51 Aspects of Life in the Early 1950s

Mum and Music

Mum continued with music lessons until February 1950 and she remained involved in the chapel choir during this period. Occasionally, she noted items the choir practiced, e.g. All in the April Evening (see Chapter 54), in March 1950. She still sometimes played the piano for Sunday School. At the end of 1950, and into the following year, she attended dancing lessons at Palais de Dance (see box) with Margaret Bostock.

It seems there may have been places by the name of Palais de Dance in both Mansfield and Nottingham. However, I am assuming mum was referring to the one in Mansfield as it had a famous school of dancing.
Advert for Palais de Danse in Nottingham that appeared in a Notts County programme in April 1950

Mum also attended some musical performances including the Messiah at the Festival Hall (see Chapter 59) on multiple occasions. The local press reported performances in 1951 and 1952. These reports noted that attendance was well down in 1952 compared to the more than 700 who the local press reported to have attended the performance the previous year (see box).

There was some discrepancy in numbers reported for the 1951 performance of the Messiah. The news report of the time referred to more than 700. However, the one in 1952 noted that the attendance the previous year had been “about 650”.
News cutting related to a performance of the Messiah at the Festival Hall in 1951
News cutting related to a performance of the Messiah at the Festival Hall in 1952

Grandad and Music

Accordions and a Xylophone

Grandad continued to be interested in music. In January 1952, he started learning Uncle Frank’s accordion which he had left at Christmas. That same month, he bought a piano accordion and a xylophone (see box note 1). However, a week later, he took both back and got a larger accordion with 120 bass and 41 treble keys (see box note 2). However, a couple of days later he took this back as he felt it was too big! In February, he went to Nottingham and got a smaller accordion (see box note 3) from Nequest’s (see box note 4).

[1] Both mum and grandad spelled xylophone as “zylophone”. Grandad noted that it was £8 for the piano accordion and £15 for the xylophone.

[2] Apparently, the treble keys are the piano-style keys and the bass keys are the ones that look like buttons.

[3] The smaller accordion had 48 bass and 34 treble keys. It cost £16 and he was refunded £9 for the previous one.

[4] Initially, I struggled to find Nequest’s. This was partially because I thought the first letter was an “M”. I found a listing for Peter Nequest, a music seller, in the 1941 Kelly’s Directory. He had at least four branches in Nottingham at the time, at South Sherwood Street, the Central Market, Parliament Street and Mansfield Road. An example of one of their adverts is available here.  

Recorders and a Saxophone

Two years later, in February 1954, grandad bought a wooden recorder from Brentnall’s (see box) in Nottingham. In March 1954, he exchanged his piano accordion for a soprano saxophone at Nequest’s. He was allowed £10 on the accordion and, as the saxophone cost £6, he got £4 back. In November 1954, Ken Hodges brought grandad a tenor recorder from Nequest’s for £5 13 0.

The recorder cost 15/3. Initially, I thought Brentnall’s was in Market Street and was opened by local saxophonist Jack Brentnall. However, it seems that there were multiple branches of this shop in Nottingham, Derby and Leicester. In the late 40s/early 50s, they advertised regularly in Notts County’s programmes.
Advert for Jack Brentnall’s music shop showing multiple locations that appeared in a Notts County programme in April 1950



During this period, both grandad and mum continued to use their bikes to get to places including visiting friends and family. Mum often cycled with and to friends’ including Barbara Coupe, Dallas Wright and Irene Davy. In February 1951, mum had a new bike and grandad had her old one. Places that mum and grandad cycled to during this period included Bull Farm (see Chapter 54) and Mansfield. In August 1954, mum noted going on a bike ride with dad.

Mum’s friend Barbara Coupe with her bike in July 1950
Barbara and mum with their bikes

A Mini Motor

I am not sure if grandad was struggling cycling but, in February 1950, he decided to buy a mini motor (see box) and fix that to his bike. As a result, he was able to travel quite widely including to Alfreton, Beeston, Cauldwell, Crich Stand, Edwinstowe, Gunthorpe Bridge, Heanor, Hucknall, Ilkeston, Kilburn, Long Eaton, Mansfield, Moorgreen, Ollerton, Oxton, Redhill, Selston, Southwell and White Post (perhaps White Post Farm in Farnsfield).  

