Dennis O'Brien talks about the winter of 1947

Title

Dennis O'Brien talks about the winter of 1947

Subject

Winter of 1947

Description

Dennis O'Brien talks about his experience of the winter of 1947 living in the city

Creator

East Midlands Oral History Archive

Source

EMOHA

Publisher

East Midlands Oral History Archive

Date

1947

Rights

You may use this item in accordance with the licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/uk/

Language

.mp3

Type

Oral History

Interviewer

Jenny Escritt

Interviewee

Dennis O'Brien

Location

Leicester

Transcription

Towards the end of 1946, on Christmas Eve really, it started to snow. It was the worst winter I’ve ever seen and it was also extremely cold. We were still suffering from the privations of the war, coal was very short. It was difficult to get fuel. Coal in those days was delivered by horse and cart and there were little coal depots all over the city but the problem was getting the coals out to the coal man. Industry was prioritised. Electricity was very short, we used to get about two hours of electricity a day and then it was cut, gas the pressure was very low, it would take long time to boil a kettle of water and people took to burning whatever they could. I’ve known houses where they’ve taken the doors off and burnt them for fuel. Occasionally the gas works on Aylestone Road would sell of coke in quite small bags or you’d have to take your own bags and you had to get up very early to get near to the front of the queue to get any otherwise you could wait four or five hours and still get nothing. I was lucky because my friend Terry’s father worked at the gas board, he had been a stoker, and he always managed to save us a bag [laughs] if we hung about long enough. So we survived. We all slept in the same bed to keep warm. It was so cold that the chamber pots by the side of the bed were frozen rock solid in the morning. Life was very difficult.

Duration

2min 18sec

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