Moving to Kenton 1948

Newcastle Libraries

Edgefield School was built in 1939 on land adjoining Tyneside Tinprinters. It was also used as a community centre, had a thriving drama group and was well supported by local residents. The school closed in 1968.” By-Gone Fawdon & Coxlodge

The Garth Kenton

Moving to Newcastle from Glasgow in 1948 was amazing to me – a house in the country – a house with a garden and fields all around – Kenton was the place. 

It was very different from living in a flat in Glasgow. Although we had no garden in Glasgow, we were not entirely without “green” because in the centre of our cul-de-sac there was a small area with grass and trees. Railings surrounded this area, and nobody was allowed in. Our house in the Garth, Kenton was also in a cul de sac; we had allotments next door. It was a great place to play. 

Wastleland

We made underground dens, dug deep into the clay, we cut steps down and made a roof from corrugated iron that we found lying around by our side fence. 

There was the Crows Nest Club too. A heap of twigs and branches, just like a big nest! It consisted of bits of wood and any garden rubbish the residents were throwing out. We made a large hollow in the middle where we could sit, just like a big nest. It was high. The woodpile in which we held our club meetings would eventually be our bonfire on November the fifth. 

I had a little allotment there too, where my father showed me how to prepare the soil. I grew carrots mainly and a few flowers, Clarkia and Godetia. I was eleven years old at this time.

This “wasteland” (as we called it), was separated from the next-door field by a Hawthorn (I think) hedge. We called this field the Bull Field. The hedge had a large hole in it, which enabled us to escape onto the “bull field.” Presumably, at one time a bull must have lived there, but we never saw it. I remember big high grass which came up to my knees. 

We played and ran through his field to the next one and then right down to the moor!

Two new houses were eventually built on the allotment, and then more houses began to be built on the field. Now there are lots of houses the shops on Arlington Avenue and of course St Andrew’s Church, in the fields where I used to play.

School

School was also an adventure. I went to Edgefield Junior School with my brother and sister. We walked to school across Kenton Lane and went down the “ash path” which ran from Kenton Lane, beside Westwood Avenue towards Fawdon. Mrs Patterson taught my brother, Mrs Oates, my sister and my teacher was Miss Walby. Eventually, my brother and I went to Eastcliffe and my sister to Heaton High. I remember happy years at Eastcliffe school. 


The Garth Kenton. Discovering Heritage
Myself on the driveway of our house in The Garth Kenton
My brother
My sister in our back garden

The Cowgate Circle

The Cowgate Circle bus route went around Gosforth, Heaton, across the bridge over the Dene, along Jesmond Road, and eventually back to Cowgate and back down Kenton Lane. My brother and I used to go on the Cowgate Circle two or three times on a Sunday to avoid going to Sunday school! Sunday School was at St George’s Church which is now Bar Luga on Gosforth High Street.

Years later, when I started work, I caught the bus from the terminus by Kenton Lane and Westwood Avenue. I remember leaning on the farmer’s wall while I waited. 

Asthma

I am asthmatic, and as a child had spells off school. I used to take Brovon from a huge inhaler. 

We went to Ireland on holiday it must have been around 1949-50. When I came home, I had a terrible Asthma attack. The doctor was called to the house, and I have a vivid memory of my father berating the doctor, saying “there must be SOMETHING you can do.” The doctor replied saying that there was, but it was not suitable for a child. Something must have happened because soon after that, I started to use an inhaler.

Poison!

The inhaler consisted of a large red rubber pump into which fitted an orange well. The well was marked with measurements into which I poured (from my little green bottle marked poison) the prescribed amount of medicine. This process relieved my Asthma and helped me to breathe. As I grew older, the inhalers got smaller and smaller.

By the time I was in my late teens, my inhalers were small enough to fit into a handbag. A modern convenience! When I went to the South Northumberland Cricket and Tennis Club dances, if I got out of breath, I used to nip to the loo and take a scoosh!

Handbag sized Athsma inhaler 1950s
Original hand bag sized inhaler with tin.

Around about this time, I can also remember going to the Toddle Inn; a coffee bar with a jukebox which was on Gosforth High Street.

I grew up and went to work at Martins Bank where I made friends that I have had for life. Anonymous


We would love to hear from you if you would like to share your memories of life in the North East of England. Please send submissions of approximately 1000 words to research@discoveringheritgae.com. All submissions considered.


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