John & Christine Haigh

John begins by recalling the Second World War. He remembers growing up in temporary accommodation after his family were bombed out during the May 1941 Hull Blitz. He recalls rationing although his family grew food and had plenty to eat. John discusses school and remembers some of the games he and his friends would play including Eggity Budge and various bike games. He describes how there was a lot more countryside before the estates of Ings and Longhill were built. Christine recalls life after the War and attending Maybury School. She too remembers playing on her bike. John worked in various places including the Asbestos and Rubber Company which is now ARCO. Christine remembers meeting John and getting married. She also describes looking after her family.

Part 1

Part 2

Media No: 1055
Interviewee Forename: John & Christine
Interviewee Surname: Haigh
Year of Birth 1940/1943
Interviewer: Jessica Leathley
Location: Interviewee’s Home
Date of Interview: 01/06/2016 – Part 1, 13/06/2016 – Part 2
Duration (HH:MM:SS): 00:30:54 – Part 1, 01:19:35 – Part 2


Time Code Notes

Part 1

[00:00:00] John was born in East Hull corner of Newbridge Road and Southcoates Lane and a year and a 4 days (May 8th 1941) after he was born their house was bombed during the May blitz of 1941.

[00:00:50] John has Memories of growing up in temporary accommodation on Preston Road and going into the air raid shelter. Talks of hiding under the table when there was an air raid. He has a fear of confined spaces and thinks it is a legacy of hiding under the table.

[00:02:30] John talks of the air raid siren going off at all hours of the night. .Talks of his father watching the buzz bombs coming over.

[00:03:14] John talks of the family keeping rabbits and poultry etc during the war so they had plenty to eat and fresh eggs.

[00:03:21] Talks of rationing. Standing in queues. Remembers when he was five and queueing for oranges near the Savoy Cinema. Only got 1 orange per family. Didn’t have a banana until he was around 6 or 7 after the war was over.

[00:05:22] Recalls his neighbour giving him part of her meat ration of a chop as he didn’t like the sausages his mother had cooked. Had to go to a butchers on Stoneferry. The butcher was once arrested for having an illegal pig.

[00:06:47] He talks of the devastation in the town after the bombing. Where BHS is now it was just rubble.

[00:07:20] He talks of seeing a German Bomber caught in the searchlights.

[00:08:00] Talks of a lot of servicemen visiting the house when he was young and how he was made to sing songs for them. One song he particularly remembers was “Silverwings in the moonlight”.

[00:08:30] Talks of his first day at school just before the end of the war.

[00:09:23] Talks of a girl who he played with whose father was Danish and a whaling captain. Her name was Helga.

[00:09:43] Talks of a game they played called Eggety Budge. Describes the rules of the game.

[00:10:25] Talks of getting a bike an ASP (all the spare parts). Played bicycle polo by using wooden dowels (obtained from a man who got waste wood from Hollis’s woodyard).

[00:11:09] Talks of falling into the Holderness Drain.

[00:11:23] Talks of how there was a lot more countryside as the housing estates of Longhill and Ings Road had not been built.

[00:12:10] Talks of his home being comfortable when he was young. Making peg rugs.

[00:13:10] When they were bombed his pet Bedlington dog was blown through the window and survived and his cat survived too. Talks of his father’s pet canary being rescued and hopping about on the bar of the Southcoates club.

[00:14:21] The house they moved into after their house was destroyed by the bomb had no windows.

[00:16:04] Talks of how his family were very musical. They had a gramophone.

[00:16:26] Christine talks of her war memories. Born end 1943. Had to go next door but one to use the air raid shelter. Talks of hearing a plane strafing the houses.

[00:17:10] Christine talks of a balloon being caught on the chimney of her parents house and the wires and cables from it being wrapped around the chimney pot.

[00:18:02] She talks of her early life down Oban Avenue in Hull. Talks of playing out on Christmas day on roller skates. She also got a bike hers too was an ASP (all spare parts like Johns).

[00:19:06] She attended Maybury Road School in Hull.

[00:19:25] Talks of taking the 11+ and being 48 pupils in her class. Talks of being 5 and when first starting school in the afternoon you had to lay down and have a sleep.

[00:20:17] Talks of enjoying school dinners. Mrs Wilson a dinner lady lived opposite Christine so she always gave her extra dinner.

[00:20:45] Talks of a neighbour who kept pigs. All vegetable waste went to feed the pigs.

