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The Day Before Yesterday: 138 - Selling The House

Gladys Schofield and her family part with their family home piror to emigrating to New Zealand.

Susan wasn't happy about leaving her friends in England. She was just fifteen and had already taken a part time job, Saturday mornings, serving on a stall in the large covered market in Huddersfield. She enjoyed this work giving her a taste of independence girls her age seem to want. She had grown more generous over the years, no more cheating her little sisters and always bought us all presents for birthdays and anniversaries, I have kept one of the presents she bought Cliff and I when she was aged fourteen, a set of small whisky glasses.

Susan had just started to enjoy herself as a teenager. The community organised so much for this age group, she looked forward to these weekly entertainment's with her friends. I knew she would miss ali this and told myself she would soon put it all behind her when she started her new life, but how wrong we were.

David was a bigger worry being well into his apprenticeship but still having to serve two more years before qualified. We asked him if he would like to finish his course in New Zealand. "No" said he, "I want to continue my studies here. I don't want separating from Pat now I have got to know her".

We had no idea his attachment was so serious. "But you are both so young" we argued, "you will have plenty of time for girlfriends when you have finished your exams" I said.

At this David boldly pointed out his parents were younger than himself when they were going steady. So what could we say, he would reach the age of nineteen before we left. He had always had a large family around him and I wondered if this younger son would cope as well as his brother. Families still usually stayed in the family home until marriage. This move to independence was new in England and amazed us, when we first came to New Zealand to see seventeen and eighteen year olds flatting.

Winter is not the best time to sell a home in England. I would think the worst month was November, if it wasn't blowing a gale in the lifeless trees, the fog would sweep in and silently cover everything, bringing night time much earlier than it was already. Cliff still used his motorbike for work and one day the fog was so thick, not even the headlights of the vehicles could show the way. Cliff crawled down the road, hugging the pavement. All went well for a while until he turned into a farmers field, mistaking the gateway for a branch in the road but he wasn't on his own. The traffic behind had been following his tail light and seeing him turn had done the same.

Since they used the gas for central heating in the homes, some of the problem was eliminated. The closing of the Mill's sometime later, just about solved it.

Winter had also brought a new garment into fashion to wear with trousers, the anorak. This was very useful and both male and female found them ideal Winter wear.

We put an ad in the Saturday paper in the For Sale column giving details of our house. It could take months to sell, not many would want a house this size and who would buy in Winter. That very day the ad was shown, we got a phone call. Someone was interested and wanted to inspect the property. This was much too soon, we had not expected this and I hoped it was only curiosity but no, these people had always admired our home and were keen to take it off our hands and wanted to take over in the shortest time possible. This gave us only four weeks to find rented accommodation and we had to move two weeks before Christmas.

We scanned the paper for suitable accommodation and nothing seemed to suit our requirements. Time was getting short, so seeing a three bedroomed property for rent in another district, I thought I had better take a look. It was only for a few months anyway.

Rod having passed his final exam was already making plans to join his brother in Canada. He offered to come with me to inspect this place. It was unusual to see a young man of Rodney's age carrying his baby brother onto the buses, accompanied by his mother but it didn't seem to worry him at all.

it wasn't far out of town, the bus ran past the door but that was aii there was good about this house as it stood old and gaunt looking. Its narrow windows afraid to let the sunshine in, to stir it out of its misery. It looked better around the other side, as a bay window looked out onto a terraced garden that levelled into a lawn, edged with a flower bed. At least the children would have somewhere to play.

At five pounds, the rent was more than we were paying, to buy our home but we had to make haste and decided we had better take it.

The small front room could be used for a bedroom for the boys, the other three bedrooms would sleep the girls and ourselves and the larger living area and kitchen would be ali we would require for this short time.

Our television had only been rented and we let it go back when we moved. This really annoyed Susan as she watched a serial weekly called The Man From Uncle. This was soon taken care of, by a friendly lady over the road who befriended us early and invited her to watch it in her home.
Whisky our cat only stayed two days, we thought he had settled down. He went out one night and never came in, in the morning although we asked our old neighbours to let us know if he turned up at our old home, he wasn't seen again.


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