Author Topic: Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs  (Read 39383 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Hugo

  • Ad Free Member
  • *
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2011, 11:35:17 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Yes I remember the the name Whittle, but cannot recall exactly where they lived, maybe in the Cottage type building vacated by the Hughes who by-passed the meter, I'm not sure.

If my memory serves me right the Whittles lived in a Nissen hut that was in the centre of the site where the road divides and one road  goes to the left towards the shore.
I'm not certain but my uncle Bobby Sam Hughes may have lived in the gunsite too, must ask Norman or Pat next time I see them.
By the way the Sutcliffes had 2 boys that I can remember, Graham and Howard and they moved to Conway Road, but I can't remember the daughters names.

tonyf

  • Member
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2011, 12:39:56 PM »
tonf instalment 2: I was sent to Lloyd Street School at 3, I made such a fuss that I was taken away till I was 4! Assembly was a bit of a thing; the Catholics went to the Catholic church Our Lady Star of the Sea over the road in the morning and then marched in at the end of the Protestants prayer Assembly. It was very divisive in those days which I'm pleased to say is a prejudice of the past. Us Gun Site kids were transported in 2 taxis, I believe the boss was called Mr Barlow? He owned a garage somewhere in Llandudno (Craig-y-don). He was my favourite, on occasional Fridays on the way home he’d give us kids an orange or a banana, almost unheard of in those days; God knows where he got them from. Funny how I remember coming home but not going! Bonfire night he used to stop his taxi, those big black types of the late 40s, tie a rope from the bumper or some other strong point to a gorse bush and pull it out for a bonfire dragging it behind him to the Gun Site. What a great bloke he was. Then there was Louis (Lewis?) the milkman, he’d been at Arnhem (bridge too far). He obviously survived for a reason as he had about 10 kids. We used to jump on the running board of his milk wagon for a ride. Those were the days; I remember it as either sunny or snowing, never raining, now why is that? It must have rained though because it reminds of the time we tried to get electricity. The house to the right of the road was a bunker type with grass on the roof that housed perhaps the radios etc during the war that were long since removed but the electricity remained. The owners of this house were the ‘Gordon’s’ who had a son called Michael my best friend; well he would be there wouldn’t he? and only friend at the time as we weren't allowed to wander too far at that age.. Mr Gordon was a manager of the ‘Electric Laundry’ off Council Street in Llandudno. So you would imagine with his electricity background things would have been pucker! Mr Gordon and my Dad ran a cable from the junction box at his house to our house straight to a light. I forgot to mention we used to have paraffin lamps. Anyway the cable wasn’t long enough so they joined it with insulation tape. The join just so happened in the middle of the road. They had dug a small channel out and covered it with grit. Oh deep joy, an electric light, I think we all sat around staring at it that night. Next day after it had been raining overnight a dead sheep was laying in the road, electrocuted via a puddle in the road. Oh well, back to the paraffin lights. Still, we had mutton stew for a while!

Quiggs

  • Ad Free Member
  • *
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2011, 01:58:27 PM »
Instalment 5.     ( It would appear that my memory of some of the family names differs slightly with those of Tonyf, but some episodes are similar, The explosions that I recall were as a result of Blasting in Penmaenmawr Quarry )



   My father was now working in Llandudno Junction  as a Toolmaker, in Colderator, later to become B.D.A. then Hotpoint.    He purchased some reject glass Fridge shelves, to glaze the windows of the basement, to stop the weather entering. They were too large for the aperture, so he tried to cut them to size, I went to assist by holding the glass sheets whilst he scored them with a glasscutter, this being done, he tapped the glass with a small mallet, whilst I held it in place with the off-cut overhanging the bench, but to no avail, he then scored both sides of the glass as hard as he could, then tried again to knock off the excess, still no joy, desperate measures needed, he told me to hold it firmly in place and he hit it with a 4lb. Lump hammer. BANG, the glass exploded into thousands of pieces. Unbeknown to dad, it was tempered glass, similar to that used in car windows and cannot be cut. The basement was never glazed.

