Edgar Street numbers 4-12
Name: Edgar Street numbers 4-12
Description: Edgar Street numbers 4-12
Collection: Leeds City Engineer's Department, clearance photographs
Location: NowThen
Reference: LC/ENG/acc2007/20
Contributor: West Yorkshire Archive Service
Rights: West Yorkshire Archive Service
Derek's grandparents were Irish. Derek's family came across from Tipperary. Derek was born and grew up on The Bank at 12 Edgar Street, near the school clinic.
Museum Terrace, Beckett Street
Name: Museum Terrace, Beckett Street
Description: Museum Terrace, Beckett Street
Collection: Leeds City Engineer's Department, clearance photographs
Location: NowThen
Reference: LC/ENG WYAS1067 Box103/3 No263
Contributor: West Yorkshire Archive Service
Rights: West Yorkshire Archive Service
Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow
Name: Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow
Description: Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow
Collection: PhotoPress
Location: NowThen
Reference: WYL5000
Contributor: West Yorkshire Archive Service
Rights: West Yorkshire Archive Service

Derek’s grandparents were Irish. Derek’s family came across from Tipperary. Derek was born and grew up on The Bank at 12 Edgar Street, near the school clinic. Interestingly, Sheila and Derek discovered that Sheila’s grandfather had been born in the same house years before. This photograph shows 12 Edgar Street at the left hand side of the picture.

When Derek married Sheila they moved into a back to back in the Nippets. It was an up and down with a cellar. They lived there for six years, until the bad gales of 1963 blew most of the roof off. They moved to a two bedroom flat on North Parkway where they lived for 12 years.

After this they moved in with Sheila’s mam to help look after her. After a struggle they managed to get Derek’s name on the rent book so that they could not be made to leave if anything happened as they were giving up the flat to help care for Sheila’s mam. They had to write to their local MP Mr Cohen to eventually get the rent book altered. Eventually they bought that house off the Council and lived there for 25 years before moving out to Cross Gates where they are now. “It was a good move getting our names on the rent book. The Council house was a good deposit for the bungalow”

“There used to be lots of picture houses all within 15 minutes walking distance of my house. Some were five minutes others more like 15minutes, but all walking distance. Now you have to go to The Light in the centre of town.” Derek pointed out.

“There was the Star, the Regent, the Princess, the Hillcrest and the Shaftesbury. There was the Saturday penny rush at the cinemas when you could see films like Flash Gordon. We used to run errands to earn a penny to go to the cinema. Sometimes you got jam and bread instead of any money. You’d rush around all morning trying to earn enough to go.”

The York Road swimming baths were lovely swimming baths. “I can remember going there when I was younger but I think they are going to turn them into flats or offices now.” Derek remembers another Leeds swimming pool “On Union Street, behind the market was another swimming pool where you could get a cup of Bovril for a penny from the bath offices.”

One of Derek’s strong memories from his upbringing during the war was one without sweets or tropical fruit, things that are taken for granted nowadays.

“We didn’t have oranges and other tropical fruits. I remember going up to the police station to watch a banana being auctioned. I went down as I’d never seen a banana before and just wanted to know what it looked like. It was auctioned four times, each time the person gave it back to be auctioned again. All they wanted was to see it up close. The last gentleman to buy it took it home though. His daughter was very ill and apparently the banana was good for her recovery.”

Derek’s father died when he was 3 years old, so his grandparents looked after him and his brother and sister whilst his mum went out to work for 10 shillings a week to keep them. To get a new pair of boots Derek remembers his uncle taking him down to the Town Hall. There were lots of other children there, all sat in chairs round the room. “You had to take you boots and socks off and they came round and gave you a new pair. You couldn’t get take the old pair home as well mind. The boots had two holes punched in the, so you couldn’t take them to the pawn brokers.”