The mini motor was a clip-on engine that could be attached to a bike and which sat above the bike’s rear wheel. It was based on a motor that could be used to drive a lathe and was produced by Trojan between 1949 and 1955. Grandad noted that the motor cost £21 (in various adverts) and he paid a further £1 for fixing and 8/6 for something which I cannot make out. Initially, I could not quite make out the details of the entry on 22 February, related to arranging to have the mini motor fitted. I think it says Hooleys. According to the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, Hooley’s were bicycle and motorcycle dealers on Derby Road (G Hooley is listed as a cycle dealer at 10a Derby Road and Hooley’s Garage Limited is listed at Upper College Street and 47 Derby Road). I initially found these addresses difficult to pin down. 10a took me to the A52 in Beeston, near Wollaton Park whereas 47 is nearer to the city centre on the A610 on the corner of Upper College Street which fits with the Kelly’s Directory listing. It appears that this location was also a car dealership and that it closed in around 2000 and was then demolished. Hooleys also seems to have had a garage on the Ropewalk and this could conceivably have been continuous with the Derby Road showroom

The Mini Motor Allowed Grandad to Go Further

Some of his “rides” were quite a distance. For example, at the end of April 1950, he went a ride to Hucknall, Redhill and White Post and noted that this was 31½ miles. Not all grandad’s rides were uneventful. In mid-May 1950, his back tyre burst. He and John had to fit a new tyre. In June 1950, grandad noted that mum had her first bike ride with him on the mini round Cauldwell. I don’t know why but, in August 1950, after only having it for six months, he sold the mini motor.

Grandad’s diary entries from 19 February to 18 March 1950 showing purchase and use of mini motor. Initially, he was not thrilled with the running of the motor but, the next week, he felt it was running better.
Hooley’s car showroom in Derby Road in 2002 prior to demolition. I think this is where grandad had the mini motor fitted – image  licenced for re-use from Inspire
Mini motor advert from 1951. The price cited, of £21, is the price grandad paid.

Back to His Bike

Following the sale of the mini motor, grandad resorted to his usual bike. At the end of October 1950, he rode to 7 Mile House (on the A60) to see the new railway being built to Calverton (see box note 1). He rode to other places on his bike including Alfreton, Codnor Castle, Codnor Park Memorial (see box note 2), Gunthorpe Bridge, Jacksdale, Langley Mill (see box note 3), Linby, Mansfield, Papplewick, Riddings, Selston, Stanton Hill, Sutton and White Post.

[1] The railway to Calverton opened in 1952 and served the colliery. The line started as double track but then operated as single track. The colliery closed at the end of the 1990s. The route of the railway is largely walkable. The bridge under the A60, where grandad would have looked at the railway being built, is reached at 9.40. Grandad visited there again in March 1951 to see the new bridge and he took John Attwood there in September 1951.

[2] By Codnor Park Memorial, I suspect grandad was referring to the Codnor Park (or Jessop) Monument. This was erected in 1854 in memory of William Jessop Jnr. 

[3] Langley Mill was an industrial village. It is at the junction of three canals, the Erewash, the Cromford and the Nottingham.
Calverton colliery in 1989 © Phil Richards and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Ruins of Codnor Castle © Colin Park and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Codnor Park Monument © Rob Howl and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Langley Mill © mattjenniepearson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Grandad Managed Surprisingly Long Districts by Bike

Grandad managed surprisingly long trips given his relative poor health and that he had felt the need for a mini motor! For example, both trips to Jacksdale and Riddings and to Codnor Park, Codnor Castle and Langley Mill were recorded as 19 miles. His ride to Linby and White Post was 25 miles. In September 1951, grandad noted that his cyclometer had reached 1,000 miles (see box note 1). Once the family had moved to Welbeck Street, grandad usually (see box note 2) cycled to work in Station Street. Until Welbeck Street was opened to traffic (see Chapter 46), this meant cycling round via Clumber Street.

