Reminiscence and Resource Centre

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V ADAMCIK B ALLEN D ANDREWS H ANDREWS
IRENE BAILEY J BRAY J CALLENDAR
MRS CERMAK J CHAPMAN H CHILDS
D DURRANT R ELSTOB A FEDORCIO R FIELD
G FRANCIS J JAMES S KNIGHT J LARKIN
A MARCANIK C MERCER R PARKINSON A PERRIE
C & M PRITCHARD V PURKISS D REARDON K STANLEY
L WADE T WARREN A WHITCOMB P WHITFIELD
My name is Margaret P. Whitfield, I arrived in East Tilbury in September 1947 having been sent from a subsidiary factory in Maryport, Cumbria to do Leather Factory repairs. I was to stay for three weeks, fifty five years later I am still here. At first we were housed in a room above the Bata School, then moved to number one girls hostel, my friend returned home, and I stayed having had permission from my parents to do so. I had gone home in the November to be bridesmaid at my sister's wedding so didn't go back for Christmas, at that time Christmas dinner was served in the downstairs restaurant for all residents of Community House and hostels, many of whom had nowhere else to go. It was at this Christmas dinner I met my husband, at that time the hostel had girls from various locations, in four years I shared with one from the North East, one from Ireland, one from Poland and one from the North West. The rooms were not bad, containing two beds, two wardrobes, lockers and a chair and wash basin. All of our meals were taken in the Canteen, in the evening the Snack Bar did a steady trade in Tea and sandwiches which never varied, "What have you got we would ask?" we would ask, "Cheese, meat and fish" was always the answer, given without disturbing the half inch of as on his cigarette. I lived in the hostel for four years. When we married we managed to get a room in Community House. The rooms were a fair size if a bit Spartan, the rent was 24/6d for the room, meals were paid for weekly, or as taken. At that time there was a Social Secretary and every so often he organized Mystery Trips, we went to Streatham Locarno, Hammersmith Palais, etc. we also had the Cinema, Swimming Pool, Ballroom, Tennis Courts and a Gym on the Top floor of Community House. It was a lifestyle that allowed us to save so that when we were allocated a house in Gloucester Avenue we were ready for it, we were delighted with our house and didn't want to move, but we needed another bedroom so moved to King George VI Avenue, where we have been for 41 years.
PAT WHITFIELD
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