Rita Bartle

Rita describes her life growing up on North Hull estate during the Second World War. She talks about different items they collected in order to save money. Rita knew very little about the facts of life and childbirth even when she was married. She describes where she first lived after marriage and her subsequent life.

Rita Bartle aged 15 in the late 1940s
Media No: 1015
Interviewee Forename: Rita
Interviewee Surname: Bartle
Year of Birth 1933
Interviewer: Rupert Creed
Location: Ada Homes
Date of Interview: 18/02/2016
Duration (HH:MM:SS): 01:07:25


Time Code Notes

[00:00:43] Rita was born in Courtney Street and moved when she was three to no.13 14th Avenue. Rita talks about black clocks, a type of beetle, and which rooms they were inside in her house. Talks about being infested in the mattresses and wallpaper.

[00:06:20] Moved to 14th Avenue during the Second World War. Describes the whole family sharing bath water and using a dolly tub for baths.

[00:09:10] Describes obtaining a mattress from a neighbour and how they moved it on a bike.

[00:11:50] Describes visiting her father who worked on the docks as a riveter. He was a black leg who did not go on strike. He was a conservative voter despite being working class.

[00:15:00] Describes the facilities they had at the house on 14th Avenue. Talks about the air-raid shelter and how the family wouldn’t use it. A bomb blew Rita and her father back into the bath.

[00:21:20] Describes hunting for barrage balloon silk and shrapnel. She made purses from the silk and sold the shrapnel. Rita remembers collecting horse muck in a barrow to put on the rose bushes.

[00:24:30] Describes playing games such as re-alley-oh, pulling carrots up from a neighbour’s garden and pinching apples.

[00:27:00] Rita left school at 14 years. When she went out she would have to be back by 9pm. She describes what would happen if she was late.

[00:28:00] Describes courting and getting married at 17 and a half years. Rita knew nothing about the facts of life. She found a book that had some information.

[00:34:20] Rita used to go dancing with her brother who won dance competitions.

[00:36:30] Rita describes her clothes from the 1950s and how she made her dresses shorter. She would secretly put make-up on in the air-raid shelter. She remembers getting nylons from the American GIs and describes how she and her sister styled their hair. They cleaned their teeth with soot and salt.

[00:42:22] Describes working as a bookbinder at White & Farrell. Then she worked at Paley & Donkin’s in Cottingham. She would save her money up to buy new shoes.

[00:44:50] Describes how they would sneak into the cinema and hide in the toilets to get in free.

[00:47:30] Describes what she got as a wedding present.

[00:49:20] Describes not knowing where babies came from.

[00:50:40] Describes her first divorce. Her husband was abusive. Rita recalls meeting her second husband when he was delivering fish. They were married for 45 years.

[01:03:20] Rita bought a house on Rosamund Street in the 1970s. She described how she paid for it.

These time code notes are provided as a rough guide to the above recording. Untold Hull would like to thank all the volunteers who took part for their time and hard work in producing this information.