Sound Recording – Eric & Lily Smith

The whimsey at Underwood colliery smlLily Smith nee Stuart was born in the mid 1930s at New Westwood. She started school at Westwood Infants and was once caned for talking ‘whilst in line.’ Despite that she loved school, especially poetry and remembers the doll named ‘Toni Westwood’ which was on display in the school in a cot. They were not allowed to touch or play with the doll but instead, learned how to knit dolls clothes for her.  During WW2 she heard the planes overhead and you could always tell when they were German as their engines sounded different.  In the bad winter of 1947 they dug out a pathway so they could get to school every day and Barrows Hill Lane was blocked by snow for weeks.  Fond memories of Billy Lounds chip shop and the chickens that roamed freely inside the Rhodes’ family greengrocer’s shop and home  where freshly laid eggs were often found behind the sofa!  Eric was born at Underwood and he also enjoyed his school days at Bagthorpe, Underwood and later Matthew Holland. The meals at Matt Holl were delicious as he had never been to a school that served school dinners before, at infants and primary they just made do with a slice of bread. By age 14 Eric was working at Underwood Pit which he says he enjoyed more than school. In 1953 Eric & Lily met at ‘The Drum & Monkey’ the dance room above ‘The Royal Oak’ at Westwood when a love affair already clocking up 55 years began.  Later in life Eric & Lily ran the Jacksdale Walker’s Club for many years, organising weekly walks in Notts and Derbys and holiday trips up and down the UK, when they shared their love of the countryside and its history with fellow villagers. Photo: Underwood Colliery and the Whimsey where Eric played as a boy.