More Children

Sarah and Henry Flavell in Back 10 had 10 children:

May, Clara (died at the age of 14 months), Daisy, Bill, Rose, Jack, Harry, George, Mary, and Norman.

Although life was hard, with money in short supply, the family had happy memories of their time in Back 10. As the family increased in size, so did the amount of work that Sarah had to do. Daisy helped with the housework by cleaning the house, washing the clothes, looking after the children, and running errands.

Daisy and May Flavell in the old yard.

She went to Dorset Road School, which was situated on part of the present Woods Bank housing estate.

Daisy enjoyed School and had many friends. At lunchtime she would take lunches to friends and relatives from the old yard who worked locally. The money collected from this was given to her mother, as every little helped. Each Sunday she went to the service at St George's Church on Darlaston Green, where she was confirmed.

There was a wonderful community spirit among the people who lived in the old yard. A good example happened on every bonfire night when a large bonfire would be built, and roast chestnuts and potatoes were in plentiful supply. Everyone joined in the festivities.

Bill and Daisy Whitehouse's family at number 8 increased in size. They had three children; Bill, George, and Gladys, and from an early age a lifetime's friendship began for cousins Bill Whitehouse and Harry Flavell, who were always the best of friends.

Daisy Flavell used to take all of her little brothers, sisters, and Bill Whitehouse to Bilston each year for the Easter Fair, which was held in the market hall. She always bought toys for everyone and took a lot of care of them. On the way they would stop outside St. Mary’s Church in Oxford Street for a drink from the fountain. They also used to go to the funfair, or the circus that was occasionally held on the "Wake Field" where Pinfold Street School playing fields are today. There used to be a bakery at Catherine’s Cross, and each day the whole area would fill with the delicious smell of freshly baked bread.

Daisy sometimes recalled one visit to the circus that was out of the ordinary. The elephants could no longer resist the tempting smells from the bakery and escaped. They soon covered the one hundred and fifty yards or so to Catherine’s Cross and helped themselves to all of the freshly baked bread in the shop.

Henry Flavell in his best suit.

Fanny Harris and two of her Salvation Army colleagues. On the left is Charles Fletcher, and on the right, Albert Bayley.

Every Sunday the children had to go to the service at the Salvation Army, probably due to their Aunt Fanny's influence.  On each visit they were all given a card which was stamped with a blue cross. When they arrived home the cards were inspected to see if they had been stamped, if anyone's card hadn't been stamped they were in for a lot of trouble.

The children all followed in Daisy's footsteps by delivering breakfasts and dinners to relatives at work, and also had to deliver copies of "The War Cry" for their Aunt Fanny.

Some of the children occasionally helped at Andrew's Farm which was owned by Mary and Jim Andrews who had a wheat field near the canal and a herd of cows. The farm stood near the western side of what is now Darlaston Community Science College in Herberts Park Road.

Jack and Harry Flavell, and Bill Whitehouse worked there while still at school. Jack took the cows to be milked, and helped at harvest time. He was always known as "sonny" to Mr. Andrews. Both Jack and Bill used to operate the cream making machine, and a mango cutter which cut mangos into strips for cattle feed.

Bill Whitehouse once worked for a whole week cutting mangos while on holiday. He operated the machine for several hours each day, and was only paid 3d for the whole weeks work. He realised that he had been exploited and never went back. Mary Andrews delivered the milk to people's homes in a churn which would be considered very unhygienic by today's standards.

Cricket matches were played by the side of Andrew's Farm, the score numbers being put on the side of the farmhouse. The children used to watch these matches which were very popular. Football was another popular game to play, but footballs were expensive. A couple of doors down from number 8 stood Spittle's shop. They bought pigs for slaughter and afterwards sold the meat. The pigs were killed at the back of the shop, and their screams rang out each time one was killed. Mr. Spittle gave Harry Flavell and Bill Whitehouse the pig's bladders which were tied, and blown-up for use as footballs.

Bill Flavell kept pigeons and chickens. He used to buy eggs which were then only a halfpenny each from George and Lillian Perrins' shop to put under his pigeons. Bill's uncle, George Whitehouse also kept pigeons.

The men in the Old Yard played marbles, and drank in the two pubs in Forge Road. The New Junction was known as Aston's after the family who owned and ran it, similarly Herberts Park Tavern used to be called Nancy's.

Henry and Sarah occasionally drank in the Bulls Head in Cock Street. It had a yard where children could play and so they sometimes took young Daisy along with them. They would also take the children out for a walk on sunny weekends, often to Bentley, which was still open countryside with corn and cabbage fields. Harry Flavell and Bill Whitehouse sometimes walked to Penn Common on their days out.

The Whitehouse family behind number 8.

When gas was installed at number 8 a gas meter was fitted in the cellar. It included a gas trap which had to be frequently topped-up with water. The water would evaporate resulting in a smell of gas throughout the house. It became Bill Whitehouse's job to top-up the trap with water. Failure to do so would have been very dangerous.

Return to
  Return to
the contents
  Proceed to
Later Years