Les Thomas

Les recalls his childhood, talking about games he played and his school years. He was a music enthusiast and went to the Adelphi Club, Polar Bear and Malcolm’s nightclub where he saw bands like Jethro Tull and Mot the Hoople. Les has had a variety of jobs including forklift driving at Northern Dairies and sweet making at Needlers. He comments on the big events that he recalls in Hull and on happy and sad moments in his life.

Media No: 1039
Interviewee Forename: Les
Interviewee Surname: Thomas
Year of Birth 1953
Interviewer: Rupert Creed
Date of Interview: 14/03/2016
Duration (HH:MM:SS): 00:33:41


Time Code Notes

[00:00:17] Les was born in 1953 and lived on North Hull Estate. He remembers playing out with other children. Games included British Bulldog, Block, Reallio. The mothers would come outside to watch. Les remembers his grandmother sitting outside with a big pot of tea watching over the children and chatting with people passing by. He talks about children’s parties and the kind of food they would have including homemade jam tarts and meat paste sandwiches.

[00:02:14] Les and his family lived in a three bedroom house. His mother and father had one bedroom, his sister had another and the four boys all slept in the third room. His father worker at Ideal Standard as a welder making radiators and boilers. Les went to Endike School. He recalls enjoying school although he remembers punishments such as the cane or the slipper. Les remembers going for swimming lessons at Beverley Road Baths and catching the trolley bus at the top of Endike Lane.

[00:06:26] Les played the guitar and enjoyed music. He would go to the pubs and clubs that put on live music. He used to go to Polar Bear on Spring Bank, the Adelphi Club, the Cavalier Club on Endike Lane which had been known as the Endike Club and the Endike Pub.

[00:09:40] As a teenager Les used to go to pubs. In the early 1970s the fashion was long hair, flared jeans and denim clothes. Les was a bit of a hippy wearing white jeans, a denim shirt, a black leather waistcoat, shoulder length hair and a big moustache. He would go to City Hall and Malcolm’s nightclub on George Street to see live bands. He saw Jethro Tull, Emmerson, Lake and Palmer, Mot the Hoople and Groundhogs.

[00:15:50] Les always liked playing music. As a child he used to try to play the Tom Toms to Top of the Pops on the television and he remembers using his mother’s saucepans as drums. He got his first guitar for this 13th birthday and has had one ever since.

[00:18:00] Les’ first job was at Spooners on Stoneferry where he worked on an electric saw cutting skirting boards and floorboards. He left school on the Friday in 1969 and started work on the Monday. His first wage was £3.19s.4d. After this Les had various jobs including forklift driving for Northern Dairies at their Clough Road site and sweet making at Needlers.

[00:23:55] From 1997 to 2012 Les worked at Kingstown Furnishings making lounge and bedroom furniture. He has been unemployed since 2012. He describes the difficulties of job seeking and compares the experience in the 2010s with that of the 1970s.

[00:25:30] Les discusses Hull and its heritage describing important events for the City. He recalls happy and sad memories in his life.

[00:32:34] Les talks about his grandfather who was injured in action during the First World War.