sorry, you turned to the right that was my bedroom. You turned to the left that was mum and dad’s bedroom, Yvonne and Kevin’s, and because they was only little, Yvonne and Kevin, Kevin was in a carrycot and Yvonne was in erm… a cot. And then you went further down the corridor to nan and granddad’s bedroom.
When you come down the stairs, you turned right, into, the, they used to call it the scullery, where they used to have cupboards and they used to have, erm, a pantry. Now, in the pantry was no fridges, in the pantry they used to have erm, a little cupboard with mesh on and you used to put your butter in there… sausage, bacon, if you ever had sausage and bacon, cheese, and that was put on a slab to keep it cold. N, then there was a table, [draws breath] there was a sideboard and they had the big, erm, black-leaded grate and years ago they used to cook on that. Then you went through, into, the kitchen, and the kitchen comprised of a mangle, a boiler, a cooker and a Belfast sink, and then, we was lucky that we had the toilet inside and the toilet was there.
And did you have a garden?
Yes, there was a nice garden but, we had to be careful because it, not being our house, it was granddad’s garden so every time we went in the garden he used to watch what we was doing. So we had to behave ourselves.
And the street itself, what was the street like?
The street was nice, it was, it was quiet. I say quiet, but just four doors up from nan and granddad, near the Coventry Road, there was a place called Slaters. Now, Slaters, they used to bring the milk there and they used to, erm… [Tut] sterilise it and, and put it then in big, [tut] erm –
Buts, casks.
Yeah, yeah casks, ready for the milkman to come, well, the dairy to come and fetch. So I can always remember that smell of milk, it was quite erm, erm, a soury smell, I always remember that. So erm, but otherwise, it was a nice road. Nice, knew a lot of people in the road because nan and granddad had lived there for quite a few years because before they lived, they lived in Wroxton Road and then before there they lived at Blakesley Hall. So erm everybody knew nan and granddad.
So your nan and granddad lived at Blakesley Hall?
Did they own that?
No, no granddad worked there, worked at Blakesley Hall. He was a gardener and nan was a maid. And if erm, the people that lived there, they wa, needed to go anywhere, granddad used to take them in the horse and carriage.
And how long did they work at Blakesley Hall for?
I s, I’m not quite sure about that ‘cause that’s information that I had off mum so I’m not really sure but I know they lived in a cottage, they had a cottage to live in [draws breath] in Blakesley Hall, but I’m not quite sure about that. But I know they’d had two, they’d got two children, they’d got erm, my Uncle Cyril and my Auntie Iris. They’d got the two, two children so I, I think they’d been there, they was there about, I would say about fi, say five years, they was there.
So when you, you left your nan and granddad’s, where did you go to then?
We went to live in Warwell Lane which is the next road to Clay Lane going towards the Swan. [Draws breath] And when we moved there we hadn’t been there very long and, eh, the Coventry Road, when I, first moved into Warwell Lane, and for, well, when I lived in Preston Road, was just one, eh-erm road, one lane going towards town, one lane going towards Sheldon. Then they erm, there was all development then to build a new road, so at the bottom of mum and dad’s road, about eight houses on either side had to be, demolished to make way for the road, which was a shame really because they was elderly people and they’d got to leave their home. They’d probably lived there for years and years. And there was houses on the Coventry Road as well, I mean on the Coventry Road there was Walls’s, the ice cream factory on there, erm just down, just by coh, erm Clay Lane, between Clay Lane and mum’s road. And erm, Christmas they used to have a great big Christmas tree, with all lights on and in the summer they used to come round, the ice cream man used to come round on a bike and he used, at the front he used to have li, a fridge and that’s when you got your ice cream. So that all had to be knocked down, erm, to make way for the Coventry Road as it is now to go towards town.
So it was, erm, it was a shame that was, because erm a lot of p, like I say, a lot of people were elderly.
So when you moved out of your nan and granddad’s were you happy to move out?
I wasn’t, because I had to go and share a bedroom with my sister, whereas I’d got erm, a bedroom of my own. So erm, I wasn’t very happy about that. But it was nice to be able to, go and have a bathroom, with erm, a sink, a bath and a toilet and a garden of our own. That was nice. It was erm a lovely house, it was lovely. And it was home there, I, I got married from there and it was home there right up till three years ago. So my brother was nine months so he’s, what, 57 now so er, 58 this year. So it was erm, a lovely home that was.
