Born in Bridge Road

A rather wintery Bridge Road in 1936 looking towards Valley Road
The cigarette counter at Welwyn Stores

Marjorie was born in Bridge Road, Welwyn Garden City in 1932. She recorded her early memories of the town for the Welwyn Garden Heritage Trust on 29th July 2009.

As a young child “there was no hot water, no baths. You had a bath in an old tin bath” and “we used to have a big old fashioned copper – you put wood in the bottom and boil the clothes up – in the corner of the kitchen.” She went to Parkway School remembering the journey to school “we had to walk every day. Long way for a little ‘un.”

Leaving Parkway at the age of eleven she then went to Handside School. “It was a bit scruffy – toilets outside and everything else in the yard. No indoor toilets or wash-basins or anything” but the “teachers were all right – my teacher lives over the road – Mr Cane. He’s nearly 100.”

When she left school Marjorie went straight into office work at Lincoln Electrics for a couple of months before going to work at the Welwyn Department Stores. “I worked on several counters. I didn’t like it very much. That was an experience I tell you being on counters in those days though. What with all the shortages and everything, people queuing up – it was terrible.” With the rationing that was going on “the worse thing was people queuing up for cigarettes. I had a funny old lady who was my manager and she used to hide the cigarettes but the men seemed to know when they were coming and they went from the – I think it’s a leather shop now – right the way round to the post office. The queues! They were so desperate they went to the back of the queue and started again!”

This page was added on 04/09/2011.

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