[1] However, grandad noted that his cyclometer reached 1,000 miles again in August 1952. Could this be different bikes/cyclometers? Or perhaps he reset it after the first one thousand? For more details of cyclometers, see Chapter 95.

[2] When the weather was bad grandad walked to work. Sometimes, he misjudged the weather. For example, in December 1952, he noted that “bike slipped going to the shop, very slippery”. He walked home that day. The following day things had improved and he “biked home for dinner”. For a whole week, in February 1953, grandad noted that he did not go to the shop on his bike because of snow and frost. The following Monday dinner-time, he resumed going to the shop on his bike.
Welbeck Street as it was in the early fifties

Bike Modifications

As grandad was using his bike more in 1951, he had some modifications made to it. In June 1951, he went to Mansfield for a three-wheeled cog for his bike, presumably to add gears. It cost 15/6. The next day, grandad had a “Duralice” (see box) three speed fitted to his bike by Austin of Kingsway. This cost £2 13 9 including the 15/6 for the cog.

It is not clear what “Duralice” is referring to. I assumed it was a brand name but can’t find anything. I guess it could be a misspelling of derailleur but I am not convinced.
Grandad’s diary entries for June 1951


Mum also sometimes went for walks with friends, including Joan Storer, Barbara Coupe, Betty Longden and Hazel Munns, and family, including grandad. The quarries remained a favourite place to walk. Often, she would go for a walk with friends after Sunday School and chapel. From around February 1953, these walks sometimes involved boys including dad and John Overfield.


Grandad Orders a Car

Throughout this period, the Parkins did not own a car although grandad did order a Morris (see box) Minor from W J Cresswell in October 1954 (see Chapter 63).

Morris was a British car maker formed in 1919 with the name remaining in use until 1984.

Frank, Grandma’s Cousin, Owns aCar

However, some of their family and friends did own cars. When visiting Bedford in April 1950, mum and grandma visited grandma’s first cousin Frank (see box) and his wife Elsie. Frank took them back to where they were staying in his car.

Frank’s father, William, and grandma’s father, Charles, were brothers.

Ray, Grandma’s Brother, Owns a Car

A couple of days later, when mum and grandma were leaving Bedford, mum noted that her cousin Kenneth took them to the station in the car. Mum noted that Kenneth was a very good driver. Presumably, this car belonged to Ray, Kenneth’s father and grandma’s brother. That same month, mum had been due to go to Freda’s wedding in Doncaster but had not been able to go because Ray’s car had broken down.

Other People from whom Mum got Lifts

Other people mum got lifts with included Cliff Green, Barbara Coupe’s family and Ken Roome’s family. In August 1950, Arthur Evans (see box), grandad’s brother-in-law, was fined £10 and had his driving licence suspended for 12 months for driving when drunk. Also, in September 1951, grandad commented that “John Unwin had a crash into Butlers Bus on Victoria Rd he was on a motor bike”. He did not note if he had been injured. In February 1952, grandad noted that there had been an accident at “4 roads end” and a man had been knocked off his bike.

Grandad’s diary simply refers to Arthur so initially I was not sure if it was Arthur Evans or another Arthur. However, I found a news report of the court case which confirmed it was Arthur Evans. He claimed that the van had been stationary, and he was standing next to it, when the bus swung round the corner and collided with the van. However, the police officers who attended pointed out that the road was straight, there was no corner, and that where he was standing was a bus stop! He was found guilty and fined £7 10 plus £2 9 costs. The article’s headline was “Straight road had corner, he said.


