Brother John (FREEAR)

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Thread Topic: Brother John (FREEAR)
Topic Originator: Chris Scott (Nee Freear)
Post Date September 20, 2010 @ 8:05 PM
 Brother John (FREEAR)
 RE: Brother John
 Brother John/clay engines
 Brother John/Ray Dolby
 My Brother/Ray "adapted" my motorbike
 Brother John/charcoal
 Brother John/bonfire potatoes
 Brother John/sadly missed
 RE: Brother John
 Brother John/french cricket
 Brother John/car numbers
 Brother John/Co-op horse & cart
  Brother John/great times
 Brother John/Co-op horse
 Brother John/neighbours-what was it like?!
 Brother John/next door neighbour
 Brother John/bread & dripping
  Brother John
  Brother John
 Brother John/the "gasman"
  Brother John/gasman
 FREEAR/John's family photos
  Brother John (FREEAR)
  Brother John (FREEAR)
  Brother John (FREEAR)

Chris Scott (Nee Freear)
September 20, 2010 @ 8:05 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Does anyone have memories of my Brother John, nicknamed in his youth 'Fisher'
John would make the 'Clay engines' for me, that I mentioned in another posting, he remembered them well, but thus far no one else seems to know what I'm talking please!
Also does anyone remember Ray Dolby our next door neighbour, lovely guy, full of fun, sadly died quite young many years ago?
John was 7 years older than I am and was often made to take me around with him. During the snowy weather he had to drag me behind on a sledge. (Reluctantly I must add)  The local group of kids would get together in the evening and throw snowballs at people's doors. Ray, a few years older than the rest, when everyone was exhausted, would throw yet another, everyone would run, but John odd times got caught because he had a 'millstone' to pull. I remember the poor old boy getting it 'in the neck', particularly on Gloucester Road one time.
Ayone remember those snowball evenings?

September 21, 2010 @ 9:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hello Chris,  I do remember the Clay £ngines we used to get the clay from the brickyard and we would make a chimney in it.  You had to use soft wood to get them to smoke

Chris Scott
September 22, 2010 @ 7:21 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Thank you Betty, I was beginning to think I'd dreamt it. Did we call that wood 'touch wood'? And What use were those engines? or was it just playing with fire that we enjoyed.

John Tyers
September 22, 2010 @ 11:13 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Remember Ray Dolby very well; a true gentleman.  I used to see him walking down town from Essex Road and on enquiring where he was going was invariably informed "I'm going down the surgery!"  Commiserating with him on his presumed illness, he would burst out laughing and admit he was, in fact, going for a drink!

September 22, 2010 @ 3:27 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Ha ha ha, Oh yes that is just Ray, a wonderful man, kind hearted and generous. He was our next door neighbour and always had a motor bike of some sort. When I aquired my motor bike at the age of 16, he 'helped' me to make it sound better, it had twin exhausts, so Ray banged a few holes in the end of the silencers and sawed off the exhausts just beyond the silencers.....oh boy, I loved it, it really did sound good. My then boyfriend, who had a motorctcle shop in town, was definitely not amused.

September 22, 2010 @ 7:23 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Chris  The wood could have been called touch wood I know it was soft and easy to split and when we made these engines we made a little pipe hole in the back which you blew into to keep the wood alight but I do not think they served any purpose.  We also made charcoal by putting twigs in a tin with holes in it and then putting the tin into a bonfire, the heat would turn the twigs into charcoal  Does anyone else out there remember doing that.

September 23, 2010 @ 7:46 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I vaguely remember the tins and making Charcoal, but I definitely remember putting large potatoes into the bonfire on Worcester Crescent green, they came out black, charred and gritty on the outside, hot, but not cooked on the inside, Disgusting, but we still ate them.
I have memories of being taken round by John with a trolley of some sort, going door to door, begging rubbish for the annual bonfire.
That reminds of Ray (Dolby) again, Fireworks not being available during and after the war for a few years, to compensate Ray would provide John & other older ones in the group with crow scarers and show them how to fray the ends, so they wouldn't explode the minute they were lit. Occasionaly these would be dropped in some poor souls manhole.

Clem Walden
September 23, 2010 @ 11:48 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Chris, John was a great guy and will be sadly missed by many he  posted a lot of interesting memories on this Gateway Forum. some of which I responded to John also responded to several of mine. He told me off In one when I mentioned Polly Lowe. The postings made reference to the Church Lads club. He also mentioned he threw stones in my garden, and I reminded him my Dad made me pick them all up, we all lived in the same area in those days and had a lot of fun.

