OFF BROADWAY MEMORIES
I was born in 1941 at 8 Alexandra Road which runs up from the Broadway to North Street where I went to school.
I remember some of the old Leigh names from kids that were at North Street Infant School. There was Leonard Cotgrove and other old names like the Bickmores, Johnsons and Osbornes and a big family called Golightlly and the Clarks too. I remember going down Church Hill and meeting one of the Clark girls in one of the old terraced houses, very small cramped homes with a door to open for the stairs and very dark.
We moved to Canonsleigh Crescent when I was about 21 and there was a builders' yard in Leigh Hall Road where later in years was found an old house which must have been an original built many years before. When this site was sold they found a blocked up passage that must have led down the hill to old Leigh where the smugglers used to bring up all the illegal booty they got.
Apparently there was smuggling going on and booty was brought up the creeks and transferred to these passages which had links to some terrace houses on the hill and further up to this old house.
Later I heard that during the war the German aircraft would dump all unused bombs on the mud as they passed over to their homes and one must have fallen into our garden at Alexandra Road.
Weather in those days was very rainy and smoggy and the garden was mostly muddy too and it must have just sunk down and got covered up.
When we moved to Canonsleigh Crescent they did the old house up and dug up all the garden and found it was an unexploded bomb and could have gone off at any time - scary. I was always in the garden and we had ducks and chickens and just think ourselves very lucky we never uncovered it.
I have a very vague memory of Green's vegetable store and may have used it as a kid doing shopping for my grandmother.
I remember the old pet shop Cramphorns may have been next door, it sold dog biscuits and chicken food and had a lovely smell about it, it was also not far from the old Woolworths which sold everything and so cheap too.
When I was small we could walk through the school yard from Canonsleigh Crescent and out the back entrance.
Nan did machining at home when women weren't supposed to have jobs. She taught my mum who became manageress of a factory. I worked with my mother all my life till we all had to retire as factory closed. Mum was in her seventies and we set up a workshop at home and worked there sewing till she died age 82 - and I still keep on the tradition.
Gloria Kathleen Florence Sher (nee Breadmore)