And was it… similar to your nan and granddad’s house or was it completely different?
No, it was completely different, it was a terraced. Nan’s house was erm, a rented house, a private landlord that was, whereas, like I say, dad worked hard to get a deposit, for the house. Erm, and that was nice because, erm… the house, when, erm, a, like three years ago erm, it was a through lounge, we had a through lounge erm, the kitchen, erm, and then three bedrooms and a bathroom and a nice garden. It was a nice house. It was a happy house.
And, and what school did you go to, Elaine?
I went to er, Church Road School. I went there till I was, eleven, nearly eleven. [Draws breath] Erm, that was a nice school. I enjoyed school. And erm… when we first started all we used to do was play, we didn’t have lessons, we just used to play and I think that was to get you used to school. But erm, yeah, I, I really enjoyed school. And then from Church Road I went to Cockshut Hill and I stopped there till I was 17, and I didn’t wanna leave school. I enjoyed school.
So what was your primary school like, what did it look like, what…?
It was erm, it was an older school and it used to have erm, grey, er, brown, sorry, brown erm like paint all, all in the hall and in the classrooms. Erm, I don’t, I think it was a thing then that everything was dark, even houses was all dark, so it was all dark with the wooden floor, a parquet floor. It was erm, and we used to have desks, wooden desks that you lifted the lid up and there was, erm a place for ink pot, we never had ink, ink then but we had the wooden desks and wooden chairs. And in the win, we used to have milk, we used to have a bottle of milk and in winter, if it was frozen, which nine times out of ten it would be frozen, you used to have to put it on the radiator to thaw it out. We never had a toilet in school, we used to have to go outside to the toilet so if it rained, snowed, whatever the weather we went outside to the toilet. The toilets were cubicles but when you come out to wash your hands it was all in the open.
[Pause] A, and what sort of games would you have played?
Skipping, we’d have played skipping, erm …hopscotch, erm… erm, Chinese skipping with elastic, played that, ball games.
What’s Chinese skipping?
When you put the elastic between your l, legs and you have to jump, and you have to jump on the, the elastic.
That’s a new one [laughs]
[Tuts] Mm.
So you the moved on to Cockshut Hill School?
And how was that?
That was nice, I enjoyed that, yeah I, I enjoyed that. We went to erm, from there we went to erm, Belgiu, I went to Belgium with the school and went to York. That was nice. ‘cause it wa, it was a lot if, it, it didn’t seem a lot of money now, I think it was about £25 but when you think back… it was, it was a lot of money and erm I was lucky that my father, let me go. So that was nice and like I say, I stopped there till I was 17 and it was… it was a girls’ school. There was a girls’ school and a boys school and the boys and the girls, there was a line, that differentiated the boys from the girls so you couldn’t cross that line.
And was that by, a, just the line painted on the floor?
Yeah, just a line painted on the floor but, we knew then that we couldn’t go over that line and the boys couldn’t come over, to ours. And in one of the blocks called Greswold [ph], we had a door, and the girls was one side of the door and you could see the boys the other side going into their class.
Oh, how times have changed.
I know.
So when you finished school, did you stay on, did you stay on at school then?
I stayed on, f, for the sixth form. I stayed on till I was17 to take, in the fifth year I took erm CS, it was CSE exams then and Pitman and RSA. I took those erm… for, I didn’t do shorthand because I didn’t like shorthand, I couldn’t, I couldn’t erm… grip short, you know, grasp shorthand at all. For typing, I did typing and erm, then there was the English and the maths and all your other exams. And then RSA was for English as well, you could do RSA 1, 2 for English, Pitman for English so I did that and then I stopped on for ‘O’ Levels. It was ‘O’ Levels then. So I’ve just got, I’ve got two ‘O’ Levels, I’ve got home economics and English literature.
And then from then I went to work at erm a company called Combridge’s, and Combridge’s, they used to be book sellers and used to sell books to libraries, universities. So that was quite interesting. And I was responsible for the Middle East… for sending books over to the Middle East, which was erm, it was nice, I enjoyed that and I stopped there until, erm, I got, oh I got married, when I was there and I stopped there till I had my daughter. And then I didn’t go back to work then, when I had my daughter.
