Barry Wilkinson – Chef and Computer Wizard

Barry Wilkinson Chef D’Cuisine and computer wizard

Barry Wilkinson and his big brother John. The cheeky little kids from Darlaston.

Not sure if we were brought up or dragged up, Though it was a happy time. Always a bit of old pram knocking about to make a trolley. Bit of tree branch and some string and you were on your way to a bow and arrow to play cowboys and Indians. Somebody always had a ball of some description, and it was a proper old cassy if we had one to play football with, pigs bladder inside and dubbing on the outside, laces that cut your forehead and concussion if you headed it when it was wet. A tennis ball, and four pegs swiped from the washing basket, one lamp post and a game of cricket was on.

“Chris” the ice cream man used to come round with his horse and cart, we were always sent out with a shovel and bucket to get the ‘Hoss manure for the garden’

You could play in the street all day, not many cars about then. Televisions were a rarity, and a telephone was a big red box down by the shops.

Meal time was a family affair, when dad got home from work, or from the pub on a Sunday. It was always on the table, you sat down and ate what was put in front of you or starve. And we are talking, Liver & Onions, Lambs Hearts, Faggots, Grey Peas & Bacon, Pigs Trotters, Spam fritters, Bubble and Squeak or a stew of some description (Rabbit) loaded with lentils or barley oats with some crusty bread. Friday was treat night, always fish and chips. Sunday was always a bit posher. But first we had to go down the pub outdoor with a few bottles, It was a tradition then to get some mild ale on draught put into the bottles for dad to have with his dinner. Sunday tea in the Black Country was always cucumber & onions in vinegar, pink salmon sandwiches, jelly and buttered bread. And for a bit of luxury we got a drizzle of evaporated milk.

Fast food was unheard of, No KFC, McDonalds or Pizza Hut. Your local shops had the butchers and veg store, your milk and bread was delivered. Everything else came out of the garden or allotment.

Those days seem long gone when we hadn’t a care in the world. But it’s nice to look back with fond memories.

Barry Wilkinson Chef D'Cuisine and computer wizard
That’s me on the left. I’m with my big brother John.
Angelic, butter wouldn’t melt in that little mouth of mine.
Big brother got the blame for everything
Early school days. A fine bit of Mom’s knitting that jumper

Barry Wilkinson with his brother John in the garden of 169 Darlaston Road circa 1962
Two little rogues
The back garden of our house. 169 Darlaston Road. Me and my big bruvver John. Note the snake belt, the bees knees that was. I think we were about to go and torment the pig down the garden