Free range in the 1950s

The kids of North Ormesby were pretty well left to their own devices. Tommy and I, along with the local ‘gang’, quite often played in the goods yard not far from the end of our street. Long lines of railway wagons stood with their full load of scrap steel, waiting to be shunted to the blast furnaces at South Bank, Warrenby and Redcar steel works. For quite a while after the war, railway wagons were loaded with all kinds of weapons. Thankfully, all had been rendered innocuous.

We picked sides and fought our battles with real Sten Guns, Bren Guns and Le Enfield rifles until chased off by the ‘gadgy’1. We were oblivious to the dangers around us. One was never certain when a locomotive was being connected and the line of wagons would suddenly start to move. The only warning was the distant clink, clink, clink of the couplings as the slack was taken up between them. Thankfully no-one was ever stranded between the wagons when they were on the move.

Next: Ganging up

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  1. Watchman