We cashed in as kids

EARNING your pocket money with a bit of enterprise and hard work, making your own fun and never saying “there is nothing to do around here” was normal for most schoolchildren in the cash strapped years of the 1950s.

David Kindred

EARNING your pocket money with a bit of enterprise and hard work, making your own fun and never saying “There is nothing to do around here” was normal for most schoolchildren in the cash strapped years of the 1950s.

Brian Talman, of Harebell Road, Ipswich, tells us how a schoolboy in the 1950s earned his pocket money and filled his time before the electronic age.

Brian said: “We used to go 'ragging' as we called it, we used to take an old Silver Cross pram, knock on people's doors and ask if they had any old clothes they no longer needed, any we collected we would then take to a merchants on Long Street, Ipswich, near the dock and exchange them for cash, woollens were our favourites and these fetched double the money.“Woollens were never in short supply as many women used to knit their families jumpers and cardigans and most babies' clothes were knitted by their mother with the grandmothers, sisters, aunts and friends knitting the babies' clothes as presents. After selling the clothes we would then go straight to the cinema at the Ritz in the Buttermarket or the Odeon in Lloyds Avenue. I remember the first film I saw was 'The King and I', as I was only seven I found it terribly boring and vowed never to go to the pictures again, but a few years later films like 'Whistle Down The Wind' made up for my disappointment.


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“After the summer holidays were over, every Saturday we would go blackberrying

on the vast wilderness of Stoke Park, which is now all built on, and pick containers full of blackberries. The nest morning we would sell them to the residents of the then fairly new Maidenhall estate. Most households used to like a nice home-baked blackberry and apple pie on a Sunday so we always quickly sold out. This was a very good money maker.

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“During the Christmas holidays we helped the milkman in the Stoke area where we lived. The milk was stacked as high as the milkman could reach and was on a cart pulled by horse. Halfway through the round a lorry would arrive, unload all the crates of empties and fill up the cart with loads more crates of milk such was the vastness of the milk round. We only helped the milkman at Christmas because it was the only time they could pay us and this was out of their huge amount of Christmas tips from their hundreds of customers.

“My father drove for Peter's Ice Cream and his round was in the Hadleigh area, in the afternoons he used to stop outside Wattisham airbase. When I used to help him I remember it was always very noisy. The Lightning aircraft was there. I never got paid for helping my father, but I sure got plenty of ice-cream.

“I also collected eggs on a farm at Wherstead. The hens had the run of the whole farm and the eggs used to be laid over a vast area. I would take all day to find them, for my efforts I would receive a dozen eggs and a couple of bottles of milk fresh from the cow. The eggs were enormous, nearly every one a 'double yoker'. I've never tasted eggs like them since.

“Other ways I made money was digging up worms for the local anglers and running errands for the elderly folk in the Stoke area of Ipswich. All of this took place when there was no daytime television, no computers or games consoles so getting out and doing something was a great way to pass time and earn my pocket money.”

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