The Crinoline Lady
Joyce Routledge came into Bransholme Lib last September and brought something very special to for us to look at.
I've not yet been introduced to you, what's your name?
Joyce Routledge. No relation to Patricia Routledge.
Joyce has brought in something really beautifulů
It's a little blue Crinoline Lady. Nothing much to it except it was very valuable as regards sentimental value. My Dad won it at the Hull Fair before the war and my Mum treasured it and that's all she wanted when she left the house and came to live with me.
Thank you Joyce. Did you go to the fair often?
Where we lived on Anlaby Road was Wheeler street, and you either got a halfpenny tram from Wheeler street to Walton street, cost a halfpenny in them days, or we walked it. Every night, with it being near our doorstep.
My brother and I used to go with my Dad, and there used to be a lady in a basket on one of the stalls and you had to throw a ball, and knock the lady out into a bucket of cold water. My dad did it three times! So we got three boxes of chocolates and then we got moved on, they wouldn't let him do it anymore!
And then after the war I went with my boyfriend and we won quite a bit of crockery on the darts. And we hid them in the park while we went on the swings.
Were they there when you came back?
Yes! We had to go around all the bushes looking for them. They turned out to be my bottom drawer things after the war.
I'll skip a bit. In 1950 I gave birth to a baby - a baby boy in Hedon Road maternity. While I was in hospital my husband went to the fair every night before coming to see me and he brought me everything that they were selling there, peas and chips, sea foam candy, chestnuts, nougat, you name it, and I got everything that they were selling.
Did you go to fair after the children were born?
Well, I remember going with my dad to Hull Fair. But I remember going with my Mam when I had my little ones. As I say I went to live next door to her after I lost my husband, and I remember one day we'd been yap yap yapping to each other and looking at things, two kids in a push chair. When we got to the end of Walton street, the kids had gone and we'd never missed them! We'd been that busy talking to each other and looking at things! And we had to go back and they was in the lost childrens! Crying their eyes out! Then they got walloped then for getting out of the pram! But we loved it. We really loved it.
I always wanted one of the dolls but I never ever got one, my Mum and Dad was poor and I had four big brothers as well, so I never got a fairy doll. No. But in those days you could spend a full evening in Hull Fair and not go on anything. Just watching the side shows. All I wanted to do when I was a real little girl was to grow up and be one of them dancers. Kicking their legs up in the air with their frilly frocks on. I wanted to do that when I grew up.
Do you still go to the fair?
Well you get too old for walking around fairs now!
What you need is a chauffer service don't you?
Well that's what I want for my Golden Wedding in four years time, I want a Limousine. I've told all my boys, I said 'You can all start saving up because I want to be driven around Hull in a Limousine.'
Thank you very much for bringing your Crinoline Lady for us to see Joyce and sharing your memories of the fair. And show this to your boys so as they don't forget!