My date of birth was the 4 August 1921 at number 3, Gratten Place, Harvey Street. My sister Effie was also born there, she is the youngest of my sisters and lives in AUSTRALIA. 3, Gratten Place was raised to the ground during World War two. At the age of two my parents moved to number 39 Fore Street, Torpoint. My parents eventually bought this property. When my dad was invalided from, H M Dockyard he bought this house with the money he got from his gratuity. From that address is where I remember most of my early boyhood days, they were very happy days indeed and children were far safer than they are today.

 

39 Fore Street Torpoint Cornwall Effie 10.5 years Henry 8 years old & Arthur in Year 1929

The things we boys got up too were many & varied, such as playing at the river side and many times walking or falling into it. Of course the thing I enjoyed most of all was helping Mr Downing with his horses. Well, I'm not sure if it was helping or being a nuisance, we would love to play in the hay loft even to cutting chafe and sliding down the chute. During the summer months when the horses were put out to grass after work, sometimes we boys were allowed to ride them from the stables up to the field, me being a good friend of the two Downing boys, Harry & Frank I used to have many a good ride. My dad and Mr Downing were very good friends, so were their wives.

 

In those days, showing poultry and vegetables was a very- interesting hobby or pastime, of course, usually all the family were involved, even today I have in my possession a solid silver cup that my dad won for having best bird in the show for five years in succession, altogether he had best bird in show 17 times.

 

 

 

I digressed far enough, so now I shall try to remember the days before I started school at age five. As I have already said we had a boat, so the whole family would enjoy the many days out, either up or down the river. If it was down river, we usually went to Barn Pool on the edge of Mount Edgcumbe Estate. We usually came in on high tide, when it was low water, my dad would take a steel hook he had made and hook out from the rocks edible crabs, of course in the meantime we all had a great time plus having had a huge picnic lunch. We carried our own water in four large stone jars with cork stoppers, to cook and get hot water we had two primus stoves which sometimes caught fire, but I have to say, my dad was quite good with them. If it was up river we would land at any suitable place, one place I remember was called Cargreen. One day mother had the tea all laid out and the family were sat down ready to eat when my sister Majorie looked up and said, dad there are lots of cows walking this way, he looked up and said, oh they are only milking cows, they are alright. Effie looked up and said there's a big one running down, dad looked up and shouted That's A BULL, quick, pack everything up. We just grabbed everything and all ran back to the boat.

I remember that we had a 21ft sailing boat that my father built himself where he was born in Flushing near Falmouth in Cornwall. He sailed it up to Torpoint with two other friends, it was called Hilda after my sister who died when I was two years old, she was buried at Mylor Church Yard. I have many relations who still live in Flushing. I have checked with my sister who lives in Australia and can now proceed to print in more information.

While we lived at 39 Fore Street my mother started to run the tea hut down at the Lawn Torpoint. Now called Thanks Park. and all of us were involved in the working of it, we used to make ice cream in various tubs using real milk and real ice with freezing salts, the tubs ranged from 3 gallons to 2, 1, and half a gallon, the milk mixture had to be frozen by turning the handle on the tubs. A backbreaking job, many times when after making the ice-cream, the weather turned bad all this ice-cream stock was lost, so it was a risky business


Majorie Mum Annie Reed


We also had a donkey called Billy, my father made all the harness and also made a saddle plus he built a proper cart, it was painted dark blue with red wheels


I also remember the first shop my mother had; it was in Harvey Street on the side of Mr Andrews shop which faced into Elliot Square. It is now a hairdressers, our second shop was in Rowe Street, it was on the site where there is now a summer seat opposite the two telephones behind the Post Office. The next shop was in Fore Street which is now called WEAR and REPAIR.

 

 

 

The next shop was at No. 24 Fore Street, that shop was a High Class confectioners, I remember it well, because that is where I had two teeth out, my sister Majorie was told to put pepper on my gum, I suppose the pepper was so hot that I forgot the ache. This shop is now a solicitorís office, owned by Trobridges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there my mother bought number 40 Fore Street from a Mrs Selby next to our own house at 39. We were bombed out from there and ordered to get a more secure place from which to issue rationed goods, so we acquired number 18 Harvey Street, now built into Council flats.


At this shop we employed a girl called Trixi Coombs. While rationing was still on we moved lock stock and barrel to 12 Merrifield Terrace now called North Road. The shop has now been converted into living accommodation.