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(C) The Living Memory Association Edinburgh 2002 - 2016
I used to get sent for the bread to the bakers in Morningside Road. At one time it cost threepence three farthings for a loaf, it was called a half loaf. They were baked stuck together, one end was crusty and one end was soft. We didn’t have farthings so you’d give the baker fourpence and he’d give you a biscuit with the bread. We used to get the bread wrapped in very fine brown paper. My mother used to cut it into squares and put it in the toilet for toilet-paper. We used newspaper too. The poor people used to go to the baker with a pillow case and the baker would put in bread and buns that hadn’t been sold. I think they paid something for it.
We used to play rounders in the street, with a lamppost as our den. The children came from Morningside Road and Balcarres Sreet. We had 16 or more, from 5 to 16 year old. Two of the older ones picked sides.
A girl in my class had nothing on her feet. Her father cut wood and sold it and she would have to help him and her hands were all purple and cut. The police used to supply boots. I remember seeing children with rickets, their legs were bowed. Lots of people had TB, the wealthy few were sent to Switzerland for treatment. There were epidemics of scarlet fever and diphtheria, these patients were sent to hospital and placed in isolation. In the paper every day there was a number saying how they were. People had polio right up until the war. My sister was in the City hospital with diptheria. You could only see her through glass. I can remember our house getting fumigated.