    My father had a sports bike with drop handlebars, which he turned them up the other way, which I thought looked a bit strange and daft, but later became clear, as on his way home from work he would sometimes collect a sack of coke from the gas works, by Billy Simpsons yard on Maesdu Rd. The sack would fit into the curve of the handlebars whilst he pushed it home. Shopping was also a bit of a trudge, it was helped a bit by piling as much as possible onto my sisters pushchair, rather than carrying it, it was a Saturday event usually, down to the shops for the weeks supplies, such as they were, as rationing was still in place, woe betide you if anything was forgotten, you would just have to do without. We were fortunate that a milkman started to supply the site, so that was one item less to carry home.  The rations were supplemented by putting snares to catch rabbits, fishing off the rocks at the far end of the Gunsite, scavenging for crabs on the foreshore and occasionally collecting Periwinkles on the way home, just below the West shore Tollgate. They’re not there any more, my mother would boil them and we would pick them out of the shell with a pin and eat them with bread and butter, if we had any.
   Dad would sometimes go with a rake to the beach, by the black rocks end of the West shore,  to collect Cockles, when they were available.
   Breakfast was quite often toast and dripping, with a sprinkling of salt and a cup of tea.     We would also collect blackberries, elderberries, sloes, mushrooms etc when in season.
   Looking out of my bedroom window one morning I saw a couple of birds nearby, which I did  not recognise, so I called my mother to have look, she said that they were Partridges and to keep quiet. She got my fathers shotgun loaded it, quietly opened the window and fired, throwing the gun onto my bed she jumped out of the window and collected one of the birds, the other had disappeared into the bracken, we searched for a while but never found it, still dad had Partridge for dinner.   Rabbits were becoming scarcer so we had to forage further affield, I accompanied dad one day to try to shoot some rabbits with his .22 Rifle but we had no luck, On the way back we saw a Cormorant on the shore drying its wings, dad gave me the gun and said see if you can hit that. I lay on the grass, took aim and squeezed the trigger, I don’t know who was more surprised, me or dad, ’cos I got it. It seemed a waste to leave it, so we took it home, plucked, gutted and cooked it.  I f you can imagine meat with the texture of rubber, that tasted of  fish, you can get an impression of what it was like. Consigned to bin, never to be repeated.
Dictum Meum Pactum

tonyf

  • Member
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2011, 07:16:21 PM »
I’m a bit confused with Quiggs reference to the names living at the Gun Site. I have only mentioned the Gordons as far as I’m aware. The only other names I recall are the Whittles, Drabbles and Sutcliffes. I did supply him with a list of names and a map of where they lived very kindly supplied to me by Councillor Phil Evans JP a year or so ago and I presume the Town Hall had this information for rent collecting and eventual rehousing. I would therefore take the names to be correct with some slight spelling errors, for instance Emily Gordon is down as Emmie (short for I know). For those interested other families were: On going through the gate:
My family on the left of the road in the gun shelter then the Gordons to the right in an OP (Observation Post).  Next came Eric & Vera Quiney (believe this is said as Kwinee) in the guard shelter on the right then the Drabbles to the left, George & Hilda Williams to the right. Henry Whittle to the right at the first junction. Taking the road to the left was (believe it or not) another George and Hilda Williams (though it could be a printing error) followed by Bob & Mary Hughes. The top road housed the Sutcliffes to the right. Back on the main road all to the right was Sid & Win Moore, Charles Smith and Mary & Cliff Bacon' That's as much info I have except for a photocopy of my house being built behind the 3 guns in 1940 when the school moved from Shoeburyness. If anyone is interested I'll attempt to put it on the forum this weekend       


Hugo

  • Ad Free Member
  • *
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2011, 07:49:55 PM »
It's great reading yours and Quiggs' stories of life on the Gunsite and I'm looking forward to hearing more. You've just confirmed what I thought about my Uncle Bobby Sam Hughes and Aunty Mary that they did live on the Gunsite.
I remember going to Harry Whittles place, there's spectacular views from that place now.  It seems that a lot of families from the Gunsite moved to the Creuddyn Estate because I can rember the names when I lived there.

Quiggs

  • Ad Free Member
  • *
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2011, 08:34:18 PM »
Tonyf, The first George & Hilda Williams, is incorrect, it should read Peter Williams & Wife?    Brother to George Williams.
Dictum Meum Pactum

Yorkie

  • Guest
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2011, 08:43:16 PM »
Although I was born and brought up around the Smoke, I am finding this a fascinating story from Quiggs.  Fortunately, having lived here for  a few years I am able to follow the movements and get a vivid picture of his and the family's life duiring that time.

We certainly had our problems with Hitler's mob in the South East but somehow or another the worst place I lived was in an old prefab.   How they managed on a gun site beggers belief!   

I am copying each "chapter" and putting them into a single document, so at the end of it there could be the beginnings of a nice little book!   Keep it up Quiggs.    $thanx$



Quiggs

  • Ad Free Member
  • *
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2011, 08:44:42 PM »
6


On occasions we would have a lovely roast dinner, meat gravy, veg. etc. and for the rest of the week, there would be meat on sandwiches, or a stew, which would last a few days. I used to love dipping some bread in the bottom of the roast tin, where the juices had congealed into a brown jelly. I later found out that what we were eating was one of the young Goats off the Orme.  Dad took some sandwiches to work for his lunch, his workmates were surprised to see him with meat on a sandwich, corned beef or Spam yes, but meat.! He couldn’t say what it was, so he said it was some Venison that he had been given by a Gamekeeper. They asked if he could get some for them. So some time later, we had our Sunday roast, and he took some of the surplus to his workmates, we had no refrigeration to store food, so it was better to be used this way. I’ve no doubt that a bit of trading went on, a bag of sugar, some butter or maybe clothing coupons. This wasn’t a regular occurrence, but just now and again.
   My Saturday treat, was after I received my pocket money, was to go along Llys Helig Drive to the end, turn left at Marine Drive and a few yds. up on the right was a café. With my sixpence and a sweet coupon, a bar of Chocolate, it rarely lasted until I got back home.