For longer journeys, the Parkins often used trains. In mum’s 1950 diary, at the back, there was a list of rail tunnels between Nottingham and Bedford. Other journeys mum made by train were to visit Jim and Renie on Christmas Day 1950 (see box), to London for the Festival of Britain in 1951 (see Chapter 52), to Truro (see Chapter 54) and to Skegness and Bridlington for the day with dad. For the Bridlington trip. Ken Roome and Margaret Varnam also went. When the Lofthouses came to attend Olive’s funeral in September 1952 (see Chapter 47), they came by train and, in April 1954, when grandma went to visit the Lofthouses, she went by train.

I was interested that trains had been running on Christmas Day and apparently that was common until the mid-60s in England and later in Scotland.
List of rail tunnels between
Nottingham and Bedford – in
mum’s 1950 diary


Sometimes, the family also travelled by bus, including to Nottingham, South Normanton and other local places, including to visit family and friends. In May 1953, when mum and grandma went to London, they went by bus. In September 1954, when mum and dad went to visit Dorothy Lofthouse in Stokesley, they went by Hall Brothers’ bus from Mansfield to Darlington.

1960s leaflet for Hall Brothers bus from South Shields to Coventry. Hall Brothers was a South Shields bus company that ran a bus service from Coventry to South Shields from the 1930s. They were acquired by Barton Transport in 1967. 

Youth Club and Chapel Outings by Bus

Youth club and chapel trips also often involved bus journeys. For example, in May 1952, mum noted that she went to Wicksteed Park (see box note 1) with the Junior Youth Club and they went in two Butlers’ buses (see box note 2).

[1] Wicksteed Park is in Kettering – 75-80 miles from Kirkby.

[2] Butlers’ bus company, based in Vernon Road, Kirkby, is still operating.

Trip to Wicksteed Park – May 1952 showing the Butlers’ buses they travelled in
Postcard from Wicksteed Park circa early fifties
Advert for Butlers’ buses from the 1953 Carnival programme
Advert for Butlers buses from 1950 official guide
Advert for Butlers’ buses from the 1969 Kirkby Directory

Rainbow Follies by Bus

Also, sometimes when the Rainbow Follies group gave a concert, e.g. in Annesley in January 1953, they went there by bus.

A Dance at Henry Mellish School by Double Decker

In October 1953, a group of friends went to a dance at Henry Mellish (see box), dad’s old school. Those who went included mum, dad, Margaret Varnam, Ken Roome, John Overfield, Hazel Munns, Harold Booler, Joy Munns and Ken and Pearl Hodges. They had a double decker bus to bring them home.

Henry Mellish worked in Nottinghamshire County government and served as a magistrate. The school was founded as a grammar school in 1929. The school closed in June 2009 when it merged with River Leen school to form The Bulwell Academy. 

Hucknall Air Display

In May 1951, grandad and mum went to see an air display in Hucknall.

Front cover of programme from later air display at Hucknall in 1969
Details of flying programme from Hucknall air display in 1969

Flying to Guernsey

In July 1953, mum and Joan Storer had two weeks’ holiday in Guernsey. They flew from Northolt airport. Between 1946 and 1954, civil aviation used RAF Northolt during the construction of Heathrow Airport. In 1952, Northolt was the busiest airport in Europe.

 Plane landing in Guernsey before mum and Joan Storer headed back to London
Plane from London to Guernsey in 1953


During this period, the Parkins did not have any pets but, in April 1950, when mum went to stay at Auntie Dolly’s (see box) in Bedford, she commented that she saw very tiny rabbits. From the same trip, there are pictures of Auntie Dolly with her cat, Pim, and also of mum holding Pim

Auntie Dolly’s mother and grandma’s father were siblings, so they were first cousins. This means she was mum’s first cousin once removed and my first cousin twice removed. As a child, I always referred to her as “auntie” as was the norm then for a child talking to any female adult. I have referred to her as Auntie Dolly throughout these notes for that reason and because I still would find it odd just to refer to her as Dolly although I have referred to other “aunties” from my childhood just by their first name, e.g. Amy and Renie and I recognise that this is inconsistent! Another reason is that grandad’s nephew Len Smith’s wife was also called Dolly.
Auntie Dolly holding Pim in April 1950
Mum holding Pim in April 1950

In April 1954, when grandma came back from visiting the Lofthouses, mum noted that she brought Archie, the tortoise, with her. Over Christmas 1954, grandad noted that he had to go twice a day to feed Pearl’s cat.

