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History and Recollections

Janet Dandy
Published in 1985 By Carnegie Press Copyright © Janet Dandy
Reproduced for reference only


In the first two decades of the twentieth century there were few shops. Provisions and groceries were brought to the door in vans (or mobile shops); Blackburns' man came three times a week from Croston with groceries, and Websters' from Bretherton came once and took orders for flour, meal etc.. Thomas Melling from Tarleton delivered grain for horses, cattle and poultry.

There were two butchers' shops, and a cow was killed on Thursday morning. School children would watch the cow being dragged to the slaughter, which took place just before nine in the morning. Then we witnessed the butcher poleaxe the beast and kill it. On Friday we could buy two or three pennyworth of liver - enough for a family - and on Saturday my mother bought six shillings worth of sirloin, with the bone and undercut - enough for a family for three meals.

Milk was delivered twice a day, and we had no refrigerator. The milk was carried in a float in large cans; from these the milk was ladled into the housewife's jug. In summer time milk had to be boiled or heated in a pan of boiling water to keep it fresh.

A man with a horse and cart sold blocks of salt, which we crushed with a rolling pin. Plenty of salt was used, as most villagers kept a pig or two and the hams and bacon were cured and put for a time on a salting stone in the pantry. The bacon was usually very fat, but most appetising when toasted in front of a glowing fire, even the rind was crispy and good to eat.

Rubbing stones, sand and chalk for cleaning stone flagged floors were purchased from Sand Tommy, who came from Southport with his pony and cart. Rubbing stone was used to clean the floor of greasy, dirty marks. The floor was then washed and sanded. The hearth and about a foot in width round the room were whitened with chalk. Paraffin was bought from a man with a cart. Every day lamps had to be refilled with paraffin, the glass polished and the wick trimmed ready for use in the evening.


Lock Cottages, at the corner of Sutton Avenue and Hesketh Lane. These cottages, which have been demolished, are so called because Sutton Avenue led down to the canal and boatyard..


Each week we got butter from the farm. Once I went for it, taking a basket and basin. On my way home I stopped at a friends house and we played in the orchard. I put my basket and butter by the tree trunk and we started to climb into the branches. Jumping down, I landed on the basket with dire consequences to the butter. I also went to the farm with a large can for two pennyworth of buttermilk; it was so good, with blobs of butter floating on top. My mother told me of a poor family in her young days whose main meal consisted of boiled potatoes with buttermilk poured over them.


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