Spiders in the toilet, and a candle to keep the cistern from freezing.
Outdoor toilets and scratchy clothes made a big impression on youngsters from Walkley Primary School in their encounters with local ‘elders’ Audrey Buxton and Geraldine Stansall, as part of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars local history project.
During inHeritage-conceived and led school-based Ask Your Elders sessions, Y5 and Y6 children quizzed the two lifelong Walkley residents about their childhoods, schooldays and the differences between life now and then. They learnt about Walkley’s thriving high street, neighbourly support, rationing, and freedom to roam.
Local writer Anne Grange then worked with the students to create a book of poems and artwork on the differences between life in Walkley now and then.
Walkley Now and Then features a superb selection of the students’ writing and drawing. Copies will be available through Sheffield Library service and to browse in local café, Our Gert’s. Alternatively see more of the children’s work on the project website at www.walkeyhistory.wordpress.com.
‘I was surprised,’ said Geraldine. ‘I thought it would be the no television or cars, but no it was the creepy crawlies and scratchy clothes they all remembered.’
You can see some of the poems and drawings on the Walkley History website.