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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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A Fishy Funeral

by GatesheadLibraries

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Cicely (Cissy) Dodds, nee Callaghan, Grace Metcalf and Lizzie, Stan and Eddie Richardson
Location of story: 
Blaydon, Tyne and Wear
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
15 November 2004

1942: My next door neighbour Grace had a sister in law Lizzie who only lived a couple of streets away, who was absolutely stone deaf. The only person she could converse with was Grace, who was very good at lipreading. On this particular morning, Grace came over to discuss the happenings of the night before with me, when one of Lizzie’s sons Stan, a boy of about 8 years old, had come in weeping. When his mother demanded to know what all the tears were for, it seemed that his older brother Eddie’s goldfish had been found floating deader than dead in its glass bowl, seemingly killed by the previous night’s bomb blast, and he was giving it a right royal funeral. Eddie had made a coffin from a padded matchbox and wrapped it in Christmas gift paper, which he paraded once around their terrace and because Stan didn’t raise his school cap as the corpse passed, Eddie had given him a nice smack to make him show some respect. There they were with their bunches of daisies going round the houses — a right funeral it was!

As told to Karen Hannah, Blaydon Library, on Friday 8th October 2004.

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