Items Purchased

During this period, both mum and grandad recorded items that they bought.


I am not sure if mum was particularly buying clothes at this time or just that she tended to record what she bought. During this period, mum was between 15 and 20 years old and she was building a relationship with dad which culminated in them getting engaged. So, it would perhaps make sense if she was interested in clothes. It also tallies with what I knew of her in that she always liked having nice clothes. Whatever the reason, quite a lot of mum’s entries related to clothes purchases.

January 1950

In January 1950, mum noted buying a new underskirt and knickers for 10/11. She noted that grandma gave her two shillings and grandad gave her four shillings towards this. Also that month, she noted having a new skirt and knickers.

March 1950

In March 1950, mum bought a new costume (see box note 1) and was measured for a new anniversary dress (see box note 2). That same month, grandma and grandad went into Nottingham. Grandad bought a raincoat for £4 10 0 and a trilby for £1 9 6.

[1] I don’t know what the costume was for but also see Chapter 37.

[2] Apparently, it was common/usual for girls to have new dresses for the anniversary which they then wore for the Whit walk. This point was noted by Edith Searson in her book(let) “I Remember“. She notes (p40), “I would say all girls and probably boys too had new clothes for the great occasion [of the Sunday School Anniversary]. As the Whit-walk took place three weeks after, the new clothes would be reserved for that special day. As with few exceptions, most young people went to Sunday School. This meant that generally speaking, they would all get new clothes each spring, as well as any they might get during the year”.
Example of a trilby – Public domain clipart from PomPrint

April 1950

In April 1950, mum bought a blouse for her costume.

May 1950

In May 1950, mum bought a new blazer. That same month, mum bought grandma some stockings for her birthday and grandma bought mum some nylons.

August 1950

In August 1950, mum went to Mansfield twice for shoes for grandad. I don’t know for sure but my sense is that this involved shoes for grandad’s work rather than for him personally. On the second occasion, she went in a lorry with Barbara Coupe. That same month, mum got a new coat and frock from Griffins, which I assume refers to Griffin and Spalding (see Chapter 52).

September 1950

In September 1950, mum got a pair of fur-backed gloves which she noted that she bought herself. That same month, grandma and grandad went to Nottingham and he bought a new suit from Burtons for £12 5 0. Although, he was told it would be delivered in December he got it in November but grandma had to take it back as he noted that the back was not long enough.

February 1951

In February 1951, mum went with grandma and grandad into Nottingham. They bought her a new bike and also a coat and material for a dress. Grandad noted that the bike cost £18 3 6 and that he would have mum’s, presumably the old one, as it was heavy.

March 1951

In March 1951, grandma bought mum a hat and jumper. That same month, grandad went to Nottingham to buy a new suit.

May 1951

In May 1951, grandma bought some wool for a twinset (see Chapter 49).

June 1951

The next month, in June 1951, mum bought some white sandals.

July 1951

In July 1951, mum went with grandma to Crowe’s in Leeds. Crowe’s was a wholesale drapery, haberdashery and boot manufacturers based in Apsley House (formerly Concourse House), Wellington Street, Leeds. The firm was established by George Francis Crowe in 1857.  Apparently, they employed over 300 people and had branches in Bradford, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Sheffield. Mum got a new green hooded coat and grey skirt and they also bought new carpets and curtains for the house in Welbeck Street. They moved there in September 1951 (see Chapter 46).

Billhead and receipt from Crowe and Company in Leeds from the 1920s. The billhead shows their premises in Leeds and in Newcastle-on-Tyne

January 1952

In January 1952, mum bought wool for a green twinset.

March 1952

Two months later, in March 1952, mum bought a costume and a blouse.

August 1952

In August 1952, mum bought material for an evening dress for the concert party.

