By Colette Sutton
Monday was my mother's washing day. There were nine in our house, seven children and my Mam and Dad. So can you just imagine the clothes that would mount up in a week?
I had two sisters older than me and four younger brothers. My sister June was in charge of us. My Mam would make sandwiches and two large bottles of orange, she would put them under the pram and she would tell June to give them to us at 2 o'clock, then she would say make sure you are home at 4 o'clock for dinner.
Out in the street we would all gather round. We would meet our friends and set off about 11 o'clock to Sundrive Park. I will always remember that walk. It would seem endless. I was about nine before I got used to it. When we reached the park I would ask June for a drink, and she would say, only one little sup, we have the whole day ahead of us. In those days there was no spare cash for sweets or drinks, we had to make good use of what Mam gave us.
In the park there was no playground, so we would go up to the top of the hill and play some games. We always brought out skipping ropes and while we were skipping we would sing.
Monday is my washing day,
Tuesday I am done.
Wednesday is my ironing day,
And I hope my fella will come.
Then after a while we would all sit down and have our food and drinks. We would be so hungry and thirsty it would be gone in a flash. Then my sister would say "Now for the best part of the day, what will we do". And we would all shout at the same time. "Roll down the hill".
It seemed to go on for hours and hours, but it was great fun, and when my sister said that's it, we have to go home now. We always moaned please just a few more minutes, but she had a trick, and she would say, first over to me gets the longest drink. It always worked everyone would run to her, and she would give a big smile. After we all had our drink, June would gather all of us and do a head count. Then she would say is everyone hungry and we would all shout, yes. Then she would say "March as fast as you can or there will be no dinner left if we are late". Of course that wasn't true, but when you're young you believe everything your big sister tells you.
Ah but still, they were great memories. When I look back now I can say they were the best days of my life.