REMINISCENCES of OLD TARVIN: Part 5

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This is Part 5 of our series of articles based on a talk that Miss Radcliffe (right) made to Tarvin Civic Trust. Most of her recollections describe Tarvin at the start of the 20th Century.

Miss Ratcliffe

"Below the Jackson's shop lived Nurse Edge (Pictured below). She had a long coat, a sort of mantle and a little blue straw bonnet with white ribbons tied under the chin. I don't know whether she was a fully authentic nurse, but she was a jolly good nurse. There wasn't much that Nurse Edge didn't know about babies and the like. Of course nobody went to hospital for babies, that was unheard of in those days."

"Edge was the third husband she had. Old Edge was a funny person. He had only one eye and one arm and he didn't have an artificial hand but he had a sort of leather cuff with a hook on the end. He made potato boxes and he would wheel the barrow up the street with the potato boxes with this hook on the end of his arm. I think I was slightly afraid of him."

Nurse Edge

Miss Radcliffe remembers when Nurse Wright arrived in Tarvin. "She put up a brass plate on the door. The plate said- 'Mrs. Marshall Wright C.M.B. by Exanination.' "My word we did think that was something really posh. Now we had a C.M.B. by Exanination!"

Nearby lived a lady with a German name. Miss Radcliffe thought it was Mrs. Schlesser. "I think she had come from Manchester. She wasn't very good at looking after herself or her money- Mrs. James Jackson looked after her .She always used to go to the Bottom chapel and her hats were a work of art. I am sure she made them herself. Great big hats. They had little bits of ribbon, bows, flowers and lace .I used to sit behind her and gaze at those hats."

"The Steatons kept a shop of all sorts. They ran a coal business. They used to sell vegetables; they sold everything under the sun in the front room of the house. It had never been converted to a shop properly, but they did have a counter and various shelves. They were a wonderful family who all lived together."

"There was old Mr. Steaton and Mrs. Johnson, Sam's wife, he was the blacksmith at Langfords and there was Mrs. Woodward, Willie Woodward's wife and he was carpenter at Langfords and they all lived together with Mr Frank Woodward- he was the only son- and they were perfectly happy together".

"There were all sorts of people who lived down the bottom end of the village and they seemed to be families with very small houses with no conveniences and large families.

High St

How on earth they brought them up clean and tidy and decent I cannot think .Some of them had 3 or 4 lads and girls and perhaps only two bedrooms in the house, how they did it I don't know. All credit to them I think!"

"The chip shop was down there. It was run by old Mrs. Woodcock and her husband and they had a lodger, Jim, who was Irish and our cowman. People used to say that Jim was fat because he had chips every night for supper. Jim had a great idea of taking a Friesian bull out on to the road. He said it would do him good to get him used to traffic. He would stop and have a bottle of lemonade, Jim would have half and the bull would have the other!"

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