Hi Joe----and friends,
Was it Highfield Road Football ground that you went to as a lad? [League Division Three - yes]
Not being "sporty" I don't know whether there was more than the ground that I named, (shame on you Muriel!).
If you walked there from Holbrooks it was a fair hike for a little lad! But of course those were the days when everyone walked, through necessity, mostly, and cycled if they were lucky!
Even as a pre-schooler my mother dragged me from Silverton Road, in the Paradise district, following the canal by the footpath above, over the humpety bridge and across Stoke Heath Common, passing the Football ground in Clay Lane, and on to Ball Hill and then along past the "Forum" cinema to "Auntie" Ida's house well down Longfellow Road . That, too was "a fair hike" for an adult, let alone a small girl.
My sister was of pushchair age, and I held onto the handle! It was a "cross-country" route, so saved having to catch two buses, with a changeover being made in the city centre. Anyway, money was tight and Mum couldn't afford to pay for fares unnecessarily. So like you Joe ---- and Len, ---- we walked --- and developed a pair of strong legs and a healthy disregard for the miles!
I have never attended a professional football match, but with your graphic description you made me feel as though I had! I can just see all those gaffers caps, rosettes and long, long scarves ---- and hear the racket of the rattles egging on the teams! And I loved your description of the players --- centre partings, Brylcreem and moustaches to hide a lack of teeth!!!
Football really never impinged on my conscience at that time, but evidently my Grandad Lucas, (boasting a fine bushy, beery moustache himself), was an avid supporter; a fact I recently learnt, and which surprised me.
For much of my early life I remember him as bedridden, in a double brass bedstead in the "frontroom" of their house. You entered the room straight from the front door. Bedridden or not, he was master of his house, and made the rules. One of which was that he would not have a "wireless" in the house!
Came the time that an International match was being played at Coventry --- and David was too ill to go to see it. He was very disappointed, and this is when my father, a truly unconfrontational man, struck! Gran and Auntie Florrie had long wanted a wireless set, but David was adamant --- and that was that!
My father took to talking about the match ---- and then slyly mentioned that it was being broadcast. He alluded to the spare set he had, as we had recently updated to the latest model boasting of "cats-eye" tuning, and still had our old set at home!
The set duly came up to Webster Street --- for the match only of course --------- but somehow stayed there! So the Lucas's acquired a wireless set and all because of the game of football. Two ladies were so pleased!
We have to smile at Dad's guile --- he'd have made a diplomat!
Thankyou, Joe, for a dip into the past, and the triggering off of my recollections of the mid 1930s.
PS. It was always referred to as "the wireless" when I was small. I think that the term "radio" came in with the war. Those early days were fraught with hisses, crackles and the vagaries of reception due to "sunspots". Delicacy in tuning was needed and I well remember Dad instructing me! The "cat's eye" was a great aid in ensuring accuracy! An age of exciting names, like Hilvershum and Luxemburg --- Dad enjoyed sharing his interest in them with me!