One morning we awoke to find a column of Army lorries parked beyond the closed gate to the site, a lot of the children soon gathered to see what was going on.     There was an Officer pacing up and down in an agitated manner, often checking his watch and looking back up the drive.
   His patience exhausted, he ordered the lead vehicle to drive through the gate, the driver was a little reluctant but the Officer shouted at him to GET ON WITH IT. So he drove his lorry straight through, a great crash and timber scattered all over the road. The rest of the convoy followed. The Officer told us to stay away as he left.
   A little while later, who should come strolling down the drive, whistling as he went, was the Caretaker.    When he saw the gate he started shouting and said that he would fetch the Police and that there would be big trouble.    When we said that the Soldiers had done it, his jaw dropped and he went ashen. Apparently he was supposed to come early to let them in, but must have forgotten.    We never saw him again and the gate was never replaced.    Waste not and want not, we gathered, carried and dragged the timber to our various homes, we had firewood for quite a while afterwards.
   If it wasn’t for the gate posts, you wouldn’t have known there had been a gate there. The posts are still there, although the concrete hinge support post has been removed from one side of the road to the other during later constructions.
   The soldiers were there for several days and when they departed the remaining Nissen Huts that had been on the large flat concrete base, opposite the large hump were gone.

   I went exploring up among the gorse and bushes, at the rear of our home, to see if I could find any rabbit runs to exploit, but to no avail. I think we must have eaten most of them by now, as we weren’t the only family trying to catch them. I’d arrived at the top of the site, by the Marine Drive, I looked at the Ivy, which was adorning a cliff on the other side and for some unbeknown reason thought that it would be a good idea to see if I could climb up it.  So I clambered over the wall, scrambled up the slope on the other side and proceeded to climb up. The ivy stems were quite thick at the bottom, but the higher I climbed the thinner they became, finding a secure grip, that did not start to pull away was getting more difficult.    Suddenly!   the ivy leaves right in front of my face parted and an Owl flew out, nearly knocking me off.  What a scare!,  for me and the Owl. I gingerly made my way back down, resolving to make a mental note, not to try that again. Chastened, I slowly slunk back home.
Dictum Meum Pactum

Quiggs

  • Ad Free Member
  • *
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2011, 08:47:22 PM »
Yorkie, I claim copyright.   :D
Dictum Meum Pactum

norman08

  • Ad Free Member
  • *
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2011, 08:54:00 PM »
great stories  keep them comming  the youngsters don,t know thier born  yes Bri after there we moved to the prefabs

Fester

  • Ad Free Member.
  • *
  • El Baldito
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #40 on: March 30, 2011, 08:59:49 PM »
This topic is red-hot now.
I expected members to be interested, but this has blown me away.
Thank you Quiggs for the time you have spent, on it ... and Tony F and others for adding to it, and furthering it.

Quiggs, I was waiting for the Owl story... with that, the hand-grenade and everything else...I don't how the hell you have survived to this day.

Mmmmm bread and dripping..STILL to this day the best food you can eat!    $dins$
Fester...
- Semper in Excretum, Sole Profundum Variat -

Yorkie

  • Guest
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #41 on: March 30, 2011, 09:08:49 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Yorkie, I claim copyright.   :D

That is automatic my friend!  I'll edit it for you if you wish!  Fester can do the proof reading.   ;D

Fester

  • Ad Free Member.
  • *
  • El Baldito
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #42 on: March 30, 2011, 09:10:58 PM »
That might involve teaching Fester to read... which might delay things somewhat!
Fester...
- Semper in Excretum, Sole Profundum Variat -

Trojan

  • Member
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2011, 10:56:36 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
My Saturday treat, was after I received my pocket money, was to go along Llys Helig Drive to the end, turn left at Marine Drive and a few yds. up on the right was a café. With my sixpence and a sweet coupon, a bar of Chocolate, it rarely lasted until I got back home.

Would it have been The Gogarth Refreshment Room, run my Miriam "Yr Ogof" Jones?

DaveR

  • Administrator
Re: Quigg's Great Orme Gunsite Memoirs
« Reply #44 on: March 30, 2011, 11:01:54 PM »
Nice pic, Trojan. Those steps the lady is standing on are still there today, albeit hidden under a hedge.