My Mam and I use to go down to the Fish Quay and buy fresh fish. We would walk for miles around Forest Hall selling fish.
I remember when I was about 12-13 years old and we lived in Cullercoats. Every weekend in the summer Mam, my three brothers and me would go down to the rocks at Tynemouth to pick whelks. We would take them home to wash and boil, then take them down to the beach on the back at Cullercoats. Mam had a barrow that we used to sell them from, in little paper pokes. I think we used to charge sixpence a poke. They were the real barefoot summer days.
In the winter my Mam and I use to go down to the Fish Quay and buy fresh fish. We would walk for miles around Forest Hall selling fish. Mam also used to make fish cakes. I used to love the nights spent sitting by my Mum cutting up rags for clippy mats. When the mat was finished she used to sell them to the people living on Beverly Terrace.
We would also pick coal from the beach. One day was very sad as Mam got very wet by a wave and lost her twin boys. Some tears, but we also had some laughs. Like the times we used to go up to the farm and pick potatoes and turnips. I used to keep watch while Mam put some under the boys in the middle of the pram, so the farmer would not see.
We used to go along to the boatfield just by St. George’s Church every bonfire night. There were not many fireworks but plenty of roast potatoes and chestnuts. People would sing and dance, and as we got older we would look at all the lads wondering which one would ask for a kiss. It was a great feeling when the best looking lad asked you out. Sometimes going for long walks holding hands, wishing under the stars that you could stay out a bit longer.