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Recollections of my life as a girl
Thomas Flanery and family were brought from Acton by Edward Handley to live in the cottage in the field next to the owner's big house.
When Mr Handley moved to a big house on Woodside we moved into the big house. Thomas Flanery ran a stationary engine and had three sons.
My father William, the eldest, became the stoker. The second son went to work on the railways and the youngest was run over and killed by a steam engine.
Father became the stoker and worked all night. We used to take his supper to hime and he would allow steam to blow off and frighten us. Mum used to make tea for all the men as there was no canteen.
One night father had a blow back and burnt his head and arms. I was about five and remember him lying in bed covered in bandages.
There were drownings, accidents, deaths and strikes. At one time one of the horses was so badly burnt by falling in the hot clicker it had to be shot right near our house.
We moved from the field in March 1931, because they wanted to build a new kiln where the house stood and we went to Meadvale Road just outside.
Several Italian families came over and we made friends with one. The families names were Father Catanal De Georgio and Mother Fruitena De Georgio, but they changed it to George and Lou Smith and had a family.
While we lived in the field we went to Woodside School and would come through Woodside Village and warm ourselves at William Bell's Forge. He never spoke to us, but never chased us away.
I held the entrance gates to the field once and Mr Handley gave me sixpence - Marvellous !