[00:21:10] Gentleman who lived opposite Christine’s house drove the big Princess Cars that were used by the council. He would often give Christine a lift to Sunday School if he was going out to work at the same time she was going to Sunday School. She attended Kingston Wesley Methodist Church.

[00:21:37] John talks about not having your dustbins on your property. There were separate bins for swill/waste, metal and paper so a type of recycling was happening even all those years ago. Talks of after the war and the schools had large recycling drives. Glass jars, jam jars etc. Paper drives, newspapers and comics etc.

[00:23:28] Talks of buying sweets that were put into cones of sugar paper. Only 2oz. per week per child. Take coupon book to shop. Talks of growing rhubarb and if you had had your ration of sweets for the week, you used to dip rhubarb in a little bit of sugar and eat that.

[00:24:20] Christine talks of her father having an allotment down Portobello Street in Hull behind the Zetland Pub. Her father grew lots of vegetables but also the most wonderful Chrysanthemums.

[00:25:03]. John talks of pooling his sweet rations with his brothers and sister to buy Dolly Mixtures, ‘Liquorice Torpedos’ and ‘Frys Chocolate bars’.

[00:26:19] John talks of his mother and Christine’s mother always baking. Memories of fresh bread and also listening to the radio and toasting bread on a toasting fork.

[00:27:18] John Talks of making their own Christmas Decorations using silver tops from the milk bottles to make bells. You made your own trimmings, paper chains. Christmas presents were all home-made. John’s father once made him a farm with all the animals.

[00:28:58] John says that a 10 minute walk in those days from Maybury Road would take you to the countryside and farms etc. Talks of Holderness High Road being widened and the council taking part of people’s gardens to widen the road. There were tiny bridges to get to some of the properties and sluice gates to drain the gardens. Also on Cottingham Road. Talks of Hull being a cycle city in the 60’s.

Part 2

[00:00:05] John Left the college of art when he was 16. First Job at Asbestos and Rubber Company which is now ARCO. Their premises were at the corner of Jameson Street and Saville Steet in Hull. They had a flooring department.

[00:02:00] John Talks of his job as being a draughtsman type job. How they would measure and cut up the linoluem after the rep had been to measure up. Also how he would draw a plan of the room and hand paint with water colour the colour of the floor covering. Talks of doing a job for Reckitts in 1956.

[00:04:36] He helped to design a bathroom for David Whitfield when he had his house built. The house was called Cara Mia.

[00:05:30] Talks of playing a game when boss was away. Trying to guess a definition of a word chosen randomly from a dictionary for pennies.  Geoff Porter who was the rep his father owned a brewery in Huntingdon. Workmates had nicknames. Likened the boss to Captain Mainwaring from Dads Army.

[00:07:35] Mentions doing a job in the Cock and Bottle in Ossett.

[00:09:09] Pay was £2.12s.6d per week.

[00.09.49] Mentions Dram Shop pub on the corner of Saville Street.

[00:10:18] Talks of doing a job for Lloyds Bank on Silver Street in Hull. After several arguments with his boss he became unemployed at aged just under 18.

[00:11:56] Got a job working for Hull Corporation Trolley buses at 4 times the wage he was earning before.

[00:12:50] Mentions that when you left school if you were a man after 2 years you would probably be in the armed forces. Just before his 18th birthday he got a letter to say he would not be called up into the forces.

[00:14:00] He worked for Hull Corporation for 7 years and thats where he met his wife.

[00:14:29] He was a conductor on the trolley buses. And later he became an instructor.

[00:15:00] Trolley bus came into Jameson Street outside Austin Reeds. Jameson Street was originally 4 lanes of traffic around the Cenotaph. King Edward Street was also a bus route with trolleys.

[00:16:04] No.64 Trolley bus went up to Ings Road near Carricks. Had to pull a thing like a loo chain to enable the bus to turn to go back. It used to stand near Maybury Road. There was a police box there like the Tardis in Dr. Who.

[00:16:45] Talks of Carricks shop being a little tiny house which was owned by Annie Carrick. Her husband was once an Alderman/Councillor. Mentions Norman Carrick son of Annie. Norman built other properties there and it is called Carricks Corner.

[00:17:59] The garage for the buses on Holderness Road is now where the entrance to Morrisons is.

[00:18:19] Talks of being able to sit on the top of a bus in the garage and watch Hull Kingston Rovers playing at Craven Park for free.

