“Dear son, we have moved house…”

In the following excerpt Ron Jones recalls coming home on leave from National Service in the early 1950s to be greeted by a stranger in what he thought was his house. He recalls how his mother’s desire to live in a house with a garden meant the family exchanged their house in the inner city for a house further out in the suburbs of the city:

length of audio: 4 mins 24 secs

Lands end to Liverpool, Ron and Edna Jones 23 June 1963

Lands end to Liverpool, Ron and Edna Jones 23 June 1963

Ron: I went in the pay corp in March nineteen fifty three and I got posted to Nottingham. Now I’d been in Nottingham, you get your posting and you go direct from basic training to your posting so of course I informed me dad, cos he used to do all the letter writing, of the new address, Royal Army Pay Corp, Chalfont Drive, Nottingham and you were there for about a fortnight, this was a settling in period and then they gave you a fortnight’s leave you see after your basic training. So right, good. Closed me barrack room locker up, gets on a train, they give you a pass to get on the train, comes home, gets off at Lime Street, gets the tram car up to Lodge Lane, gets off at Lodge Lane, walks down to Dove Street, walked in the hall and there’s this fella, total stranger, sitting in the house. He looked at me, I looked at him and he was up out of his chair like a shot. “What are you doing here?” I said “Well more to the point”, I said “what are you doing here.?” He said “I live here”, I said “no you don’t I live here.” So we had a little bit of a tete a tete and he said “who are you?” and so I told him. “Is your mum and dad Ron and Sissy Jones”, I said “yes”, “we’ve done a swap with them.” And he had to tell me where to go [laughter]. I had to go out, I got the tram car to Kensington and from Kensington, how did I get there, I got the number ten.

Edna: To Page Moss.

Ron: To Page Moss. There was no buses at all down Stockbridge Lane then. I got off at Page Moss and it was like getting off on the moon, no idea where I was. So the first person I stopped “Excuse me do you know where Sleaford Road is?” No idea. I must have asked about half a dozen people. In the end I found out where Sleaford Road was and I went down Stockbridge Lane, found out where Sleaford Road was, went to number two, knocked on the door and me dad answered the door and I said “thanks very much.” “What for”, I said “I’ve just been to fifty one Dove Street” and I said the fella there, he got a shock I got a shock. I said “and it’s cost me two and a half hours to get here.” “Well I did write you a letter”, I said “yeah when?” “I wrote you a letter on Friday.” I said “we’re not in the office until Monday” because all our letters used to go to the office. And that is the gods honest truth of while he’s away, lets move house [laughter] […] and of course my dad must have thought, oh write him a letter not thinking about the day, posted it and I didn’t, well I didn’t get it until I got back a fortnight later. “Dear son, please note we have moved house, we do not live at fifty one Dove Street anymore. We are now at number two Sleaford Road in Huyton. Have drawn you a map on the back of the letter [laughter]. Thank you very much.”

Hilary: Why did they decide to do the exchange?

Ron: The house that my mum and dad lived in in Dove Street was private landlord and it was one of these houses with the great big steel rods through. They were condemned oh during the war weren’t they Ed?

Edna: Well they must have been yeah.

Ron: But they were still up in I would say the nineteen sixties and my mum always wanted to move out of Dove Street. I don’t know why but she always wanted a house with a garden whereas inner city houses your front door went onto the street, you didn’t have a back garden you had a back yard, concrete and it was very narrow. She always wanted a house with a garden.

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Responses

  1. My Father’s family lived in Sleaford Rd Pagemoss, from the early 40’s right up until the late fifties Rimmer was their nmae
    TerryRimmer

  2. Terry
    I vaguley recall the name,after demob 1955 I went on the buses and joined the Darts team at Bow and Arrow .
    So most of the people I got to know were busmen and people from Cantrill Farm.
    We lived at number 2 Sleaford.
    After getting married I moved to Bluebell and eventually Netherley where I am now.
    very nice to hear from you
    regards
    Ron jones

  3. WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I used to live at 2 Sleaford Road.

    We moved there in 1968 and had to leave when the council compulsory purchased it in thelate 1990s.

  4. my mum and dad moved into 2 sleaford road in july 1969 and lived there untill the coulcil knocked it down in 2005.

  5. my mum an dad lived in 2 sleaford from 1969 till they knocked it down in 2005

  6. i lived in number 67 sleaford from 1974 to 1984, and we had a fab time there with the bonfire’s skating on ice outside rosie billenge’s, (coz there was a slope) we had the mobile shop opposite the squar, (not the triagle one) billy had that. kathy white, alice hennagen. flo henderson, billy keenan and pat hennagan (nee evans) were some of the old neighbours,,, and in later years the musle head’s lived next door to me they were so funny, jed,(deceised)tony, robbo the dad, betty the mum who robbo called big bird, and carol, tony’s wife, tho there was a debate on that one hahah.. tony an jed would have a fight an jed would shout have slept with your wife to wich tony would shout back ya but you were at the bottom of the bed and her the top hahaha,,, i would swap them back tomoro………xxx cathy skelhorn xx

  7. Ron. I was at RAPC Nottingham in 1954. The barracks were at Hucknall and we used to get bussed in to the office Chalfont Drive, Western Boulevard each day. Then I got posted to Singapore early in 1955 which was a lot better. I was born and raised in Liverpool (Walton) but moved to Leeds in 1951. I used to hitch-hike from Nottingham to Leeds on a week-end pass.
    Cheers.


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