Then I realised…

After my dad passed away life got really tough, we were surviving on basic food & money was scarce. My sister & myself had to grow up quickly & we took any part-time jobs we could get. I did newspaper delivery rounds morning & evening, weekends we both helped out at a local (small) farm. Mother took some cleaning jobs in houses of wealthier people & she also did sewing, knitting & mending of clothes for our near neighbours.  By the time I left school aged 15 in 1966 (July 22nd.. a date I’ll always know) I was keen to get a proper full time employment. For some reason I decided I wanted to work in a bakery making bread! So my first job on the first Monday after I had left school started at 5:30am ! I had to get up at 4am and make sure my sister still knew she had to go out to school at 8:30am, I went into our cold ‘back room’ and began lighting the coal fire ready for my mother getting up at 6. I got a quick wash in cold water & with cold shakes & shivers I reluctantly put some clothes on, realising that now I was, whether I liked it or not, entering the adult world. A world in our location meant work long hours, do whatever you could to get something better happening in your own home. I realised how much we would miss dad, in more ways than I ever realised, specially when my lovely mother put her arm around my shoulder and said, “You’re the man of the house now, my little boy is grown up, you are Mister Thompson now, the man of the house.


3 thoughts on “Then I realised…”

  1. I started at 13. Hanging out at the filling station at the end of our street. Soon enough, the mgr would open up & leave the station in my competent hands. Ended up hiring my little brother to tend the pumps while I did the oil changes and brake jobs.
    Dad passed 2 years later and I was the “man of the house”. Grew up fast, still growing 50 years later.

  2. Thank you for your comments Al. I stayed in bakery work only until 1971, I then went to be a postman for 2 years & followed that with 25 years with a bus company. After that I had various jobs and concluded working in security of large business buildings & works sites. I look forward to hearing from anyone who would like to share some of their own life-history, either by messages or on this site. Thank you again Al.

  3. Thanks for sharing your history Patrick one which I can relate to a little in that I too started work at age 15 albeit part-time in the wee hours with the local milkman carrying bottles of milk to doorsteps and collecting the empties. My father was in the military and we were posted to different camps each three years including overseas, money was always tight and I didn’t have new clothes until my early teens instead I had hand-me-downs from my elder brother. Contributing a little money to the family budget was always important so summers in particular were filled with cutting neighbours lawns, cleaning cars, etc, all to make ends meet at the end of each week. I’m happy my own son has not had to have these kind of experiences but sometimes wonder if having them makes us stronger as individuals? What do you think Patrick?
    Do you still bake bread?


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