Our Century

Chambermaids & craftsmen

Leonard Jackson Born 1925

Leonard  Jackson

"There used to be a nursing home in Bath Road, Wolverhampton, which was eventually demolished in favour of an extension to Banks's Brewery. I was born there on May 3, 1925, when my parents were living in Lime Road, Tettenhall, which I believe still retains its charm.

"My grandparents lived in Upper Villiers Street and my father, Albert Jackson, a fine craftsman coachbuilder, was employed at the Sunbeam Motor Works. He worked there with his brother and my grandfather, who was also their foreman. The house in Upper Villiers Street holds many fond memories for me, especially the garden where I used to play with my cousins.

"Aunt Alice, my father's younger sister, was my favourite aunt. She would take me to West Park with a jam jar and net to fish for tiddlers and get me in free at the Scala Cinema in Worcester Street, where she was assistant manageress. Alice was also relief manageress at the Gaumont in Snow Hill and the Odeon in Skinner Street.

"I had another maiden aunt who was my godmother. Alice Durrant lived and worked at the Victoria Hotel, eventually becoming head chambermaid.

"She was a lonely woman and having spent most of her working life at the Vic, she finally died there. As a small boy, I remember being taken to the hotel to visit her occasionally. I would wait for her in the kitchen, where the steam frightened me to death. And so did she. She was a big woman and wore a starched uniform. She used to pick me up and smother me against her huge bosom. I can still smell the starch!