So, as you got older what was, and into your teenage years, where did you go when you started to go out?
I used to go to Bloomers, there was a club where the erm, the Swan, erm, Shopping Centre is now, [draws breath] there used to be a club there before they changed it and that of course, called Bloomers and I used to go there a lot, because it was only over the road. And all, everybody used to go, all my friends used to go. We used to go there or the Swan, there was erm, the Swan, the old Swan, erm, it’s now offices now. That was erm, quite a big erm, public house that was and it used to have dance floors and, er bars, quite a few bars and we used to go there.
Was that the old black and white Swan or the newer built one?
No, it was a new b, it was a new built one. It was erm, supposed to be the, the largest pub in Europe, it w, it was quite big, it had about, ooh, four/five bars and rooms upstairs, a big dance floor upstairs. So we used to go there, so that was, that was nice. I enjoyed that ‘cause you used to go out with your friends, even school friends, all your school friends used to go and all meet. Yes, I enjoyed that.
So, did you, did you go to the pictures as well or anything like that?
We used to go to erm, the pictures. There was a picture house in Sheldon, and that was by where, Tesco’s is, I’m, I’m pretty sure it was there. We used to go to the pictures there. And then there was erm, on the Coventry Road in Hay Mills, there was the Adelphi pictures, picture house. And er, I always remember going there to see My Fair Lady with my cousin. [Draws breath] But erm, yeah we used to go t, the thing is, eh, b, I mean when I used to go to the, the clubs and that I had a Saturday job at Woolworths down the Yew Tree so I could pay for myself, but if I hadn’t got, any, money I couldn’t ask my mum and dad so it was on rare occasions really, because you wouldn’t ask them for money, you’d, you’d go and, go to your friend’s house and listen to records, because er, they just couldn’t afford it.
W, can you tell us a bit about your job at Woolworths?
I did, I worked there of a Saturday, erm, Woolworths at the Yew Tree which is now the Wetherspoon’s. Erm, and I enjoyed that, I really enjoyed that. I used to erm, be on the [Chuckling] sweet counter, and you had to keep filling them, filling the counters up. Erm, I think I worked there for about, three years, three years on the till and it wasn’t a till, a scanner, you’d got to add up and then ask them, tell them how much it was and then… put the money in the till. But erm, that was nice, I enjoyed that. Yeah. Whatever work I’ve done I’ve always enjoyed, you know, I’ve never erm… never not liked work. So yeah, it was nice. They was nice people there as well.
So if we go back to your childhood, can you describe a, a little bit about what the, what the Swan area was like for you growing up?
The Swan area was erm, as I’ve said, there was shops at the top of Preston Road, erm, there was erm a sewing machine, a Singer shop for sewing machines, there was a chemist, there was erm a grocer’s, a butcher’s, a green grocer’s and there was erm a news, a news agent’s. Further on up there was erm, across Lily Road going towards the Swan, there was Barclays bank and the Midland’s bank. Now, I know that Barclays bank used to be erm, a picture house, and that was called the Tivoli, but when I was growing up that wasn’t there no more, it was the bank. And then as you went further up there was erm… a fish, someone who’s, a fish monger’s, then you used to go further up and some shops I can’t remember, but as I got to the Swan there was a Profit and Westwood’s [ph] and there was erm, a cake shop. And over the road where the Swan offices are now, there was erm Harding’s Bakery, and they used to have a horse in the stable there because they used to, erm have a horse and cart to, for your bread.
And was it Harding’s Bakery who used to come round to your nan’s?
No, it was Mother’s Pride, that was Mother’s Pride that was. So I don’t know whether they did to erm… I’m not sure where they delivered, but I know there was, I always remember the horse… in the stable. And then as you went down, erm Church Road there was a newsagent’s and my auntie used to work in the newsagent’s. But the newsagent’s moved to the corner of Lily Road because years and years ago they was on about widening Church Road, years ago, and obviously they’ve only just come to do it now because of the new Tesco’s. So a lot of places had to close down and, there was only, two shops, two sho, everything went. The, the, because the widening of the road as well, all the shops went, Harding’s went because, of building the Swan, t, ‘cause that was, that’s been built quite a few years, the Swan offices. And erm, like I say, the widening of the road, of Church Road, a lot of shops had to close down so, there was only, hm, uh, there wasn’t even a newsagents. There was erm… a wool shop, the wool shop there, there was.