September 1952

In September 1952, mum again went to Crowe’s in Leeds for the day. She bought a coat, two dresses, a skirt, gloves and shoes. Grandma bought a coat and a dress.

November 1952

In November 1952, mum went to Mansfield and bought material for a new skirt.

March 1953

In March 1953, mum went to Nottingham and bought a new coat and gloves.

April 1953

The next month, in April 1953, mum went into Mansfield and bought a new white hat.

May 1953

In May 1953, mum bought new gloves again in Mansfield.

July 1953

In July 1953, in Guernsey (see Chapter 52), mum bought a new skirt.

September 1953

In September 1953, mum bought a new red mac.

November 1953

In November 1953, mum went to Nottingham and bought a new frock.

April 1954

In April 1954, mum went to Nottingham and bought a short coat, dress and gloves. She also bought two lots of material and grandma bought a new coat.

June 1954

In June 1954, mumbought a new pac-a-mac which grandad got for her.

September 1954

In September 1954, mum and dad bought her engagement ring from Gibbs in Nottingham (see Chapter 57). They also bought material for an evening dress which was a present from grandad.

October 1954

In October 1954, mum bought a new blue coat, red dress, navy hat and navy gloves.

December 1954

In December 1954, grandad bought a suit and raincoat from Burtons in Hockley. The suit was £12 and the raincoat was £8 15 0. I am not entirely sure where this branch was but, in the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, there were at least seven branches in Nottingham, in St Peter’s Square, Beastmarket Hill, Friar Lane, Clumber Street, Goore Gate, Parliament Street and Carrington Street. Perhaps the most likely is the one in Goore Gate, which I presume should be Goose Gate, and which is in Hockley.


I have noted mum’s love of bags previously (see Chapter 37) and she bought several during this period. In February 1951, she bought herself a new bag which she described as “a scotch one” (see box). In February 1952, she bought a blue leather bag, in September 1952, a black bag and, in March 1954, she went to Mansfield and bought a new shoulder bag.

I am not entirely sure what mum meant by a “scotch” bag. Initially, I thought she might have meant Scottish, so perhaps tartan of some kind. But. I am not sure if by “scotch” she was referring to a particular style of bag, a particular type of leather or a specific bag. On balance, I still think the first explanation most likely but I am not sure.

A Necklace and a Table Tennis Bat

Mum also bought other things for herself during this period. In May 1952, she went into Mansfield with grandma and bought a necklace. In April 1953, mum went into Sutton with Betty and Joan and she bought a new table tennis bat.

Books and Magazines

During this period, neither mum nor grandad recorded buying a lot of books or other reading material. One exception was, in July 1950, when mum recorded buying “1stHeiress” from Drabble’s (see box). Initially, I thought this was a book and was looking for one called “The First Heiress” but without success!

I then found that, according to Wikipedia, from 1951 to 1956, the magazine that had been “The Girl’s Own  Paper” was produced as “Heiress” having, from 1947 to 1951 been “The Girls’ Own Paper and Heiress”. I wonder if this is what mum was referring to. If so, I presume “first” was referring to the first time mum had bought it. It appears to slightly precede the final name change but looking online, it appears that the magazine was known simply as “Heiress” in 1950 and before that, that name was also more prominent in the title. The fact that Drabble’s was a newsagent is probably also in favour of this being a magazine rather than a book. Mum used “Heiress” diaries in 1951 and 1952 (see Chapter 46).

This was a newsagent run by Walter Drabble at 101 Lowmoor Road. There is a record for this in the 1941 Kelly’s Directory.
Example of “Heiress” magazines. This is from 1948 and still has the name “Girl’s Own Paper” although the “Heiress” name is more visible.
Example of “Heiress” magazine. This one is from 1950 and is only called “Heiress”.

