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My Memories by Ella Washington

Firstly, what a website - well done to Elaine and anyone else who helped!

I lived at Westhead Cottages next to Singleton’s farm, Mapperley Brook until it was condemned and demolished with my sister Christine and brothers Gerald (Ged) and Michael (the Washingtons to those who may remember us).  Dad used to work at the Screens and sometime he used to sneak us in for a bath on a Saturday afternoon rather than us having to get the tin bath out. We also used to help ourselves to slack for the fire. I can also remember having the "lavatory man" come to empty our toilet every couple of weeks as we didn't have a flush toilet and there was six of us!! I dropped the torch in the toilet once - not sure if it stayed there or if someone got it out!!  We ‘emigrated’ to West Hallam when I was eleven years old.


Looking at the website brought back loads of memories, although I can't actually remember Vanessa’s sewing incident, it seems familiar perhaps because she told me about it some time!

I remember Mrs Foster with fondness, but Mrs Challans because she once hit me round the head.  We were obviously learning about gravity and she asked if anyone could think of anything that if you threw it up in the air would not come down. My answer was if you threw a stick up in the air and it got stuck in a tree it would not come down. I couldn't understand why she was so cross with me because it was true!!

Once we were asked to do a 'turn' and the only thing I thought I would be good at was spinning round on one leg - luckily I had sturdy brown suede zip up ankle boots on and managed very well. I probably couldn't have performed so well in ballet shoes anyway!! I remember Mrs Challans telling us to lay our heads on our desks and close our eyes at the end of each day - if you peeped like me you will remember her pulling up her stockings and re-adjusting her suspenders!!


My friend Joyce Richardson and brother Bob along with sisters Elaine and Janet.  I remember Gladys Webster very well - such a character. I spent a lot of time at the Bowling Alley in my teens and Gladys worked there. One of her sayings was "why balls"!!  I actually met my husband Geoff at the Bowling Alley and we had our wedding do there.  Gladys also had a daughter Jean.

I remember Mollie and Bill Skinner, Pat and Gillian Greatorex, Mrs McGill and son Michael, Pauline Czypak, Susan and Steven Peacock (beautiful blonde haired kids), Judith and Jean Martin, Mr Hawley, Anthony and Graham Crooks (from Crooks’ farm).

I also remember the Rev. Joe Martin at Mapperley church. He was very progressive for his time, especially after Reverend Spencer!  I sang the first verse of Once in Royal David's City as a solo once at Evensong. At other times in church I remember fighting to stay awake (Mr Bean) and also having attacks of the giggles at the most inappropriate times. We used to have a threepeny bit for the collection but I seem to remember that some of it used to go on 4 fruit salads or 4 black jacks.


I remember the Mapperley Fair - waltzer etc very exciting at the time.  The school fairs were also exciting I used to spend my pocket money on Christmas presents there and always managed to get something nice (usually a broach for my Mum and bath cubes or bath salts for my sister Christine). So many bargains for one with so little to spend. Mum used to go to the Women’s Institute and seemed to spend most of her time making hats.

I was also the last one of our family to get Mumps and had to go to school on my own while the others were off and then stay at home on my own when the others went back to school.

Living next to Singleton's farm I remember pigs being born, 'Storm' the white horse in the field next to us, potato picking by hand, the trains running at the end of our garden and the freedom of being able to wander safely wherever you wanted.  All the cows had names and there was even one who let us sit on her back.

If only we could turn back time!

Thanks for reading my rambles.

Ella Washington

Feb 2012


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