Aireborough Historical Society

1926-1939 Childhood Memories Part 9

The Childhood Memories of John (Malcolm) Denison
Date 1926-1939
Location Yeadon

Comment A further trip Dad took me on was to see the Tattoo in Roundhay Park but I rather think taking me was an excuse for him to go, I must have been quite young since I remember nothing of the show itself.
Year after year at Feast Week the family plus a great many others would take themselves off to the Lancashire coast.
For us it was almost always Morecambe but sometimes Bispham, never Blackpool.
This was the one and only time when a train left Henshaw Station normally used for only goods and bringing coal for consumption in the mills.
For obvious reasons it was called 'The Ghost Train' and would pick up other passengers at Guiseley.
Memory wipes out little things so I don't know much about the holiday except once building a sand speedboat.

Before Christmas there were two events, Bonfire and Mischievous Nights the latter being overtaken by Halloween, we did not dress up just went round playing tricks.
Adults usually had enough sense not to respond to taps on the window caused by a button on a piece of cotton operated from a hiding place some distance away after which we ran.
'Buzzing' drainpipes had to cease with the outcome of the war.
This was created by lightly stuffing paper up the bottom end of the spout the lighting it.
Dependent upon the length or diameter of the pipe different pitches and volume would be produced.
Pipes were then made of cast iron so it would be inadvisable for present day children to try this with plastic pipes.

Bonfire Night was good for me since it was also my birthday which meant that I would have bought extra fireworks from cash presents.
Different neighborhoods would have their own bonfire and 'chumping' began in early October.
This involved finding dead tree branches and anything else made of wood which would burn.
It was considered acceptable to raid other bonfire sites, I recall a gang of us going to the Cricket Field where we 'lifted' several branches then had to drag them all the way to Wilson's Field where our bonfire was being built.
We would also go around door-knocking asking for unwanted items.
I, with a mate, went to my Great Uncle Harry who gave us a large heavily carved armchair which I could visualize on top of the bonfire with the guy sitting in it.
It was not to be.
On seeing it my Dad declared it too good to burn and, for many years, it graced the living room becoming his chair.
It was later relegated to the front cellar where it survived 'for donkeys years'.

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