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We had to work in dirty foundry in the war

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: January 03, 2014

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I HAVE been reading the letter from Sam Williams in The Bugle (December 5 issue) and his time in the police force.

Like Sam we had no choice about jobs while the war was on. I and my sister went into a foundry; it was hard, dirty work.

But we did it and did not grumble, mainly because we were on piece work, and my parents needed the money. My Dad was in the Worcesters during theFirst World War and was gassed in France, so every winter he would get bronchitis and had to take time off work.

Money was short, but we never went hungry. My Mother could make a good nourishing meal with cheap cuts of meat and plenty of veg and, of course, big chunks of bread.

I was at school the same time as Sam and often went to his home for his Mother's faggots and peas, and when l got home with the basin there would be loads of veg to eke out.

My Mom and Dad had nine children, one died aged 3 years but the rest of survived into adulthood. I am 85 years old and by no means the youngest or eldest. I have three sisters still surviving - Rose (87), Eva (82) and Joan (79) and we were all raised in Friar Park Road. We did not have much but we had a loving family and all have happy memories of our childhood. Children today grow up so quickly but not in the same sense that we had to grow up and become breadwinners for our families.

Remember there was no National Health Service nor State Benefits, and if you did not have a way of earning a few bob you went hungry and lost the roof over your head.

My Dad used to sit us down of an evening and tell us stories of what happened in his childhood and his revelations would make your hair curl - but that is another letter for another day.

Nellie Marsh,

(nee Fletcher),

Via email.

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