Marc Riboud – A Lasting Moment

Another archive rescued by The Oral History Company

Derelict House / Victoria Place

Kathy Banks_1: Victoria Place, playing in the house:
“I’m looking at the house, I think it’s number 13 Victoria Place, this was a derelict house. And as children, we shouldn’t have done this, but we did, we used to go in, and there wasn’t any staircase going up, just parts sticking out of the wall, and we used to climb up these parts, go up into the bedroom, try to walk along the beams because the floorboards wasn’t there anymore, climb up on to the empty window ledges and jump down into the garden that slanted and there used to be an old mattress there, and we used to grab it in so we didn’t roll back!”

Joe Wroe_ 1: Victoria Place, taking firewood:
“Well, what it was is we, we all used to play together, and we used to go in these old houses ’cause our houses were all coal fires. And sometimes when we couldn’t get coal, we used to go in the old houses and get the old wood out. You know, like door frames and floorboards and stuff! And nobody bothered in them days about anything like that ’cause it, yer know, it were useless to anybody else ’cause they were half rotten. And we used to just pull them out and take ‘em home and break ‘em up for firewood for the house; sometimes to light the fire, sometimes to keep the fire going. And sometimes, when we were about ten, we got a bit more, we…we got a bit cleverer than that ’cause we started chipping and selling it for firelighters to people up and down the streets! That’s what we did! We didn’t get a lot for it but you know, when you’re kids, in them days… if you were lucky enough to get sixpence, it were a lot of money. You could go to the pictures for a penny. I mean, we used to go down to ‘Old Bug Hut’ at bottom: used to cost us… we could get in there, we could get in there and watch picture, get an ice cream, and we could still, and we’d still have change out of a threepenny bit!”

All Images – © Marc Riboud/Courtesy HackelBury Fine Art, London

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