Buying Presents

Mum and grandad sometimes noted presents they bought or received. For example, in March 1950, mum bought grandma some fruit spoons for her 20th wedding anniversary and Mothering Sunday. In December 1951, mum bought grandad a tray purse for his birthday. In November 1953, grandma and grandad went to Nottingham to buy a high-low thermometer. It cost 15/6 and mum paid for it for grandad’s birthday. In December 1953, grandma gave grandad an alarm clock for his cabin. The cost of this had been 22/6. In March 1954, mum bought grandma some tea knives for Mothering Sunday and, in May that year, mum went to Nottingham and she bought grandma some salad servers for her birthday. At the same time, she also bought dad a wallet.


During this period grandad bought various tools or items to improve the tools he already had.

Sander and Bench Drill

In January 1950, grandad improved the sander and made an overhead frame for his bench drill.

A Bench for the Drilling Machine

In February 1950, grandad made a small bench for his drilling machine.

An Electric Motor

In April 1950, grandad bought a 1HP E motor for his saw from Stanton Hill for £8 10 0. I assume this was a one horse power electric motor. However, grandad returned it in May as he felt there was no power in it. Two days after returning it, he ordered a new motor.

A Lathe

In July 1950, grandad went to Nottingham to enquire about a wood lathe and, in August, grandma, grandad and mum went into Nottingham for a lathe but they did not buy one. A week later, he finally managed to buy a lathe in Nottingham for nine guineas.

Another Motor… from Kaye’s

A week after buying the lathe, grandad went into Nottingham for a small motor but did not buy one and, a further week after that, he bought a ½HP motor from Kayes in Nottingham for £6 17 6. In the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, there is a tool dealers called William Kaye and Sons based at 29 Goose Gate. There are some details about the firm on this website. It seems they were linked to T S Kaye and Sons from Hull and there are more details on this website.

Front page of Kaye’s tool list. Although they were based in Hull, they had a branch in Goosegate in Nottingham
Sample page from Kaye’s tool list. I could not find any details of any electric motors including the one grandad bought. The tool list is illustrated with beautiful pen and ink drawings which were done by William Henry Kaye in 1943 and 1944.

Accessories and Adaptations for the Lathe

At the end of August 1950, grandad got a new pulley from the lathe makers. It cost eight shillings with the postage. In September 1950, he “fixed bench drill for power drive”, he made the electric motor adjustable for driving the lathe and he made a full length rest for the lathe.

In October 1950, he finished the disk sander and went to Nottingham about a chuck for the lathe but noted that he would have to go again with the lathe “mandrill”. I think he was referring to mandrel. In November 1950, grandad took his large mandrel to Carrs (see box note 1) in Nottingham to be fitted with a chuck.  A week later, grandma went to Nottingham and brought back the chuck. The cost of fitting (see box note 2) this was 20 shillings. I don’t know why grandad did not record this as £1. Also in November 1950, he made a countershaft for reducing the speed of the lathe and went, with grandma, into Nottingham and he bought a six inch Vee pulley for the lathe.

[1] I think grandad was referring to the  ironmongers Carr and Co who, according to the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, were based in 6 Lower Parliament Street. There is an excellent photo of the shop on the lathes.co.uk website and the description explains that they occupied 6-8 Lower Parliament Street. According to Google, the premises were occupied by JJB Sports from at least 2008 to 2012 and by PerfectHome from at least 2015 to 2020. It appears that PerfectHome closed in March 2022 and that the property was recently available to lease.

[2] The reference appears to read “filling a back plate”. I am pretty sure the word is fitting. But, I think it was the chuck that was fitted. Perhaps it should have read “fitting and back plate”. I confess that this is all beyond my knowledge but it seems that a backplate can be used to mount a chuck on a lathe.
Extract from grandad’s diary for 5-11 November 1950 including on the 8th to “fitting a back plate“.

A Circular Saw

In July 1951, grandad bought a 10” circular saw.

A Wheelbarrow

In August 1951, grandma and grandad went to Nottingham and Carlton. Grandad bought a wheelbarrow from Hannams (see Chapter 54) for 55 shillings. He also bought a  piece of silver steel for a new saw spindle.

