From autobiography – dinky curlers

We’d get up at eight o’clock the next morning for school.

We would have two slices of toast each, spread with butter, and one cup of tea with milk and one sugar.

There wasn’t much time.

We’d wash our hands and faces, or Mam would do it for us.

We’d dress in red pleated skirts, and yellow jumpers with zips at the front neck that our Nanny had made for us.

Underneath, we wore vests and navy-blue knickers, liberty bodices and petticoats.

We had fawn socks up to our knees, and laced tan shoes, or zipped ankle-boots when the weather got colder.

Hats and coats.

It was winter.

We had mittens – that weren’t tied through the sleeves on a length of elastic as others in the class had – our Mam hadn’t thought of that idea yet.

Under our hats, a grip or hairslide held our hair from side partings.  We had slept in dinky curlers all night and our hair bunched out in froth for five minutes round our ears.

Mam always moaned and said what terrible hair I had when she couldn’t get the comb through it.

We had a bag each – the long strap over the shoulder and across our chests to keep them on.

Inside each was a handkerchief and two bob in an envelope for the school bank.

We set off.

We walked together out of our house and out of the Avenue down an alleyway and on to Acklam Road.

Further along was a grassy sitting place facing the shops, which had a winding path through it.

We always went along the winding path because our Mam told us to, and not along the pavement next to the busy part of the road.

We passed the police station, a small one just for our area.

We walked up the long hill to the school, crossing the road before we were supposed to, and then flanking the tall iron railings between the path and the school field.

We got to the gates, with plenty of others by then, and walked in.

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