HERE is the weekly history column by Peter Holme.

Kendal Oral History Group, through interviews, aims to compile a picture of earlier times through the memories of some of the area’s older residents.

Mary Wilson was born in 1933 and interviewed in August 2006

We lived in Yard 119 in Highgate, opposite the Whitwell and Marks Brewery.

Dr Holliday and dentist Mr Sharpe lived across the street from us and they used to go shooting quite often.

Mr Sharpe would turn up at our house with wild ducks and pheasants for my mother to pluck and dress because their wives didn’t do that sort of thing.

One Sunday I had terrible toothache so Dad took me across to the dentist, Mr Sharpe, and he extracted my tooth and also ten shillings from Dad. He was very upset about this. In fact he was furious.

"When he got home he said to my mother “Huh and to think you plucked his poultry for nothing.”

Then he turned to me and he said “And don’t you have toothache on a Sunday again either” So I never had toothache on a Sunday after that. Dr Holliday never charged us a penny.

"When dad was ill he came every day bar one, and he sent his locum, Dr Brown that time. He popped in at some time of the day and never charged mother a penny.

My mum got a job as cleaner at Castle Street School and it was strenuous work. She had to carry coke to feed the coke stoves and in the old school there was a flight of stairs which she scrubbed on her hands and knees every week.

Then in the holidays I used to go with her to dust and polish the desks. The toilets had also to be cleaned, they were worst in the school, she had some terrible clean-ups after the children.

She also went, about five o’clock in the morning to light the stoves and carry the buckets.

She got one pound ten shillings for this. Miss Cliburn, the head mistress, said to the authorities “Mrs Nelson cleans both schools, the old and the new I think she should have more wages. “ and through her complaining about this Mother got three pounds ten shillings a week, which was very good; but they knocked her ten shilling widow’s pension off.

At night she used to sit up and make and repair clothes for neighbours.