Ray Dolby I can see him now walking along Essex road a very nice guy had a few drinks with him along with many others who unfortuately are not with us today.  Clay engines I well remember the Tolethorpe Square boys would get our fuel "touch wood" from the tree in the old spinny that we called "the touch wood tree" I have no idea what type of tree it actually was unfortunately.

We also put holes in tin cans and would attach wire to can put a little paper in the bottom fill It with touch wood set light to it and swing It round and round our heads. What the hell for I have no idea but it was good fun.

My older sisters had the duty of looking after me (and still remind me about It) I was a bit of a nuisance then I suppose. Your snowball evenings when John was pulling the sledge with you on It seems to have caused him problems he could have done without.

Crow Scarers we would pinch from the farmers fields down the Green lane area, they would be on string of about a twelve and tied to the fences. My sister Iris had one and did not rub the the fuse first before she lit It!

It went off in her hand made a nasty mess big blood blisters and burns. But good old Mum was a good nurse and knew what to do. Dad was a little mad and questions were asked "where did you get from? who gave you It?

Perhaps he was not so mad only upset and concerned that his daughter had nearly blown her hand off. Fond memories.

September 24, 2010 @ 7:27 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Reading all the things we all got up to years ago, makes me think - we would all have ASBO'S these days. And  what about "Health and Safety".  Goodness me, how did we manage to get to this age. Still, we have memories, don't think the kids today will, only computer games.

September 24, 2010 @ 10:21 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

You are right Joan, we would have had ASBO's, but didn't we have a wonderful childhood, in spite of the war, rationing etc. I remember playing French Cricket with Geoff's brother Paul and others, for hours right in the middle of Essex Road, never gave a thought to traffic, we hardly saw a vehicle. Tin-can-alurky when it was getting dark, brother John being sent out to fetch me in, when I didn't respond to the call from the sitting room window...... a frequent occurance.
Clem I can't imagine your Dad getting mad, I remember him as a very calm, caring and gentle man. he was really concerned on one of those lunchtime lifts with Eric Dawtry, like the stupid kid I was, I was plucking my eyebrows while travelling in the car, he made me stop, in case something happened and I damaged my eyes. Some things stick in your mind, I remember that like yesterday

September 25, 2010 @ 4:21 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hello Chris, do you remember 1947 sledgng from Worcester Crescent to the Police Station, lovely long run.  Of course there wasn't much traffic about, Parrifin Man with his horse and cart, coal man with a lorry, and the Co-op milkman had a horse and cart, but not much else on the road to spoil our fun. Took days to collect car numbers, so few and far between. Oh! Happy days!

September 25, 2010 @ 8:49 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Joan I actually have a photo of the Co-op horse and cart taken with my old box camera, I will will get it scanned and posted on here. It's not a brilliant photo, I only took it because I was interested in the horse, I was, and still am, animal mad. My only animal these days is 'Ivan', (My baby) a little old long haired Dachs, 13 years old at Christmas. Brother John used to call him "That little rat"

Co-op horse Stamford - The bike wrecker

To see this photo as large as possible double click on photo then click on
Actions top left of photo and then choose Slideshow.To "hold" a particular photo then click on 2 bars bottom left

Clem Walden
September 26, 2010 @ 7:14 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Chris, yes dad was very calm/caring and a gentle man. But he did get mad at times and we all new when he did, "No meant No" in our house. And you did not question it. I was a bit of a rebel way back then and my sisters both had their moments. We were young and thought we had all the answers, perhaps little different to the majority of youths today. But one could question some of these individuals regarding respect for their parents, teachers, police, etc. Respect that our generation all seemed to have and still have? ASBO'S were not called for back then and if they had have been I doubt very much if you or Joan would have qualified. I can imagine dad telling you about the eyebrow plucking, he would have seen the danger you were putting yourself in. I remember my sisters plucking their eyebrows, and putting pancake make-up on their legs then using an eyebrow pencil to draw a seam up the back. Who could afford silk stockings in those day's? Tin-can-alurky, whips and tops, fagcards, hop-scotch, air raid shelters,playing under the street lamps when it was really time to go home, scrumping, gleaning up the corn fields,playing soldiers and war games, all fond memories.
Joan mentions sledging. Our sledge runs were the Recreation ground road or the the Drift. I collected car numbers in those day's and went train spotting, had a bookfull of trains, but very few cars, did manage to get Mr Cotrills and Mr Pullens, "well they lived in Tolethorpe Square" and had their own garage in St Georges street. They were the only cars in Tolethorpe Square at that time then Mr Jibb about 1948/9 purchased his Ford eight. Cars were rather dull then not the shape or performace but the colour all were "black" as I remember. The Co-op milkman would arrive with his horse and cart, no bottles just big milk urn's you had to take your jug to him and he would fill it up using his measuring  ladle's. as Joan say's happy day's indeed. Chris you mention a photo taken with you box camera, was the box camera a 127? the reason I ask is because my wife Pamela still has a Kodak 127 box camera that was given to her by her Mum 55 years ago (A birthday present)
Thanks for all the recent postings they bring back so many fond memories.

