St Ann’s Stories – Memories of the Well’s Road from the 1960s

Welcome to our next instalment of St Ann’s Stories!

This story was sent in by Sandra Pownall, recalling her childhood in St Ann’s during the 1960s. It’s sure to bring back memories for some of you, while providing a fascinating glimpse into how things have changed over the decades.

A brief look into my own memories of the Well’s Road from the 1960s…
“My dad had his scrapyard and second-hand shop on the St Ann’s Well Road in the early 60’s, locally known as Jacky’s, until the demolition of the road. Even today, I occasionally hear the name of Jacky Pownall’s, a large family business established 1870 and well known throughout Nottingham, [there are] family members still trading today with Podders (Nottingham) Ltd, Bank Hill Road, Woodborough.

During the summer months you could buy a tortoise…
Sometimes during the school holidays, my Dad would ask me, ‘did I want to earn a bit of extra money?’ This often meant a cleaning job at the yard. I would catch the bus from home to the Huntingdon Street bus station, get off and walk to the bus stop alongside Central Market.

Whilst waiting for the trolley bus (no 40) I would always go and have a look at the puppies/kittens for sale in their cages at the pet stores there. You could buy a cross puppy for 5/- or a kitten for 2/6. During the summer months you could buy a tortoise for 3/6, take your pick at different sizes.

I now realise there were hundreds of homes up there…
It would cost me 3d from the market up to the Beverly Street stop. The buildings up there were old then and not in very good condition, drafty and not very good fitting frames. The window first had to be emptied, then swept, thick, black muck which was gritty and sooty. I then washed all the bits and bobs in the window, it looked much better when finished, you could see what you were looking at.

Looking back I now realise there were hundreds of homes up there, all having coal or coke fires for heat, together with the heavy traffic, emissions must have been terrific, you could taste the acrid air especially during the hot summer months. Thank goodness for double glazing and the ‘Clean Air Act’ we have today.

I remember the launderette on the corner…
The pavements on the Well’s Road were nearly all proper hand-cut reddish/brown stone slabs, not the horrible grey spun concrete ones we have today. However, once they became a bit unstable, water would collect underneath them, if you happened to walk on a corner, you would get showered with filthy black staining water on your trousers. I don’t know what happened to all these thousands of slabs, but I know they would cost a fortune if you tried to purchase them today!

I remember the launderette on the corner, it always seemed to be busy, next was Fred Howard’s the butcher, then my dad’s shop and yard, when I was around 11, I believe there was two older sisters that ran a little sweet shop, the next shop up, all I remember of this was hundreds of dead flies laying in the window, with not very appetising sweets placed on faded paper ‘doyleys’ around the window. I think these two sisters soon retired, as two shops up, we suddenly had ‘Harry’s the newsagents’, he sold almost everything and was there until demolition. My dad always collected the Nottingham Evening Post from Harry and on a Tuesday I would collect my Bunty comic.”

Thank you Sandra for sharing your memories of St Ann’s!

About St Ann’s Stories

The Renewal Trust has worked in partnership with the well-known Nottingham writer, storyteller and performance poet, Panya Banjoko, and local Creative Engagement Curator, Bo Olawoye, to produce St Ann’s Stories – a one-off newspaper celebrating the strength, diversity and true spirit of this amazing community.
Find out more.

Got a St Ann’s story to share?

You can still share your stories and images or anything else about St Ann’s by emailing us and we’ll add them to our website. Anyone of any age is welcome to get involved including children, so why not get creative, celebrate St Ann’s and stay connected to your community online.

Many thanks and stay tuned!