Kirkgate Market tales.

Bunkers, shelters and other buildings
j.c.d.
Posts: 571
Joined: Mon 27 Jan, 2014 4:54 pm

Postby j.c.d. » Mon 18 Aug, 2014 11:05 pm

Just after World War 2. I was living on the relatively new Gipton Estate and a pupil at Mt St. Marys school on Richmond Hill. I should have got off the Tram at the Hope Inn on York Road but if I had 1d. or maybe 2d. I would stay on an alight at the Bus Station, go into the Market and ask for a 1d. of clab claws from the Fish Row. this would be 4 claws in a bag but the snag was you would have to wait 5 or 10 mins 'till the man gave you them. this meant the Parish church clock would strike nine oclock as I was in the Marsh Lane area. being later than 10 minutes meant one stroke of the cane (two strokes if you were late twice in the same week) The pain was worth it because at playtime the claws were worth 1d. each. Now I have 3 or 4 pence to spend at dinner time on Upper accommodation rd. One pennorth of chips and a 2d. Bloomer loaf wrapped round them. This was heavenly and such a bonus not having to stay at school and eat the school dinners which were vile. This was my first ever contact with the Market and was to continue for some years. When there was a flag day in Leeds we used to be given an envelope with 100 flags inside and a tin oollecting box from school. I used to be in Kirkgate Market about 8am. Saturday morning "Do you want to buy a flag please ?" to the shoppers and staff. By about mid morning I used to have sold out then i would go to Clynes Rag Shop on the Bank (what was left of it) and they would give you sixpence. Now armed with a Tanner it was onto Marsh Lane and next to the Ice House was a a working mans café which specialises in "Train stopper"sand wiches, a pint of tea I was in paradise, then back to the Market with a second lot of flags. I used to sell a few but it was "Got one Love" from most people and by 2pm. I used to give up.
User avatar
Leodian
Posts: 6127
Joined: Thu 10 Jun, 2010 8:03 am

Postby Leodian » Mon 18 Aug, 2014 11:14 pm

Fascinating recollection j.c.d. The prime meat in crab claws was always the best part but even sucking out the material in the thin claws was good stuff. Nowadays the prime meat at least is a luxury item based on its price! My only long ago recollections of the market was the sight of cows and sheep going for slaughter at the abattoir.    
A rainbow is a ribbon that Nature puts on when she washes her hair.
j.c.d.
Posts: 571
Joined: Mon 27 Jan, 2014 4:54 pm

Postby j.c.d. » Mon 18 Aug, 2014 11:31 pm

When I was 14 years old (1949) I decided 5/- for delivering 120 evening papers 6 days a week was not good enough and already being in love with the smell and bustle of Leeds Market I went around asking if anyone wanted a "Satdi Lad" I was mesmerised by the Top Row with its bright lights and row upon row od apples and oranges, that's where I wanted to be but the only job I could get was down on the Game Row. can't recall the name, something like Hargraves but they sold Chickens, turkeys and Geese plus Rabbits. My job was to help unload the van full of Rabbits which were brought from Malton. At 8.30am I was given a white coat (Touched my feet) and I stood at the front of the shop shouting "Yorkshire Trapped Rabbits 2/6" The Bunnies were hung on the top of the stall with a tin cup over their noses. in the line of rabbits they would hang one that was head and shoulders bigger than the rest and he would be in the middle of the line. "Heyare Lady Yorshire trapped rabbits, Pick your own" those eagle eyed old ladies from Quarry Hill Flats or Halton Moor would soon spot Big Billy and point up at him "I'l have that one" "Ring and skin Lady? meaning all the fur eyes and ears paws removed. 9 out 10 of them would say Yes so the big one would be passed into the back. 2 or 3 mins. later "HereyareLady" and off the customer would go. another 2 or 3 mins the big bunny would go back up on display, this was repeated all day until we were nearly sold out of rabbits or his eyes were glazing over and then he was sold. I reckon he did more mileage up and down, in and out of the back of that stall than he did on the Yorkshire Moor. It was a long day but dinner was free and I got 5/- for the one day and a chicken to take home to my Mother.     Happy Days.
Johnny39
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon 11 Jun, 2007 3:54 pm

Postby Johnny39 » Mon 18 Aug, 2014 11:37 pm

Can anyone remember a bloke in the market who dressed up as a jockey together with sit-in weighing scales? He would attempt to guess your weight prior to weighing you on the scales. I'm talking about just after the war.
Daft I call it - What's for tea Ma?

j.c.d.
Posts: 571
Joined: Mon 27 Jan, 2014 4:54 pm

Postby j.c.d. » Wed 20 Aug, 2014 6:10 pm

He also worked at Wetherby and Pontefract Races I think he charged a penny which he refunded if he got your weight wrong. he also claimed to be an ex. jockey but my Dad said he was doubtful if that was correct as he was a strange shape for a jockey.
j.c.d.
Posts: 571
Joined: Mon 27 Jan, 2014 4:54 pm

Postby j.c.d. » Wed 20 Aug, 2014 6:15 pm

Leodian wrote: Fascinating recollection j.c.d. The prime meat in crab claws was always the best part but even sucking out the material in the thin claws was good stuff. Nowadays the prime meat at least is a luxury item based on its price! My only long ago recollections of the market was the sight of cows and sheep going for slaughter at the abattoir.     I remember people not being able to alight from the tram outside the Bus station for the poor cows and sheep that had been driven from the Marsh lane railway yards. when they got near the Slaughter house they used to panic and I recall some jumping over the low wall and running over what was then a graveyard and up to the railway embankment.
Johnny39
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon 11 Jun, 2007 3:54 pm

