She lived in Clifford Street.
Before you got to 158 Newhampton Road, Riches Street
went off, and further back again was Clifford Street.
Grannie Harley had a retail coal business there. She
opened up and then I went to live with her, because
quite frankly Mother and I never got on. I don’t know
why. She seemed to take a sort of dislike to me and, as
I say, we couldn’t see eye to eye with each other. I
know her outlook was very, very narrow. As I began to
get older, I began to see things in a different light
and, let’s face it, Grannie Harley was quite a clever
and astute business woman.
I learned a lot from her. She was
one of those persons - what she wanted she got.
Gradually, as I got older, I related more to the
conditions she lived in than to my own parents. Poor
Dad, sad to say, he was hampered by rheumatism, and then
he left Hereford and went to Nantwich in Cheshire. He
followed the surveyor of Hereford. He asked Dad to go
with him and Dad was the assistant. He was a very nice
laddie. Dad liked him very much and they got on very
Anyway, as I say, I came back and
the three of us went to St Jude’s School. It was a
really good school. It was considered to be the second
best school in the town. St Peter’s took first place.
I’ve heard Grannie Harley say that St Peter’s - when the
boys got older, they went to St Peter’s School - she
used to pay nine pence a week for them. The Headmaster
there was named Johnson and he was a Professor. When
they brought in free education, he resigned. He wouldn’t
stay. I can’t remember what year free education came in.
I don’t know who took his place.
We had some marvellous teachers,
especially Fred Taylor - he was out of this world. I can
see him now. He used to put his hands behind his back
and when he used to get mad, he used to say: “You sit
there looking at me with eyes like dead cod fish!”
He’d got the most marvellous
sayings, you know. And yet in those days I never saw him
use the cane. There was only one that I ever heard of
using the cane. That was a man named Reynolds. He wasn’t
very nice at all. None of the kids liked him and he was
the only one I ever remember using the cane at all. But
there were mainly women teachers. Two of them married
Australians, then left and went out to Australia. But
both of them were really lovely, particularly one named
Miss Smith - really everybody adored her.
So far as Fred Taylor was
concerned, he didn’t have any family of his own. I don’t
know that he particularly loved children, but he’d just
got that knack of getting your attention. It was a mixed
school - boys and girls. It went as far as form seven.
Well, he used to take form six, but Brother never got
further than his form, because, you see, he went to the
Grammar School. Mr Liddell (?) had to get permission for
two of the boys, because Brother wasn’t eleven until
13th August. Well, the exam was taken at the beginning
of July and Mr Liddell had to get special permission for
Brother and another boy. His father was a tailor in
Wolverhampton. I can’t remember his name now. And the
other boy came in first and Brother came in fourth in
the whole town. Then I left. I stayed on until I