One day we thought we would get some ‘slabs’ and sell them uncut from the shop, I think our venture only lasted a couple of days and we only made a few bob.
Sticky Jim (surname unknown) ran a firewood bundling business from a large shed built alongside the old Winding House beside the cricket ground.
On Saturdays, some of us used to help to bundle the sticks. You did this by putting a handful of sticks into a circular clamp or vice, which you then closed with your foot, pressing down on a lever. You then wrapped the bundle around with wire and threw it onto a huge heap, ready for Sticky to deliver. The sticks were made from logs approximately six inches long, these were then split into sticks by some sort of mechanical chopper.
I don’t remember how much he paid us but it was not a lot. One day we thought we would get some ‘slabs’ as they were called – long pieces of wood cut off the sides of the logs – and sell them uncut from the shop. We scrounged a barrow from some kind soul and off we went down to the wood yard down by the docks. We got the slabs off some good-hearted sawmen and set off with our barrow fully loaded around the back lanes of the village to sell them.
Unfortunately, we gave large amounts for very little money, especially to old people. I think our venture only lasted a couple of days and we only made a few bob.