But on the other side of the Coventry Road, [tut] there used to be erm, a fish and chip shop, there was the wool shop there as well and there used to be the old New Inns. And that was er, that was nice that was because it used to have erm grounds where you could go and sit and they used to have a, bowling green and my granddad used to play bowls and we used to go and watch but we couldn’t go on the bowling green. But er, that was nice there, and then obviously because the widening of the road they had to erm, demolish it, which is a shame really because erm, a lot of, a lot of people had been in the shops for years and, it was all gone then, there was nothing then. Even at the bottom of mum’s road there was shops, but because the widening of the road again, erm, they had to be demolished and then they built the new houses on the Coventry Road.
So when they built the, the, the first Swan Shopping Centre…
… what was that like and how did you feel, about, ‘bout it?
It was nice to, because we didn’t have many supermarkets. And there was the supermarket, I’m sure it was Key Market. I’m not, I’m not quite sure but I think it was Key Market, which was a big supermarket, that was big and that sold everything, that sold, plates and, dishes and saucepans and cups and, and food, and frozen food [draws breath], which we never had frozen food, everything was fresh. So when they built the supermarket it was … it wasn’t that we used to have a lot of frozen food because, mum used to always cook her own chips, we used to have fresh vi, er vegetables. It wasn’t a thing that she ever brought the frozen vegetables, not like we would buy them now. [Coughs] Excuse me. So that was nice. And then they had, erm, Bloomers, Bloomers was there, they used to have a green grocer’s, they had erm, a chemist and erm a caf. And then the supermarket closed down, I don’t know if they erm, went out of business, but then it became, the market then, which had a lot of stalls. In the market, there was, a butcher’s and, erm shoe repairs and clothes and shoes. That was a ni, that was a nice market but then when they knew that, they were going to sell it to Tesco’s, that went into decline and it was a shame that was. [Pause] That was a shame.
[Tut] Can I just ask you what Bloomers was?
Bloomers was a nightclub. It was a nightclub and we used to go there and it was, erm, like the sister to erm the Dolce Vita in town. So erm, acts used to come there and then when they’d, they used to go then to Dolce Vita. So it was erm, it was nice. That’s where I wen, I met my husband there. [Pause] So that was er, what, 43 years ago.
So I met my husband there, and again, when we went to work, we still all met, the friends all met, we all kept, even now to this day, we still meet up from, erm leaving erm Cockshut Hill. We, we still have reunions and meet up. So erm, but that was a nice club. And my friend’s erm, mum used to work in the cloakroom and er we used to sneak in [chuckles], we used to sneak in there. But that was nice. Yeah, I enjoyed that there.
And can you tell me a little bit about what the Yew Tree was like when you grew up?
The Yew Tree, there was lots of shops in the Yew Tree that, it was a good shopping centre. Erm, you used to have Woolworths and, butchers, erm shoe shops, erm a big sweet shop and where the bank is, Lloyds TSB bank, used to be erm a shop that used to sell school uniforms… there. But erm, it was erm, yeah, Profit and Westwood [ph] was there. So there was lots of, lots of shops there. I can’t remember all of them but I can remember the ones that, we used to sort of go, but I know it was always, always lots of people at the Yew Tree and it’s a shame because I think, the shopping centre, Tesco’s and that has took all of that away and you don’t get many people down the Yew Tree now and it’s, it is a shame because it was a good shopping centre.
And, and the Yew Tree pub, did you ever go in there?
No, I didn’t go in there. I didn’t erm, I didn’t go down there. I used to just keep really, erm, round like the Swan or Bloomers Nightclub, and then when I met my husband, obviously we went further, but it was a thing that mum and dad, you know, you stayed local really. You didn’t, you know, even to go to the Yew Tree was quite a bit, you know, further away than they wanted me to go.
So you met your husband.
Where did you get married?
We’d got married at Yardley Old Church, in 1977 and erm, we came, we bought a house, Deakins Road, the house that I’m in now. And erm, we, we’ve stayed in the house, we’ve stayed. And I had Laura, my daughter, she’s 36 and erm, yeah, we’re happy. Yeah.
So what was, what as Deakins Road like when you first moved onto here?