Fixing and Installing Various Equipment

In October 1951, grandad fixed the vice and anvil in his cabin and, a week later, fixed his lathe there too. He also “fetched the planing machine from Station St” and the saw and motor. He also installed electric light in the cabin.

Various Pulleys

In August 1952, grandad’s nephew Len brought him three new V belt pulleys from Carrs of Nottingham so as to drive the saw with a v belt rather than a flat belt. The cost of these was 17 shillings. In September, he installed the new pullies and commented that they doubled the speed of the saw.

A Sealant Gun

In July 1953, grandma went to Mansfield and bought grandad what looks like a “selastic” gun for 52 shillings. I suspect that this was some kind of sealant gun. Silastic was a brand name for Dow Corning and it seems there were guns for it. The refills were three shillings each.

Extract from grandad’s diary for 12-18 July 1953 including on the 16th reference to grandma buying grandad a “selastic” gun

Further Adjustments

In December 1953, grandad changed the pulleys on the saw motor giving him three speeds and he put an adjustment on the saw for adjusting the motor.  In September 1954, he cut the planer down to fit on the top of the saw.

Household Items

Grandma and grandad also bought various other household items particularly after they moved to Welbeck Street in 1951.

A Drop Leaf Table

In April 1951, grandma and grandad bought a drop leaf table from Pearsons (see Chapter 66) for £12 10 0.

A Writing Bureau

In June 1951, grandma and grandad bought a writing bureau for £21 6 8.

An Electric Cooker

In August 1951, grandma and grandad got a new Belling electric cooker. They sold what I assume was their old one (see Chapter 37) to D Webster in October 1951 for £9 10 0.

Bathroom Suite

Also, in August 1951, grandma and grandad got a new bath, basin and lavatory. They sold the old bath and taps for £6 in November 1951.

A Bedroom Suite for Mum

In September 1951, grandma and grandad got a new suite for mum’s bedroom from Hannam’s (see Chapter 54).

A Coffee Boiler

In January 1952, grandma and grandad bought a coffee boiler for the back kitchen for £9 15 0.

A Portable Radio

In February 1952, grandad bought a portable radio (“wireless”) from Meggitts (see Chapter 53) and gave it to mum.

A Pressure Cooker

In March 1952, grandma and grandad went into Nottingham and bought a pressure cooker.

Door Locks and Handles

In October 1952, grandma and grandad bought new locks and handles for the front doors.

Electric Clocks and Copper Sheeting

In November 1952, grandad bought mum an electric alarm clock for £3 9s 9d and he also bought 16 feet of copper sheeting for the cabin. That same month, he also bought an electric clock for the front room from Meggitts (see Chapter 53). The cost was £3 19s 4d less a two shilling discount.

Door Chimes

In December 1952, grandad bought door chimes from Reddish. This may refer to S Reddish and Son who are/were electricians based at 37 Urban Road, Based on Google, the shop has been boarded up since 2008 but the shop name was in place until sometime between 2019 and 2020. According to Companies House, the company is still active.

The total cost for the chimes, switches and wires was £4 16 6. There is a broken down cost but this is not completely legible. It seems the chimes were £2 12 6 plus 21 shillings for wiring and 12/6 for what looks like “transfixing”.

Grandad’s diary entries for the period 30 November to 6 December 1952 including a note about buying door chimes on 6 December

Fireplace Grate

In February 1953, grandma and grandad went to Nottingham and bought a new grate for the front room fireplace for £5.

Bathroom Mirror

In April 1953, they bought a bathroom mirror for 46 shillings.  

Suite Reupholstered at Clarke’s

In January 1954, they sent their dining suite to Clarkes of Sutton to be reupholstered. Mum and grandma had to go to Sutton to pick material for the suite and they got it back a few days later.

There is a reference to Clarke’s in the Kelly’s Directory in 1941. They are described as house furnishers based at 109-118 Outram Street. I think this probably means they had shops on both sides of the road as Wallace’s seem to have now although their address is given as 111 Outram Street.