It’s not unusual for people to move home.
Joan Jones and her family did just that in March 1933. But it is a bit different to get to your new home and find someone already living there.
It’s what happened to the Jones family who found a lodger already in their new place in Colenso Street.
Joan and her family history can be told thanks to relative David Payne.
Although Joan now lives in Darlington and is in her late 80s, she has begun telling her life story the old-fashioned way, by using an old typewriter.
Here is a first instalment.
In March 1933, Joan and her family decided to quit for pastures new.
They moved to Colenso Street, West Hartlepool, where her grandma, Mary Ann Payne, already had property.
So did Granda Payne who sold “high class confectionery, fruit, biscuits, cigarettes, tobacco and various other odds and ends,” from his own place in Elwick Road.
But the excitement of moving to a house owned by Grandma Payne came with a surprise or two.
“This house was a lot bigger, with a sitting-room, living-room and kitchen. It had two large bedrooms and a spacious attic-room. We had not progressed to a bathroom,” said Joan.
“When we moved into the house there was already an old lady living in the sitting-room. I think her name was Miss Rush and she was our lodger.
“I seem to recall that my mother provided her with some meals but I may be wrong. I do know that we were not allowed to make a lot of noise and disturb her but she wasn’t with us for long.”
They had no garden, an outdoor toilet, coalhouse and a rabbit hutch.
And the coal man came round every week to replenish the stocks.
“Some people had to rely on sea coal which was collected from the beach and sold very cheaply from carts in the back street. As a last resort, men had to go a pick the coal themselves and either carry it home in a sack on a barrow or any other means they could manage,” said Joan.
Every day had its own place.
“There were days for doing specific household jobs from Monday to Friday. You wouldn’t do your washing on the day that the dustman or coalman was coming down the backstreet with their carts, and washing was a back breaking job when you had to feed buckets of water into a built-in boiler heated underneath with a fire, in the kitchen.”
But there were bonuses such as “watching Granda, Samuel Payne, and our uncles playing bowls.”
There’s much more to come from Joan. Watch out for more on her story in the coming weeks.