They all worked in the Midlands for companies such as Boots, Players and Raleigh.Pauline Braker was top of her class, but her father refused to let her go to grammar school.On a cold night in South Yorkshire in 1934, an 11-year-old boy called Derek Happs peered anxiously out of his front door as three men carried his semi-conscious older brother, Dennis, down the cobbled street from the mine.‘It were a rock fall, a real bad ’un,’ explained Josh, a boy only a year or two older than Derek, but in a workman’s belt, braces and boots.‘We’ll need to fetch the doctor,’ said Derek’s mother.The NHS would not be founded for another 14 years, but the family had kept up payments to the doctor who came around every Friday collecting money as a kind of medical insurance.‘Yer’ll do real work like the rest of us,’ sneered the domineering Raleigh engineer. Yer all kippers and curtains.’Betty Nichols had lost both her father (to pneumonia, the year penicillin was discovered) and her beloved stepfather (to typhoid) before she hit her teens, and was sent to ‘do ’emming’ at the Cellular Clothing Co when she was 14.‘No talking, no drinking, no eating at yer machine,’ barked her overseer.
Viewing two side by side stereoscopic images or photos through a stereoscope gave the user a sense of depth and immersion.
Betty punched in at Nottingham’s ‘dark Satanic mills’ all her working life. The loss of her child ‘cast a long shadow over her life’, writes Sweet.
It’s hard to imagine the poverty experienced in gas-lit, unheated, bombed-out Britain.
The lad qualified as a pharmacist and worked his way up the ladder at Boots to become a director.
He was proud to dispense the first NHS prescription in Nottingham in 1950.