Postby Johnny39 » Wed 20 Aug, 2014 6:35 pm

j.c.d. wrote: He also worked at Wetherby and Pontefract Races I think he charged a penny which he refunded if he got your weight wrong. he also claimed to be an ex. jockey but my Dad said he was doubtful if that was correct as he was a strange shape for a jockey. That's the one j.c.d. He used to dress in racing silks and his weighing scales were bright shiney brass. Glad someone else remembered him. I was always weighed on a Saturday afternoon as a kid before catching the tram back to Compton Road outside the bus station. I also remember the cattle and sheep being driven to the slaughter house from Marsh Lane and the odd beast panicking and leading its pursuers a merry chase through town.
Daft I call it - What's for tea Ma?
j.c.d.
Posts: 571
Joined: Mon 27 Jan, 2014 4:54 pm

Postby j.c.d. » Mon 25 Aug, 2014 11:48 am

Johnny39 wrote: j.c.d. wrote: He also worked at Wetherby and Pontefract Races I think he charged a penny which he refunded if he got your weight wrong. he also claimed to be an ex. jockey but my Dad said he was doubtful if that was correct as he was a strange shape for a jockey. That's the one j.c.d. He used to dress in racing silks and his weighing scales were bright shiney brass. Glad someone else remembered him. I was always weighed on a Saturday afternoon as a kid before catching the tram back to Compton Road outside the bus station. I also remember the cattle and sheep being driven to the slaughter house from Marsh Lane and the odd beast panicking and leading its pursuers a merry chase through town. Yes it was not that unusual to see some poor sheep or cow running wildly along Harper St, and up Kirkgate, no surprising considering the smell of blood etc. from the Slaughter house. When I came out of the R.A.F. in 1957 I had a months paid leave but took a job in portering in the Leeds Wholesale market which was the bottom half of the Market. sometimes we had to take empty crates on an electric cart to the storage under the Abattoir. the entrance was behind the Bus Station down a slope and then iron doors. we always carried a stick when going in as when we put the lights on there were hundreds of rats down there, they used to scarper but we never dwelt down there long.

j.c.d.
Posts: 571
Joined: Mon 27 Jan, 2014 4:54 pm

Postby j.c.d. » Fri 29 Aug, 2014 4:57 pm

In 1957 I came out of the Air force and had four weeks paid leave so being at loose end during the day when all my pals were working I used to go down to Kirkgate market to pass the time on. I met an old pal who was working as a Porter down there in the Wholesale side of the Market (bottom half) he persuaded me to join him and I found myself starting graft at 6am. until 1pm. the firm I worked for did not have the electric carts that the larger firms had but they had a large hand cart with iron wheels which was a job in its self to pull when empty but when loaded weighed quite a lot (Fruit was packed in wooden cases in those days not card board) my job was to drag this cart and the goods on it out to the customers van and with the exception of a van parked in Harper Street that meant pulling it uphill mainly out to the "Penfold" which was the name for what is now the car park in front of the Police station and where the "Madhouse" Pub stood on the corner of Harewood St. Even worse was dragging a delivery to Littlewoods in Kirkgate or on to a shop on Boar lane opposite the Church. you had to negotiate cars Buses and Trams, sometimes the wheels of the cart got stuck in the tramlines, (I found swearing seemed to help) we usually got a Tanner for each delivery but nowt from the Firms. The bonus was that at 9am four of us Porters used to go across to the Royal Oak Pub in Kirkgate and New York St. for breakfast upstairs. All Paddies referred to this pub as the "Diddly Dee and still do. We used to take our own breakfast in and a large lady,"Big Nan" came across from the market to cook it. this consisted of eggs bacon or gammon from the butchers row swopped for a cabbage,cauliflower and maybe some fruit mushrooms and tomatoes were from a customers load just before it went into his van. This might sound like a large breakfast but we had been out working since 6am so it was like lunch. "Swopping fruit and veg which did not belong to you and getting Fish or chickenin return was quite common and my Mother was quite pleased with the" Home Service." At 1pm. the Wholesale market switched and quite a few Firms started retailing for the afternoon. Me, I headed for the Mecca in the County Arcade where the 6d. dance 12pm to 2pm. had just begun with now infamous Saville was playing all the Pop and Rock and Roll from the U.S.A.        A Must for any young people working in town.    
User avatar
Leodian
Posts: 6127
Joined: Thu 10 Jun, 2010 8:03 am

Postby Leodian » Fri 29 Aug, 2014 7:25 pm

Fascinating j.c.d. Your "We used to take our own breakfast in and a large lady,"Big Nan" came across from the market to cook it. this consisted of eggs bacon or gammon from the butchers row swopped for a cabbage,cauliflower and maybe some fruit mushrooms and tomatoes were from a customers load just before it went into his van. This might sound like a large breakfast but we had been out working since 6am so it was like lunch" has made me very hungry! I have not had a cooked breakfast like that for very many years. It's almost unbelievable now (at least to me) that my mum used to cook a very similar breakfast (no cauliflower and cabbage) in the 1950s to very early 1960's before I left to go to school and yet I still needed a school dinner such was the energy used as a school kid!
A rainbow is a ribbon that Nature puts on when she washes her hair.





Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests