Rat A Tat Tat Tat.........

Bunkers, shelters and other buildings
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Rat A Tat Tat Tat.........

Postby volvojack » Fri 17 May, 2019 2:36 pm

In the late 1950s we were looking for a house as we were to marry in 1960. We bought a through terrace property in Burlington Place, Beeston. (Big Mistake) this was a property on four floors including two cellars, one had a complete "Yorkist" range, back door, toilet outside under the flight of steps leading to a backyard.
Apart from the fact there was no central heating we spent our time in the kitchen with the coal fire. front room we had an electric fire.
My Sunday Morning job was to go down in to the cellars and dust around the windows ect. before heading off for a few pints.
One Sunday morning i went down and was surprsed to see a pile of earth just by the sink.
I called around to bring the Father in Law down and as soon as he saw it he said "Thats Rats" he then opened the back door and showed me that the toilet below the stairs was complety dry.
It seemed that they come up from the sewers when possible. He flushed the toilet a few times but said contact the health dept. I was on the phone first thing Monday am. and the Man with the van came up and as soon as he saw this earth trail he agreed with the father in Law. He had me switch off the water, drain it away down below. He then put something down in a large trap.
The following morning i went down, hardly daring to open the door but sure enough there was
this brown / grey monster in the trap. I was on the phone as soon as the office opened and when the man arrived he said "Thats one family that won' see Daddy tonight" he wanted to me to have a close look but i was just happy for him to depart with his trophy. He flushe the Loo, putting something down each time.
Weeks went by and there was no more sightings apart from one day the Brother in Law came in and said he had just seen a rat staggering along the back street drunkenly and a neighbour had come out and killed it with a spade.
When i rang the health dept. the said they had put poison in the drain and we never had any more propblems althouth i always opened that cellar door very carefully before looking in..
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Re: Rat A Tat Tat Tat.........

Postby blackprince » Sun 19 May, 2019 4:07 pm

Your story reminds me of seeing a rat catcher's terrier in action at a house on Clifton Avenue in the mid 50's. We children were playing in the street when we saw a small group of people standing expectantly outside the house which had a small front garden. The ratcatchers van was parked outside and suddenly the rat appeared from a hole leading to the cellar with the dog in hot pursuit. The rat catcher was standing in the garden with his spade. The animals disappeared into a neighbour,s garden and the rat seemed to get away down a hole. I was impressed by the speed of the animals , it was over in a flash. Talk about excitement! That was the nearest thing we had to field sports in 1950's Harehills. It were tough up north tha' knows :)
It used to be said that the statue of the Black Prince had been placed in City Square , near the station, pointing South to tell all the southerners who've just got off the train to b****r off back down south!
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Re: Rat A Tat Tat Tat.........

Postby volvojack » Tue 21 May, 2019 9:15 pm

:roll: Hello B.P.
Your post reminds me that when I phoned the council concerning the rat in the cellar I asked them to be discreet. Fortunately when this man arrived in his van it was at the front of the house as he had traps and terriers jumping about. I explained where the problem was and he persuaded the terriers to get back in the van. Luckily it was early in the day so I don't think neighbours were aware..
I recall that that when I was about 15 my pal and I Barry Smith used to go down on a Sunday Morning and watch the older lads covering the rabbit holes with nets and then put a couple of terriers in holes. it was not long before the bunnies shot out and into the nets . This was on the hilly bits opposite what is now the Police Station on Elland Rd. sometimes these lads would use ferrets but it was harder to get them back. when we were older I noticed some of these lads would keep the ferrets inside their shirts as they sat in the pub having a pint.

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Re: Rat A Tat Tat Tat.........

Postby volvojack » Wed 22 May, 2019 12:54 pm

As our family were moved to the brand new Gipton estate from the
Richmond Hill Bank slum clearance in 1935 i had no contact or sightings
of rats. when i came out of the RAF. in 1957 i was given four weekss paid
leave but my pal George persuaded me to come down with him and do
Portering in the Wholesale Fruit and Veg. mkt. which was located at
bottom of the Market.wooden crates were used for veg.and there was a
deposit of 5/- on each.These were stored underneath the Slauhterhouse
on York St.and the entrance was at the Bus Station end. we would load
the crates onto an electric trolley and armed with astrong sweeping
brush we would ride diwn the slope to the entrance. as we slid the
door open and switched on the lights, rats by seemed hordes ran in all
directions. No one ever went down there alone.we used to exit from
there as quick as possible .

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Re: Rat A Tat Tat Tat.........

Postby tilly » Thu 23 May, 2019 7:32 pm

I have been told when rats go on the move there can be hundreds of them can any one confirm if this is right.
No matter were i end my days im an Hunslet lad with Hunslet ways.
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Re: Rat A Tat Tat Tat.........

Postby volvojack » Thu 23 May, 2019 9:08 pm

There were hundreds down below the Slaughterhouse in York St. Nd i am told there lots on th
move when Quarry Hill Flats were demolished.
On the Bank Ricmond Hill slum clearance had been abandond because of WW.2 and there
were only empty Commercial buildings, pubs, churches and some Railway properties.
These were wonderful places for us kids to play in but also a refuge for rats/ mice etc.

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