Leonora Nelson (nee Hey) was raised in Burnage on Brayside Road. Her father, involved with the railways, was attracted by its proximity to Burnage station, and her parents were the first tenants in the new Corporation house.
She shares with us her memories of growing up in the area; describes in detail her school and work life; her involvement with the youth activities at Parrswood Congregational church, an association she has retained all her life.
In addition, she tells us about her father's extensive work in the community, and some of her brother's wartime experience.
Leonora describes the family's move to Briarfield Road.
We hear about the family's extensive garden and allotments.
Trading gooseberries for bike rides, and her triumph at a railway workers' sports day at Belle Vue!
Leonora's incident playing out on her rollerskates, hitching a lift off the ice-cream man!
Leonora's parents moved to Burnage from Ardwick, riding on bicycles down Burnage Lane; perhaps they saw the houses being built then? She also describes how Burnage remained on the edge of open country while she was growing up.
Leonora talks about the Sunday School at Parrs Wood. She notes the friendly atmosphere and growth of the congregation. There followed its development into a youth fellowship (CYF), with many speakers in attendance.
Leonora describes the church's Rose Queen celebration, held each year, with her acting as Rose Queen in 1945. She had to give speeches in the church- which she found difficult- and was often sick beforehand.
Leonora talks about the Americans in Burnage, who requisitioned the hut by Parrswood Congregational Church for storage. The car park was full of jeeps, as we see from her Rose Queen photographs, and she also used to play tennis with the Americans.
Leonora talks about the church's carol singers, 200-250 in total, bringing trumpets and a trombone, splitting into 4-5 groups due to numbers. They sang at pubs, asked which people wanted a house visit, with about 6-7 stops (with food!) per night.
Leonora describes her family making use of their father’s free railway passes, with frequent Saturday trips to Southport; holidays on the south coast and in Scotland; frequent trips to London for shopping; and journeys to exhibitions and festivals…
Leonora describes her father’s additional voluntary work in the city’s League of Health- similar to CAB now. He had many friends who were JPs [Justices of the Peace], including her future in-laws, and he also visited prisoners...
Leonora describes meeting her husband, who was in charge of rebuilding stations on railway line, and the shrimp sandwiches her mother prepared for him.
Leonora notes how she had a quarter of sweets every day during the war, with her father swapping their cheese coupons for sweet coupons.
Leonora passed her 11+ for Levenshulme High, but wanted to write shorthand so instead attended Ardwick Central School. Her father taught her the shorthand alphabet, which she enjoyed, but she did not enjoy typing..
Leonora tells us how she passed the civil service exam on leaving school, and her working life as a civil servant. She latterly travelled all over the North West of England taking shorthand notes of meetings.
Leonora talks about her job taking minutes at Council meetings, traveling all across north-west, with locations ranging from south Cheshire to Barrow in Furness. She would take 200 pages of shorthand each meeting recording all the sanitary…