Joyce Hall was born in King Street and remembers her childhood
at No. 21,
"It was a large house in a very narrow street. On the corner, from Horsemarket there
was a pub and we were next door. We took up a tremendous amount of the street. There were about
another three little houses next to ours.We had this underground kitchen where we all had our meals and a
back scullery. A stone-floored scullery with a copper up the corner that we had to stoke up and fill Friday
nights when we had a bath. We had a zinc bath on the floor, took it in turns and shut ourselves in.
A coal place that was over-run with mice. We had to keep cats to keep those down. Then there were
stone steps up into the yard. Above that was nice, big sitting room in which we used to try and have meals,
weekends. We used to go up and fetch and down and fetch everything from below because there was no running
water on that floor at all. Behind that was a front room and then there were bedrooms. No bathroom, just four
The School Clinic was in King Street and I can remember one unhappy day when I had to go there to have a tooth out.
I've hated dentists ever since. One of my aunts also lived in a strange shaped little house. The family name was Saberton and they
originally came from the East Coast area. Aunty Gladys had three daughters, Joan, Gladys(junior) and Margaret. The house seemed v
ery Dickensian to me. There was a stone slabbed hall which sloped down to an open courtyard with a washhouse beyond. There was
a narrow winding staircase to the upper two floors which I never saw. The living room on the left of the front door was triangular.
In the pointed end was a little narrow cast iron fireplace. Aunty Gladys headed what could only be described as a cosmopolitan
international family. Joan the eldest daughter met and married a GI from America and went off to "the States". Young Gladys met a
German POW, Horst, got married and went to live in Germany after the war. Sadly Margaret, the youngest, a dark haired beauty,
died in her teens. She was my age. I was very sad about that. Eventually Aunt Gladys and her husband moved out of the curious
King Street house to a council house in Kingsthorpe
by Brian Faulkner.
THE MITRE, KING STREET
Terry Mason remembers,
"When the Americans (mainly black) from Heyford used to come in to Northampton they made a bee-line for the Mitre.
In the summertime they would go into the garden of the Mitre and they would be singing spirituals once they got tanked up.
The back of our house was only separated by a nursery play ground, so with windows open at night we got a free show.
In the morning, the Garden of Rest in King Street was literally covered in bottles of VP wine bought from the Sanderson's wine shop next door to the Mitre.
We used to chase after them down Bradshaw Street saying 'have you got any gum chum', and sometimes we got some."