Deakins Road was, erm, very quiet road, there was no cars in Deakins Road at all, no cars at all. If there were y, they were very lucky to, to have a car. Now, everybody has a car now, you know, the, the son, the daughter, the hus, you know, the mum, the dad. So erm, that’s, that’s the main thing with erm, I think with Deakins Road, is there’s a lot of cars. Well it’s, there’s a lot of cars everywhere. But erm, got some nice neighbours, nice Asian neighbours, erm, very nice, get on very well with them. So it’s a mixture now in the road.
And when you first moved in it wouldn’t have been like that?
No. No, there was just erm, it was, there was a few Asians, er but not very many. But they were nice. On, on the corner of erm, Geraldine Road not, not far from where I live there was a nice family called the Kelsi’s, they were very nice, very nice people.
So other, other than the community change on your road and the cars, is there anything else that has, n, you’ve noticed that has changed just on your road?
[Draws breath] Uh, b, obviously more children, but at one time children used to play out, but they don’t seem to play out now. I think it’s because erm, you’ve got the community centre that have erm activities on, they’ve got the skateboard, park, they’ve got the erm, little erm, play area, and I think erm that helps a lot, because otherwise there was nothing for the children to do.
So when you were small you used to play out on the street?
No. Wasn’t allowed to play out on the street, because my mum used to say to us, ‘You, that’s what the back garden’s for, that’s what your garden’s for’. So we never played out on the street, we used to play in the garden. Never wanted, I never rode a bike; because we wasn’t allowed on the street I never learnt to ride a bike, and my brother and my sister can’t ride a bike either… so. The only time I was allowed out on the street was when I used to take the neighbours’ babies for a walk in the pram. I used to like to do that. And that was the only time I was allowed to, to go out on the street. On a Sunday, me and my sister used to go down to the erm, [tut] called Durham’s, a shop called Durham’s, erm, to get erm ice cream, a tin of salmon and a hot loaf, a hot sliced bread. We used to, that, we could go out and do that, and I mean the tin of salmon for five was only the smallest tin, but that was our Sunday er treat that was.
Did you ever [clears throat] g, go swimming?
Yeah, we used to go to erm Stechford. Er, we went there with school and then in the school holidays we used to go, I used to go with friends and it had the lido then. And, when I was younger, summers were summers, we alway, we had terrible bad winters but you always knew you’d have a nice summer. And we used to spend days down there in the lido, that was nice that was, I enjoyed doing that. Nice to go swimming.
So bringing you a bit more up to date, Elaine, again, they’ve re, they’ve regenerated the Swan Centre. How, what do you think about the new s, the new Centre?
[Draws breath] I, I think it’s, it’s nice. Erm, the only thing is that there’s, shops open then they close down, so erm [Pause] I quite enjoy going up there… but I don’t think it’s the same as, your own little corner shop. And in Deakins Road on every corner they used to have a corner shop, as they did in all roads, and I think you lose that erm, [tut] it, it’s not the same, you lose that friendliness and, you know, in the supermarkets whereas everywhere else, they’re just there and, taking your money ‘cause the firm’s gotta profit. But whereas your corner shops, they’ve got time for you. So it’s erm… it’s nice, it looks nice but erm, I’m not very, I’m not very keen on it.
So you’ve lived in Yardley all your life.
What’s your fondest memories of Yardley?
My fondest memories? I think my fondest memories really is, is… erm, my childhood. My childhood, both at, living with my nan and granddad and erm, in Warwell Lane where mum and dad moved. My childhood, I had a lovely childhood. I, you know, it really… nothing, you know, you just, you hadn’t got a lot, mum and dad hadn’t got a lot of money, but that didn’t bother you because everybody else didn’t have a lot of money so you was all the same, and you used to make your own entertainment and y, we always had a meal, a hot meal. But I just, just, my childhood, I loved my childhood.
So what do you like about Yardley, the area itself that made you not want to move away from it?
I think it’s because I’ve grew up in Yardley and I knew the area and I didn’t wanna lea, move… far away from mum and dad, erm and my husband lived in Small Heath so, we were sort of in the middle of the a, you know, so… I just felt comfortable. I knew the area and I’ve lived, as I’ve lived there, here all my life I didn’t really wanna move away.
Is there anything you don’t like about Yardley?
