Some early photos

The first photo was taken at the door to the Council flat (see here) where I was born. The block of flats is in Long Lane. The only photo I could find on the Internet was this one (see here) but it is a rear view. There are quite a few blocks close together that look very similar. When mum was small, the site was covered by a factory, Pink’s. According to a reference I found on the Internet, the firm was a “wholesale confectioners, pickle, marmalade and jam makers, dry-salters and producers of canned fish.” The factory apparently opened in the early 1880s, closed around 1930 and was demolished some years later. As a small child, mum remembers going there to be given small pieces of cloth. She doesn’t know what the company used the cloth for.

My block of flats was called Dunkirk House, presumably a reference to the British army’s miraculous escape from the Germans in 1940 (see here). In the recent movie Atonement, the protagonist dies at Dunkirk. The name “Dunkirk House” does have a long history in London, however.

I was born at No. 14, at the right-hand end of the third-floor landing (the second floor in England – ground floor, first floor, second floor). The numbering of the flats has since changed. The flats were new when I was born and had two bedrooms. We were lucky to get one.

Seeing the photo again just reminded me of a couple of things. First, standing on the balcony we had a good view to the north and east. Tall flats were later built opposite ours and blocked the view. I remember very clearly listening to the pealing of bells from several churches simultaneously on Sunday mornings, it was a wonderful sound. Out on the street, there was a long water trough on the pavement (sidewalk). Horses were no longer a common sight but Í do remember seeing the carts of rag and bone men (see here).

These two were obviously taken on Sunday outings.

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