Bert Whent worked in the Old Burial Ground

By Mrs Sheila Joyner

My husband, John, remembers his school days at Four Dwellings senior mixed school. During the war years, until he left in 1945, pupils were allowed to work on the local farms, Merris's and Becketts, during school hours. Becketts was situated by The Monarch public house on Quinton Road West. They were given a card with twenty half-day allowances, the farmer would mark off the card when they worked, mainly picking potatoes, for this they were paid 5d per hour. He can also remember a plane crashing during the war in the field to the right as you go up Ridgacre Lane towards the school. I can remember a fair taking place on the triangular field, situated where the bus garage now stands.

In the late 1930s and war years of the 1940s a gardener, called Bert Whent, worked in the Old Burial Ground and cemetery. He would also fill up the wooden barrel with water, if it hadn't rained, so they could look after there flower vases on the graves. At the far end of the old Burial Ground stood an angel monument, which was dedicated to a 3 year-old girl, whose parents had a farm on the corner of Pound Road and Wolverhampton Road. The family's name was Whitehouse and the mother was a big lady who delivered milk to the shops around Pottery Road.

During the war, a barrage balloon was tethered in a field situated in Green Lane/Ridgacre Lane and Ridgacre Road on the site of the Post Office Sorting Depot. At the end of the war, when servicemen were moved off the site, the Nissen huts were taken over by squatters. I believe this was one way of getting priority for a council house when they became available. During the war Corporation buses were parked overnight on the hill of Ridgacre Road down towards Worlds End Lane, which at that time was only a one track unfinished lane, to avoid any direct bombing on the garages and destroying the vehicles.

© QLHS 2005


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