[Pause] I can’t think really. [Pause] I can’t think. [Pause] I think, everything, things have changed obviously and they’re supposed to change for the better, the new road, like I say, and the new stores. I mean the new Lidl’s, they’ve knocked down Dollard and Atchinson [ph] which was at, you know, all the old places, erm, old firms have sort of gone to make way for new ones and I think that’s a shame, because that spoils, the area. I know it’s all, progress, but it’s, it’s a shame that is, to spoil the area.
So you met your husband in Bloomers?
Can you tell us a bit about that, how you met him?
[Chuckles] Well, I was, at, at the bar, wa, m, going to buy a drink and erm he stood next to me and I said, ‘If you get served before me… will you get the drinks?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ And I waited away and he said, ‘Oh, tara.’ A, and his mate, his friend had got the drinks so I had to get my own drink, but then erm… then we met there and then that was it then, erm, met him in the September, in the March we got engaged, the following March we got engaged and then three years after we got married. So erm… yeah, he’s erm, he’s very good.
What was the nightclub like, can you describe it a little bit to me?
It was erm… you went, had to go up the stairs, you had to go upstairs ‘cause it was on the top, it wasn’t erm, you didn’t go into the nightclub, you went upstairs, erm… through some doors… along there was the reception where you paid, then you went through and there was the cloakroom, where, as I’ve said, my erm [tut] friend’s mother worked there. And then you used to go through another door and you’d got, seats at the back and go down steps to a big dance floor and you’d got, s, seats round, and then there was another smaller dance floor, there was the bar, one bar, there was, two, three bars actually. One bar there, a big bar, then there was a smaller bar up s, up the s, some steps where, and there used to be erm a place where they used to cook food, [draws breath] and then there was another bar over the other side. It’s quite a big place really, quite big.
Was it, when you used to attend there was it an, a, a dance hall or was it a disco?
A disco. It was a disco. Yes, and like I say, they used to have groups come from erm… come to play at, Bloomers and then they used to go to Dolce Vita. So erm, Screaming Lord Sutch, Long John Baldry, and then they used to go then to erm Bloomers.
So what, what groups have you seen, did you see while you were going there?
[Pause] Now I can’t remember all of them [chuckles].
Oh a few.
A few. Erm, Tremeloes, I’ve seen the Tremeloes, the Searchers… erm, and there was one called Screaming Lord Sutch. He was erm, he was quite erm, eccentric he was… so erm…
So they used to have some big names play?
Yes, yes they did, yeah. Like I say, they used to go to Dolce Vita after so, so they finished probably about twelve o’clock at Bloomers then went to Dolce Vita till… two, ‘cause the clubs used to finish then, we used to finish at two o’clock then. So erm…
And was Bloomers open till two o’clock?
Yes, yeah, it was yeah. Yeah, I used to go every night except for erm a Tuesday.
You went to the club every night?
Yeah. Except for Tuesday.
So it was open as a club every night?
Yeah, yes.
Was it open till two o’clock every, every night?
Not Sunday. Sunday I think it was erm, I think it was eleven o’clock Sunday because then places didn’t stay open, on a Sunday, they, [clicking noise] not late anyway, they closed early on a Sunday. ‘cause on a Sunday there was no shops open at all. There was the, a newsagent’s open probably till lunchtime but there was n, no other shops. Your corner shop would probably open but not, if you went into town there would be no shops open at all in, on Sunday in town.
So was Tuesday your night of rest?
The night I used to erm, stay in and do my washing. Mum used to do my washing but I used to do some washing and help my sister tidy the bedroom up.
[Draws breath] So you didn’t stay till two o’clock every morning though, I take it?
Some, erm… no, not, not all, not every morning, no, no it wasn’t two o’clock. If it was two o’clock I used to uh, erm, my dad would be watching out for me. He would be waiting and, and saying, ‘Where have you been?’ But erm, he was very, he wasn’t strict but erm it was, not erm, a good time to come in, he didn’t call it a re, a reasonable time to come in.
Is there anything else, Elaine, you’d like to share with us?
[Pause] I can’t think there is. [Pause] No, I can’t think there is, I think that’s, you know, I hope I’ve erm [Pause] explained, you know, a lot about my childhood and, my later years.
And I’d like to thank you very much for taking part in our project, and I’ve really enjoyed it. Thank you very much.
Thank you.
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