John Betts






John Betts
Born in 1944

Lived in Endfields Road, Fulford



Coming home during first year at Primary and telling Mum she must be a Pagan - as she was not a Catholic.

When asked what are the 3 things I liked best, I replied 'Our Lord, Our Lady and Bacon and Eggs'.

Running the gauntlet of threats and insults past Fishergate school to get to St George's.

School dinners: My Aunt Lottie was a dinner lady and always tried to give my table of 6 or 8 a little bit extra, whether we liked it or not.

As altar boys, 3 of us would be excused lessons to officiate at funerals. One carried the cross, one the Holy water and one the incense burner. I always found these occasions very sad, but afterwards we split the half-crown (30 pennies) we received between the three of us, visiting Lily Steads and Boyntons sweet shops before returning to school.

Weekly sports at Fenby field. As my family home backed onto the bottom end of Fenby field I would occasionally slip away for a bite to eat and crawl back under the fence. Never got caught.

I know Maureen Cox and knew her late husband Terry Cooper (Ex Fire Brigade). Maureen and my sister Josephine were of a similar age and were friendly. There were quite a few George's kids in the area - Billy Ayres in Nevison Grove, Peter Richardson (my cousin) on Heslington Lane, Reggie Wood and Maureen Cox in adjoining semi's in Grants Avenue, Anthony Questa in Garths End, Dave Oliver in Crosslands Road and my sister Jo and me in Endfields Road.

Sunday church - walking round to my Grandparents' house on Heslington Lane with my sister every Sunday morning to await taxi transport to and from church. Aunt Lottie, Peter, Jo and I would climb into a great big black American Chevrolet car owned by Tom Sawyer, a taxi driver who lived further down the lane. Rather impressive and I am still not sure why we had such an extravagant mode of transport!

Dad, who was lame, for some reason always cycled to Sunday Mass and stood at the back of the church with some other men. One I recall was Leo Addyman, a bookie in Walmgate - also my godfather. I assume they were positioned for a quick getaway to the Working Mens club!

Dad was also great friends with Mick White who married Pat Haddakin. Both were employed at Bellerbys and decorated The Gimcrack when it first became a pub. Mike hand-painted the racing scenes on the internal glass partitions and dad did the general painting! The Gimcrack is now a housing development. Mick and Pat moved from Festival Flats into the bungalow next door to Mum and Dad in Endfields Road until all 4 passed away


John's Secondary School Page

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