The fireplaces reminded me of my maternal grandparent’s house in Clifford Road,
Stanley. It was quite a large house for those days with a bay window at each side of
the front day. There was a sitting room only used at family parties of which there
were many. The attraction of the room was the pianola and we grandchildren
couldn't wait until we were big enough to reach the pedals and pretend to play the
most complicated sonatos or jazz music. The living room had a dining table and a
big black fireplace. Granddad had a wooden rocking chair, on which he rocked when
he wasn't working as a joiner or busy in his enormous allotment. He would shout 'all
aboard the Mary Ann' and whichever grandchildren were there would climb aboard.
Grandma would often be found in the kitchen singing as she baked her famous meat
pies or bread and teacakes. The toilet was across the yard, which was outside the
kitchen door (I still remember the netty).
Upstairs there were three bedrooms. The biggest one had a brass bedstead and
through this room was a bathroom, always nice and warm because it had the hot
tank (the water was heated by a back boiler). There was a two piece telephone on
the lower landing, because 22 Clifford Road was the call house for Doctor Benson.
The number was Stanley 84, which is still the last two numbers for Tanfield View.