My first holiday without my parents was to Blackpool with my friend Julie Spivey and her parents. We were 16 and had just left school. Also with us was Moira Engledow, who was training to be a nurse with Julie at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. I already knew Moira because she came to our chapel with her friend Doreen Fretwell, whose grandparents lived in Barnby Dun. Moira and Doreen both lived in Intake. Julie lived in Kirk Sandal and had gone to the Grammar School with me.
In Blackpool we stayed in a boarding house, and we three girls shared a room along with another girl whose family were staying there. The proprietors didn’t have a spare room for her, so they put her in with us. Though she was a complete stranger, we soon got to know her.
Moira was more outgoing than Julie and me, and she soon attracted the attention of some lads who were in a boarding house across the road from us. These lads came from Ashington in Northumberland, the home of soccer stars Bobby and Jackie Charlton, whom they knew, Because of this, we thought they were something special and spent some time with them in their boarding house in the evenings. Of course, their parents were always present too — as 16-year-olds we had to be chaperoned. How times change!
We three girls spent some time in the Pleasure Gardens and went to the famous circus in Blackpool Tower. The circus had a clown called Charlie Cairoli, who was very well-known and appeared in a number of films. He was originally from Italy but had moved to Blackpool and settled there. He was a wonderful act to watch. All this was very different from my childhood holidays in Scarborough.
My parents went to Scarborough again that year, but because I had already had a week’s holiday, I didn’t go with them. Instead, I stayed with my grandparents in Braithwaite. I was planning to cycle to work at Rockware, but it rained the whole week, and I got wet through on the bike, so I used to stop off at home to change my clothes and then continue to Kirk Sandall on the bus.