September 27, 2010 @ 11:06 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

This earlier post from me refers to said horse.

Years ago the co-op used to deliver bread in a cart pulled by a horse.  The particular horse used on our round was a bit eccentric.  We used to be a bit scared of walking past it if we had to walk too close.  One day I had parked my bike outside the local shop and the baker parked the bread van outside there too.  All of a sudden the horse reared up and ran riot.  It trampled my bike and it was badly damaged.  The co-op arranged for it to be repaired and paid the bill.

September 27, 2010 @ 7:41 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Ha ha the horse was just venting his feelings Kate, very boring pulling that cart around all day.
That photograph was taken in the late 1940's. No, it wasn't a Kodak 127 Clem, far too expensive a make, mine was a 'Coronet' box camera, both Lynn (Eluned Baker) and I had one each for Christmas.  I have a feeling they were bought from Mrs Baker's catalogue, 'Freemans' if I recall correctly.
Speaking of sledging, snow & ice, do you remember the wonderful slides we used to make on the footpath outside Mrs Cumming's house, the best. Brother John, Tony Cummings and Ray, would all help to get the slide started, we had no thought for people using the footpath and it was sooooo annoying when Mr Cummings used to come out and put salt on it.
The old milkman who used to deliver our milk in an open bucket, used the old ladles and often had a dewdrop on his nose in cold weather. I remember Mum and next door neighbour, Aunt Nell (Phil Rudkin's Mum) commenting on it. I wonder what health and safety would say to that now.

Phil Rudkin
October 4, 2010 @ 10:34 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hiya Chrissy,  I met Kate this morning (Monday) at the Stamford U3A monthly meeting.   I was reminded by Kate that I had not been on Gateway for a long time, and that you were posting memories about John.   I have just read your memories and those of Clem and the others.   You have told them very well, and especially about the co op bread man.  What you did not remember was when we were not at school, and the horse and cart had stopped a few times along Essex Road, our respective Dads used to send us out with a the old coal shovels to pick up the droppings.   It must have been quite a sight for the adults to see all the kids running out of the houses with shovels, and jostling for the droppings.   In those days everyone had a vegetable garden, and the droppings were wonderful manure.   Mind you it had to wait to mature.   The Xmas and Boxing Day parties in the 40s were smashing.    We were next door to each other, semi detached.  Remember the afternoon sesssions with the family?   if it were my families turn to have the Freears, I would knock on the wall and you would all troop in to our house, with John leading the way.  We then had a great time during the afternoon, and tea and the evening.   The next time, after dinner, you or John would knock on the wall, and we would all come into your house and do the same routine.   This went on for years each Xmas and Boxing Day,  wonderful times!    Yes, the slide outside Jack Cummings was always a problem for the adults walking past.   They got quite cross with us youngsters over this.    Will think of some more for another time. xxx


Clem Walden
October 17, 2010 @ 11:47 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi-Chris sorry about the camera? that slide you mention was great particular when I had my school boots on with studs in, seems we had a lot of snow and very hard frosts back then, slides and sledging was always great fun so were all the street games we would play, perhaps thats why we have so many fond memories? the house was the place you slept in and had your meals, mind you when i came home from school i would take my bread and dripping sandwiches outside to eat while i was playing, I did have jam sometimes though. great days and fond memories.

October 19, 2010 @ 5:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Don't remember those evenings, but love the comments.  Loved Bro' John, gave me a hard time, but always with tongue in cheek.

October 19, 2010 @ 5:42 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi, Chris, my dearest friend, I remember last year when I was back from SA - Johannesburg, we had such fun with sms's, very sarcastic etc., and mind stretching.  Had to think on your feet with Bro' John.  We made the best of times, the best of times.  Yay hay.  Lynnie

October 21, 2010 @ 8:24 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Yep, Lynnie you had to be on the ball with Bro. John, his mind was still as sharp as a tack right until the end.
Were those coronet box cameras from your Mum's catalogue?

Yes we had a good childhood Clem, Lynn and I have often commented on it, we were very fortunate children to live in the Worcester Crescent/Essex Road community.

