I was reading an article in a magazine the other day where someone was saying what it was like when they lived in digs in the olden days, and how things have changed. It took me back to my hubby when he came over from Preston to Yorkshire. He’d got a job as a graphic designer after being out of work for months when he finished college in Lancaster. He’d been applying for jobs all over the country, including Yeovil in Somerset. Eventually he came to our neck of the woods as a young, very handsome, well dressed man!
I also couldn’t find a job and was out of work for five months after finishing in the sixth form at school. I mention this because, back in the dark ages, jobs weren’t easy to find and you had to really apply for jobs everywhere. Today, it seems the same, but I would like to make the point that nothing has changed, don’t you think. I also ended up working at the same place as hubby. I’ve asked him many times if he would have run the other way if he’d known what laid in front of him!
Digs in the Olden Days
Anyway, before he caught my eye at work, he’d arranged to live in digs quite near to where we worked. It was an old Victorian house run by a nice couple who took him in in his hour of need, but whether that was a good thing or bad thing remained to be seen! His bedroom was a downstairs room at the end of the hallway facing the front door. It didn’t take him long to realise what he had let himself in for when the cold weather struck.
With a massive gap under the front door and his bedroom door he had a wind tunnel blowing straight into his room! With no central heating in his bedroom he was always frozen and had to sleep with his coat on the bed and anything else he could find. I bought him an electric blanket in the end, as his clothes were getting damper and damper.
The real crunch came when he was laid in bed watching mice run under his door, straight at him. He wasn’t scared of them, he just didn’t want them climbing into bed with him. Although I don’t think they would have lasted long in that cold.
He told his landlady and she had him pulling the cooker out and goodness knows what else in the kitchen to try and find them. In the end I think they resorted to traps or something. He had his breakfast and evening meal there, which was always out of the frying pan. By the time he’d got to the end of his tether, he had full blown indigestion and icicles dripping off his nose!
Taking pity on a young man in need!
My aunty, who lived near us, took him in out of pity. She was a tartar with a husband to match. When Derek got home at night after leaving my mum’s, her husband would sit up and wait for him, to have a ‘debate’ about everything under the sun. Or if he could, he would have a good old argument with him. Not in a nasty way, but he just liked goading people. As a result, Derek would try and sneak past him before he saw him!
At least he was warm and she was a good cook, although every meal was padded out with Yorkshire puddings ‘so that they didn’t eat as much meat’. In other words he filled up on puddings instead of the joint of meat! That was my Aunty Gerty and she lived up to the name, which was strange because the lady who lived next door to us when I was younger was called Gerty, and she stood no nonsense either.
Don’t you think it’s strange the way that people of the same name always seem to be of the same character? We’ve commented on this many times. Jane’s tend to be alike, Margaret’s seem to have the same nature, and so on. But anyway, going back to hubby, he was glad when we got married and had his own home.
It wasn’t much fun in the 1960’s in digs. Bad digs today are probably just the same, although modern rules and regulations are supposed to make them better!
New Hotel at Yates Wine Lodge Site
I just wanted to mention the new hotel on the site of the Yates Wine Lodge on Talbot Road. The plans remind me of the Woolworths building and clock from the front.
As you know, the place was burnt down, but at last the steel frame of the new building is rising from the ashes, as it were. I didn’t realise the fire was ten years ago, how time flies, I got quite a shock when I saw that.
It’s going to recruit 75 ish workers when it’s up and running. The hotel will have 150 bedrooms, a Cookhouse and pub restaurant which can feed 200 people, that’s a lot of people all at once so it must be a decent size. It’s hoped to be open by Easter next year and will also have conference centre facilities. It will be nice to see the back of the boarded off site which has been a mess for so long.
While you’re here…
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