West End Memories, 1940s
At only 12 years old, the Second World War brought a series of great changes to the life of Jean including leaving school and getting a job, but there was light at the end of the tunnel.
Hello, I'm Jean Gutteridge.
I was born im 1927 in the West End of Newcastle. At 12 years of age I left school because the War started and all the schools were closed. So, with the schools being closed and living in the West End, there were little shops all the way up Stanhope Street and there was a little bakery and he offered me a job at 12. So that meant I was working at 12 years of age. I used to have a big basket and I used to deliver the bread and the cakes and it was lovely. It was lovely new stuff in these big houses that I used to go to.
When I was 14 me father died. Now I had two brothers and this money what I was getting off Mr Marston in the bakery was lovely for me mother cos it helped us out. It was Christmas and me father died in the November. Well you can imagine what kind of Christmas we had. There was no benefits, no money coming in, nothing, and we had the saddest Christmas out. But never mind we got over it.
Me mother got work. I had to go back to school for six months and after that I got a job in a factory, Sinclairs Cigarette Factory down Bath Lane, quite near to where I lived.
After the Christmas, things seemed to turn around. Me brother, he got a job. Me mother got a full time job at the General Hospital cleaning. I had a little bit job after that and money seemed to come where we'd never had money before and it was wonderful. The next year, with the money coming in, what a difference it made.
Memory Box – My Newcastle
A variety of personal tales by people from Newcastle, from a Royal visit in 1961 to the arrival of the famous Millennium Bridge on the River Tyne.