1948: Childhood at Tyntesfield Park

Pete Stamp competing in Sports Day at Tyntesfield Park © Bill Cunningham

Pete Stamp competing in Sports Day at Tyntesfield Park

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Pete Stamp, together with his wife Dawn, was interviewed about his memories of life at the Tyntesfield Park estate and working as a plumber on the main estate by our Tyntesfield Stories team in March 2011.

As children, what did you used to get up to at Tyntesfield Park Estate?

'The Police Officer was Mr Gench and other tricks we used to play on Mr Gench, was Mr Gench always used to ride his bike down Silver Street every night, so what we done was, we tied cotton to a lamp post and we tied it to every knocker on the houses opposite, and when Genchy came down the road, of course he would break the cotton and all the knockers would go down and all the people would come out and Genchy would shout “I’ll get you Stamps”.

'I mean – we used to go up into the woods and build gang huts and have rival gangs, but fighting between us then was different to what you would do now, I mean you would fight with mud balls, obviously so that you would cover one another with mud and when you got home you would get a good hiding from your parents for being dirty anyway so you could never win.

'And then we used to – a gang of us used to get together, usually on a Sunday, and we would go down across the fields which was down where the swimming pool is now. Where the river that runs along the back of the swimming pool, we used to go into the little wood there, cut poles, mainly hazel nut ‘cause they used to grow nice and straight. They were about nine foot long and then we used to go what we call pole jumping, which was pole vaulting over the rivers. So we used to run, a way back from the river, run, put the pole in the middle of the river, and hopefully get to the other side.

'I learned to swim in the reservoir that used to feed the pumps  that’s the waterwheel at Watercress Farm, I was with my brothers, I wouldn’t get in the water and my brother said “You are never going to swim if you don’t get in the water, so he picked hold of me and threw me in the water and I learned to swim.'

Did you have girls play in the woods as well?

'Oh yes, of course the girls used to come as well... The majority of the girls were tomboys that we used to go around with, they used to fight as well as the boys, and of course you had certain girls in your gang.'