Jean Capes and a game of “tinny”

The former Jean Capes now Jean Peachman writes:-

I have read the many memories the Little Plumstead web page and can identify with most. When I was a girl I lived on Post Office Corner next door to Charlie and Vera Lawson. Ginny George lived on the opposite corner; she was the lady of the village who laid people out when they had passed away. We would spend hours sitting on the corner collecting car numbers in a little book. We would also spend many hours talking to the shoemaker Hardy Symonds, whose shop was at Blofield Heath, and watching him mend the shoes with a lovely smell of the leather.

The dentist who used to come to the school was a huge man by the name of Mr Wolfendale. He frightened the life out of you before you even got into the chair and after leaving school it was a long time before I dare go to a dentist.

When I took the scholarship (11 plus) I had to walk to Great Plumstead school to sit the exam. Marina Rice took it with me – we both passed! We then had a long day having to catch a bus at ten to eight in the morning, changing Thorpe Station to go on to Norwich High in Newmarket Road – quite an ordeal for an 11-year-old in those days, especially as I had never been on a bus by myself before.

I remember Rosemary well and her brother Roland. I also have very fond memories of the concerts at the hall. The Bloomfields lived the other side of the mission hut – Norah and Peggy I think. The Willimots lived in Crows Loke as did the Tipples.

Like Bobby I used to play on Broad Pit and collect tadpoles there – simple pleasures that cost nothing! We also used to play on the road to the post office, playing hopscotch and “tinny” – one person would stand by the tin while everyone would hide then he would try to find them and anyone caught would be released if someone could kick the tin without him seeing them.

My grandmother Mary Capes lived in Sandy Lane and on a Sunday we would walk up to her house. My dad and his mum would have a glass of Stout and my sister Jennifer and I would have a little in a glass with sugar! We would go round to the Brick Kilns back door to fetch the beer.

I also remember going to the Guntons’ house to change library books; they would be lined up all along the table in the drawing room.

On Good Friday Jenny and I would drop potatoes in the holes for Charlie next door and he would give us sixpence.

My dad Percy was ill with TB for seven years (although I do just remember him working as an electrician). He had a hut in the garden where he would sleep – it was a great playhouse for us during the day as it revolved. I was 12 when he died.

A day at the seaside was getting up really early and walking to Salhouse station to catch the train to Cromer with picnic and buckets and spades. It was a long walk from the station to the beach and seemed even longer when we had to walk up the hill at the end of the day. I remember once arriving at the station to see the train steaming out! They were happy times even though we didn’t have any money.

We now live in Lincolnshire but my husband is a keen supporter of Norwich City so we come down to Norfolk regularly and sometimes do a nostalgic ride around Plumstead but of course it has changed a lot.

Rosemary writes:- I know you were not related to Aubrey Capes but I shall never forget the day he swallowed a rubber in school. There was such a commotion and I think they called in my mother, who was a nurse. I don’t know what happened but he survived!

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