Sunday, 1 February 2009

Boxed Memories 2

My Dad comes from a railway family.

His father was a Railway Engineer and was granted a 'railway house' for the duration of his lifetime and that of his widow if he died first (which he did).

Employers looked after their staff it seems in those days!

Grandad retired and it was some years later, when steam gave way to electrified rails, that he was asked to come out of retirement to oversee this change for the Southern Railways. His detailed knowledge of the 'old system' being viewed as far more useful than any records that had been kept!

Grandad dies before I ever knew him, but I have very early memories of my Nanny living at their 'railway house' in Campbell Road, Eastleigh.

Specifically I remember the pitch black soil in the garden that produced wonderful vegetables.

The fact that there was no bathroom in the house.

That the parlour was out of bounds to children! But held unbelievable treats! That was where the round jigsaw was kept - that we were only allowed to play with if we had been good!

That there was a runner along the sideboard on which all the china ornaments were placed. And how easy it was for a child running past (when they shouldn't) to accidently catch the runner and cause the china to tumble!

In the boxes, I came across the rent book for the 'railway house' for whilst Nanny lived their as a Railway Widow.

She was paying £1 10s 0d per week in 1966.

(if you do not understand this UK money, ask your parents. Or, good grief, your grandparents!).
Which was increased by 4d per week in 1967.
The rent man came every week to collect the rent in cash.
And every six months, the Railway sent a man to inspect the rent book.

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