A Whitley Bay resident recalls when she first moved into her home with her husband and baby in 1947.
I was married in 1945 and we lived in with my parents in Monkseaton to start with. We moved into our own home in February 1947. We got word to say we could have the key and I remember there was thick snow on the ground.
Mam said, “You’re not going up there now”. But my husband Alan said, “Yes we are”. If we hadn’t, we would have lost our place and gone to the back of the queue. Goodness knows where we would have gone then. I went down to the Electricity Board and they said, “I’m sorry there’s no electricity in that street yet”. We fixed a gas mantle up on the wall at the side of the fireplace using the connection for the gas poker. We had to take a candle to bed, and we had some little paraffin lamps as well.
It took about a month before we were connected up for electricity. We had a gas fire in the bedroom, although it didn’t seem very safe as it would flare up when you lit it. There was a coal fire in the sitting room and a coke fire in the kitchen that had a boiler behind it to heat the water. We only used to light the coal fire at teatime because we didn’t have much coal. It was too expensive. Fortunately, it wasn’t too bad a winter that year.
Ours was one of the first streets to be built in the estate and there were open fields at the back stretching right across from Hillheads Road to Seatonville Road. A horse and cart came and dumped a load of topsoil for the back garden, but it was full of stones and rubbish.