Web Page 1184
21st September 2013
Happy birthday Mrs. K for tomorrow!
Top Picture: A traditional Pickfords lorry
Bottom Picture: A heavy haulage unit on the move
On the Move
In my lifetime I have only moved house three times, once when I was 8 months old from Newcastle upon Tyne to Portsmouth, then in 1967 Pam and I moved into a flat in North End when we got married and then two years later we moved from there to Gosport and here we have stuck. I know I am lucky not moving every few years as some folks did. For example Pam moved from Bordon, to Weymouth, from Weymouth to Newcastle upon Tyne (I had already moved out by then), Newcastle to Reading then to Germany, back to Southsea and onto Cosham and then with me to North End and Gosport. A total of eight moves.
What prompted me to write about moving house was that someone the other day mention what a trail it was in the 1950’s and 60’s moving. The movers (usually Pickfords) arrived first thing in the morning, ready to pack the lorry. They had already delivered a pile of tea chests so our parents could start to pack away delicate things a few days before the big move. The thing that I had forgotten that came up in conversation was that if you were going to leave a house empty for a while, ie people were not moving in straight away, the usual thing was to stick sheets of brown paper over the insides of the windows so that no one could see in. Does anyone else remember this I wonder?
Things today must be so much easier when moving. Furniture is now much lighter wardrobes are not made of solid heavy wood and very few people own a grand or upright piano that has to be moved on special little trolleys these days. However a relation of Pam’s lived in Newcastle and he had inherited his fathers large heavy safe (his father was in business), which was kept under the stairs. When they came to move south to Telford the removal company took one look at the safe and refused to move it so the original makers of the safe had to be called in to actually move and reposition the safe in the new house. This cost a small fortune. The gentleman in question has recently passed on so when his son comes to sell the house he is going to have the same problem all over again! Unless he sells the house with the massive safe as a feature!
In our younger days the removal me arrived wearing white bib aprons with a khaki storemans coat over the top and possibly a flat cap as well. No sign of trainers or jeans. These were the days of the Pantechnicon vans, this was a word originally used for horse drawn removal vans and a word which seems to have been totally lost today.
Just looking back to Portsmouth in 1964 the city was well served with Removal Company’s how many of these do you remember? Ashley’s of Cosham (I knew Peter Ashley very well), George Blower of North End, Bridges of Landport, Culverson, Charles Ellis and Curtiss &Co., Humphrey Brothers all of Southsea. Manchip of Eastney and the North End Carriers. Pickfords, Parham, Parrington & Morrow, Charles Taylor & Sons, H Watts & Dowding, webs and White & Co. We were really spoilt for choice. There was not the facility, in those days, for hiring a van and moving yourself although if you were moving a business the local railway company would do it all for you. There is a marvellous British Transport Film entitled ‘Farmer moving South’ where the LMS railway move every thing from the kitchen table, the tractors and even the livestock from the Yorkshire Dales down to another farm in West Sussex.
Then there were those mysterious places where peoples furniture went, when it went into storage, places called Depositories. We never used one but at one time around the City you could spot large warehouses with the word ----------Depository on the side. Where have all these gone now? Maybe people do not store furniture any more!
Just one other thing Pickford’s, who were later bought out by British Road Services (BRS) but retained the distinctive dark blue and white livery, were masters in heavy haulage. If a power station needed a transformer moved Pickford’s had the high powered tractor unit and low loader to do it and the maintained a vast stable of specialized units and trailers to move items around the country.
The only moving I do now is things out of my loft and off to the tip, I sincerely hope that I will not ever have to move house again!
Keep in touch
News and Views:
On this day 21st September 1960-1965.
On 21/09/1960 the number one single was Apache - The Shadows and the number one album was Down Drury Lane to Memory Lane - A Hundred and One Strings. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 21/09/1961 the number one single was Reach for the Stars / Climb Ev'ry Mountain - Shirley Bassey. The top rated TV show was "Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25. An Argentinian swims English Channel both ways non-stop The big news story of the day was Take Your Pick (AR)".
On 21/09/1962 the number one single was She's Not You - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Best of Ball Barber & Bilk. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 21/09/1963 the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 21/09/1964 the number one single was You Really Got Me - Kinks and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 21/09/1965 the number one single was Make It Easy On Yourself - Walker Brothers and the number one album was Help – The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 Champions.