Scooter Romance


scooter 1950sA story of love and life in Barrow 1950s

“I went to Laura Adams dancing classes in the Public Hall. The Public hall, it was a beautiful hall. We danced the old timers, there were shows on as well. We’d go out about once a week, and we’d dress up. Lovely dresses, I used to love it. There’s nowhere like that now.

I was a nurse. I left Barrow to go to a hospital in Preston, Mount Street, run by nuns, and what I learnt off them, I learnt very well, but they were strict, so strict you know, and, you got so run down you were worked so hardI was seventeen and a half, I lost 18 months! And then I went to a sanatorium in Frodsham, near Cheshire and did a TB certificate, and then I came back to Barrow to High Carley, which was the TB sanatorium.

We lived on Barrow Island, first in Ship Street and then in Sloop Street, for a long time, ‘cos my dad worked in the Yard. I went to St Patrick’s school, which is now no longer there.
I passed the eleven-plus and went to the Convent, which is where Chetwyn is now.

I got married in 1963, at the Holy Family – if you come down Hollow Lane, it’s in that area. We had a flat on Abbey Road for the first, perhaps, ten months, and then we bought a house. I have two sons, four granddaughters, and I’ve been a widow for 19 years. My hubby was killed at work at the shipyard. He was only 59.

Scooter Romance
We met at Scooter Club. He had a great big massive one and I had a smaller version.

We went out one night, it was a place called the Jungle Café, which was where the scooters all went. We went up there, John and me on the back of his bike, and got back at about ten o’clock, which was taboo. And I’ll always remember, my mother inside the house, looking over the banister, she let rip – ‘Where’ve you been this time?’ – John took off, he disappeared, and I thought that’s the end of that romance, he won’t be back! But he came back.

red tent fabricI’ve still got my wedding dress. Well I thought, I’ll keep it, and when the grandchildren make their first communion, if they’re interested, whoever goes first we can chop it down and make a dress. But they opted to have their own, which is fair enough. So it’s hanging there in the wardrobe …

John wasn’t keen on dancing, you’d get him on a dance floor but he wasn’t keen. We liked going up the lakes, but my favourite spot, still is, is Tarn Hows. Love it, absolutely love it. Sounds silly but in19 years I’ve only been back twice. It’s not the same when you’re on your own.”


The woman who shared this story has chosen to stay anonymous; names have been changed.

The Public Hall was later to become Maxims.