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The Day Before Yesterday: 68 - Pretty Fish

...The milk was still delivered by horse and cart to our house. It was lovely and creamy. He was a local farmer known by everyone and would ladle it from a large churn into your jug or bowl each morning...

Gladys Schofield tells of the days before there was a refrigerator in every home.

We heard my brother Charles was in hospital. Not by enemy action, he had been burned by a fire in his 'billet' which is a large hut the servicemen used for living and sleeping quarters. He had been on night duties and was the only one sleeping in the hut. It was winter and the stove must have ignited something. He slept on unaware of the fire travelling quickly around the walls. Eventually the noise of people shouting, wakened him up. He couldn't see the door for smoke and flames but knew more or less where it should be, so holding a blanket over his head, he dived in that direction. Luckily he had guessed right and apart from getting a few burns on his arms and smoke inhalation, he was soon well again.

The people who lived in the village at the top of the hill, could not accept strangers. They were a close knit community, living all their lives in the same surroundings. It could take years before you were accepted, I was alright as I was married to Cliff and they had known him all his life. They called me Mrs Clifford. The chapel was the one place of worship and all the children attended the one school, that is up to high school age depending on their ability.

Having a bus service gave them the opportunity to spread their wings a little and bring fresh blood into the community.

Children know what is right and wrong at a young age and will see how much they can get away with before you say, "No". I feel it's wrong to punish a child, by sending it to bed without a meal, a small smack at the time does no harm. A smack is different to someone venting their frustration and anger on others, they are just bullies. Children learn by example, they need to feel secure and to know you love them.

Age two can be a very trying time for parents. At this age they see no danger, life is just one big adventure to them. That could be why they call it 'the terrible two's'. Sometimes just the raising of a voice can make a child realise his behaviour is unacceptable.

Some children are always harder to handle than others and in war time, as today, with most of the male population not at home very often, some little ones look at Daddy as an intruder with his visits being few and far between. It is very important not to show favouritism, a child's behaviour may be because of this unstable family life and would need more comfort than scolding.

A baker with his van came to the top of the steep path near our homes. It was all home baked in wooden trays and with it being rationed too, it was easier to buy the allocated allowance than buy all the ingredients needed for baking. We always had more than enough. It was the teenaged families who got the most, they received more than adults in the growing years, from age twelve to eighteen years.

The milk was still delivered by horse and cart to our house. It was lovely and creamy. He was a local farmer known by everyone and would ladle it from a large churn into your jug or bowl each morning. We got Wheat-a-bix and porridge oats along with other cereals, for breakfast and I would try to cook something tasty for the midday meal. Alan took a liking to fish and anything he liked, he always put "pretty" in front of it. If I said "What shall we have for dinner today?", he would say "Pretty fish".

The milk was kept cool on the shelves around the top of the cellar, this place was always white washed to reflect as much light as possible as you didn't have a
window and had to rely on the electricity to see. The cellar kept your perishables cool and that was most important, with no refrigerators.


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