[00:19:30] Talks of jobs being hard to get when men came out of the forces.

[00:19:47] Talks of his brother emigrating to Australia over 50 years ago.

[00:20:26] Christine met John when she was 15 years old whilst on a shopping trip on the trolley bus. for her mother. After 6 weeks he asked her out.

[00:21:32] Christine talks of passing her 11+ and going to Escort High School. Left at 16 and got a job at Zernys in the office on Clough Road.  She used to travel to work on a bike. Did this for 5 years approx.

[00:22:40] Mentions working at Priestmans on Hedon Road.

[00:23:19] Mentions working at Macrays on Hessle Road. Talks of getting a ‘free Fry’ each week. Either fish or kippers. You got a free turkey at Christmas and one at Easter.

[00:24:00] She talks of getting married and going to live in Jerveaux Abbey in Wensleydale for 6 months as John was the manager of a stud farm.

[00:25:05] Christine talks of going to the pictures a lot when they were first courting. Also went horse riding. They courted for 7 years after they met in 1959.

[00:27:16] She talks of strict rules when they were courting and she had to be in by 10pm. Remembers running very fast to get home by 10pm. Father strict.

[00:28:17] Talked of calling next door neighbours Mr and Mrs. Always called people Mr or Mrs…even after she was married, never first names. That’s how it was.

[00:34:35] Gave up work when she got married. Stay at home Mum. Reckitts wouldn’t employ married women.

[00:35:37] Talks about when applying for a mortgage the building societies only took the man’s wage into the calculations. Not the woman’s.

[00:36:00] Mentions Imperial Typewriters on Hedon Road.

[00:37:15] John is an artist and  was a member of the Arab Horse Society.

[00:38:36] The place where John worked in Jerveaux Abbey in Wensleydale was owned by the Christies.. Captain Hector Christie. House built out of abbey stone.

[00:41:43] Mentions the River Ure near where they lived in Wensleydale being so low that in summer you could walk across it.

[00:43:59] John mentions working at British Rail as a porter and Clover Dairies as a milkman and part time poster designer. Also working at Papropak on Hedon Road in the warehouse.

[00:46:30] Talks of his boss Mr Melhuish having a big corner office and a traffic light system on his door red, amber and green to gain access.

[00:48:00] Offered another job at Papropak as O & M officer. He got a raise from £15 a week to £20 a week. Always had a big Christmas Dinner in the canteen. Staff got given a turkey at Christmas. Salaries reviewed every new year, John had his salary doubled after the first year. Worked there for 20 years and got made redundant when he was 51. Then worked for the library service.

[00:52:00] Talks of Papropak making paper sacks for the potato industry amongst others. Cement sacks, sugar sacks and sacks for carrots.

[00:53:35] Talks of Rosenlef and Fiskerby.

[00:54:58] Christine talks of being a stay at home Mum. Always having a meal on the table and looking after the house.  Used to take the children to the park etc. Not getting into debt. Always knitted and sewn. Also Macrame.

[00:56:43] Talks of daughter Sara leaving home when she married at 20. Son Jonathan was 22 when he left home. You usually didn’t leave home until you married. Christine Married John when she was 22.

[00:57:56] Went back to work as a cleaner for a Photoliphographers. And then to ‘Housemartins’ as a cleaner for 12 years up to retirement at 62.

[00:59:36] Talks of going on holiday with the children to Bridlington.  Also went to see friends in Brigg.

[01:03:33] Talks of friends Dave and Maureen in Brigg. Dave was a school teacher then Head Master of St John Nelthorpe School in Brigg.

[01:03:58] John got his degree when he was 51 in 1991 when he was made redundant.  His graduation ceremony was in the City Hall in Hull. His degree was in Fine Art and Art History at Humberside College. He was working full time whilst studying for his degree.

[01:06:54] Talks of having to leave school at 16 instead of going on to college to do A levels and go on to get a degree as two of his siblings got married within 6 weeks of each other and he was needed to help with the deleted family finances at home. He had to get a job. Talks of his brother going to USA at 18 to get married.

[01:08:10] He mentions Endsleigh College on Beverley Road. And the college on Queens Gardens to study for his degree.

[01:10:58] Talks of working for the library service in Hull. Talks of the books in Central Library in Hull.

[01:14:08] Talks of the Rubiat of Omar Kyam.

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.