Does anyone else remember the 'Gas man' who came to empty the gas meters, I was amazed at the speed with which he whipped the pennies off the kitchen table and wrapped them in what I assume were one shilling stacks. The old gas meters would take pennies and shillings,  there never any shillings in ours, far too much money to expend at one time and during the counting Mum often had to pay up for the odd 'foreigner' that had been used. Many times when the gas started to go down I was sent with 2 halfpennies to knock on neighbour's doors  asking "Have you a penny for the gas?" Did anyone else have that pleasure, or was it just me? I don't remember John ever being asked, he always had homework to do.
Kate: Yes Chris, it was a "redletter" day as I think the money was always a percentage over the cost and a return of a few shillings was due from the kitty - also I think they used to put in 2 or 3 coins as a start-up for the meter.  It was like a little money box which was extracted from the meter.  We had never seen so much money all in one place!

Clem Walden
October 22, 2010 @ 4:18 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Chris I remember the gas man and how he would count the money out on our kitchen table, Dad had several steel disks he had cut the same size and weight as shillings that always went into our meter, At counting time the gas man would return them and dad would smile and put them back on the gas meter shelve for next time. The gas man always understood,  the only problem was dad never got the odd refund as the actual cash only just covered the bill.

Chris Scott
December 17, 2010 @ 1:44 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Sent in by Chris Scott

Freear Family 1920

Since some of the Freear boys (Cecil & Alf) have been mentoned in the Forum I thought you might be interested in this old photograph of the Freear family, taken around 1920, Midge is the only one still alive, she will be 98 in January.

Back row:- Ray, Ernest (My Father) Arthur, Edward, Ella, Cecil.
Front row:- Alf (The Barber, St. Leonard's Street) Charlotte (Always known as Midge) Susan (Mother) May, Charles (Father) Jack.

Ray, Midge and May Freear 1930s

Ray, Midge & May Freear early 1930's

Clem Walden
December 18, 2010 @ 11:35 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Message to Chris Scott
Chris Scott (Freear) photo taken at Skegness 1938 (my nanny Windsor and my sister Beryl were also on this holiday (but nanny & Beryl are not on photo (Beryl at the time was 3 year old) Mrs Harper had 3 daughters Doris,Winnie,& Phyllis. Doris married a Rouse, Winnie married Gordon Towers and they lived at 7 Tolethorpe Sq,in the 30s & early 40s. Not sure who Phyllis wed or where she lived? On the photo you sent to Kate -  from left to right:-Phyllis Harper-John Freear-Iris Walden-Mrs Harper and Mrs Walden (my mum) Iris (my sister) was 5 years old at the time. and told me they went by train from the old Stamford north station with Mrs Freear,John, Mrs Harper,Phyllis,My Mum, Nanny Windsor,Iris & Beryl. I asked why the husbands did not go with them? Iris said they were at work earning the money, She also told me that when they passed the old Martins Factory on the train Dad waved at them (as he worked there and knew what time the train would pass) Iris said we were upset because dad was not coming with us but we always had good times. Life was a little different then with good local communities and close families. She remembers John Freear's mum having to come home & said my mum & Mrs Harper made sure John had a good time and was well looked after. Hope all this info will help. please pass it on to Chris.. Thanks Clem
Kate: Hi Clem.  I received the emails but none of them had the info.  except the last one which arrived upside down!  Anyway, Chris now has the message. Thanks.

Chris Scott
December 20, 2010 @ 11:18 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Thanks for that Clem, Bro John enjoyed that holiday very much and had many happy memories thanks to your Mum and Mrs Harper. Holidays were unheard of for us  in those days and it would have been  a disaster that Mum had to come back to Stamford.
John had been quite ill the previous year and I believe Mum and John's holiday was paid for by some sort of fund at Blackstones (Where Dad worked) that provided for children who were in need of a holiday.

Clem Walden
December 21, 2010 @ 5:42 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Chris, I think perhaps Iris may have got dads work place wrong "Martins" I believe dad and his brother Len were both working at Blackstones at the start of the war,  I dont think he went to Martins until 45/6. The Blackstones fund you mention may well be the reason why Iris and Beryl were able to go on holiday at that time. Our family like hundreds of others like them had little money but as a child I can't really remember ever going without. I am sure I must have asked for things at times that my parents could not afford, but if they said no that was the end of it, what we did have we appreciated like most others did. On reflection Chris we were all very fortunate to have such loving parents and live within a community that cared for each other the odd clip round the ear in my case was never given without good reason neither was the cane I got at school some times but I never told dad if I got the cane or when some neighbour clipped my ear. for fear of getting a further clip. Fond memories some a little painful but memories that will always remain in my mind. Golden days