In this memoir Jim Bennet introduces us to Halifax of the Thirties and '40s: one jam-packed with coal smoke and rival gangs, chuffing freight trains and pine tar cleaning soap. he is taking the reader besides him ''down the bank'' and rancid to adventures everywhere in the city's south finish and past, providing a glimpse of adolescence the place a tender boy had loose rein some distance past his yard.
For Jim and his neighbours, the playground used to be the beach, the tracks, the ponds and parks, the tramcars, the Commons, the castle, and extra. via his eyes, we see the impression because of the second one international warfare on day-by-day relations life.
Jim Bennet's bear in mind of the main points of normal existence -- visible from the point of view of a boy starting to be up into his children -- and his reward for storytelling are obvious during this relaxing booklet. it is going to deliver thoughts flooding again for a few readers; for others, it deals a window into youth at a time whilst the area was once swiftly changing.
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Additional resources for South End Boy: Growing up in Halifax in the tumultuous '30s and '40s
That was once the afternoon a filthy, stubby backyard engine got here labouring down the tracks at the back of us. We yelled on the engineer to offer us a trip, often as a spontaneous reflex. To our amazement, the grubby little locomotive hissed and squealed to a cease, and the pleasant driving force known as, “Jump aboard, boys. ” shall we infrequently think it: this used to be heaven. The force was once in simple terms or 3 bridges lengthy, yet we relished the beast’s steam, coal dirt, flame, smoke and noise correct on the resource. We watched the purple coals gleaming within the firebox. We felt, throughout the soles of our ft, the wheels clacking over the joints of the tracks. We have been railroaders, thundering towards Montreal within the cab of the sea constrained or steaming in the course of the Deep South at the Dixie Flyer! good, it appeared so, and that engagement of all a youngster’s willing senses continues to be on the vanguard of my reminiscence, and all because of the dirty engineer of a colorless little shunter. the genuine beauties between locomotives belonged to the noble 6000 sequence of steam engines, strongest Canadian engines in their time. wonderful and modern, they pulled the quickest, so much elite CNR passenger trains. just like the car makes we had every one declared entitlement to as they handed, every one people had a 6000 locomotive of his “own. ” whilst the sort of handed as we strolled the tracks, it used to be an important second: “Hey! That’s my engine! ” It most likely foolish of me to now declare mine as 6034, yet it’s the quantity that turns out to stay in my brain those a long time due to the fact. different selection sightings have been the hand trolleys that clattered prior with music workforce individuals pumping the handles so that it will a task, or one of many diesel jitney vehicles that carried commuters to and from the Bedford district. The engines of those produced a percussive bark that led us to dub the conveyance “Fartin’ Annie. ” In wintry weather we observed the occasional plow bursting via snowdrifts. The plows, driven by way of a locomotive, seemed like a cabin car with a pointed entrance finish and made a staggering convey if the snow was once deep. from time to time we’d see a brakeman nonchalantly strolling the roof of a gradual freight boxcar. a long way sooner than each one bridge, there have been gallows-like buildings with dangling ropes that might brush such daredevils, reminding them to duck. We’d additionally watch as yardmen walked alongside the right-of-way refilling bins of caustic soda that i believe was once used to transparent switches of ice. We didn’t desire Woo to lead us away from that stuff. I’ve acknowledged that we have been by no means kicked off the right-of-way itself, yet there has been an celebration whilst 3 folks obtained in deep trouble from a place at the Oakland street bridge. Gumpy, Hess and that i have been leaning over the railing, pinging stones off the roofs of a few boxcars passing underneath. silly, certain, yet such actions have been the way in which boys of our time and position saved boredom at bay. So engrossed have been we with our irresponsible job that we didn't realize as a burly guy approached. He flashed a badge and brought himself as a railway policeman, then requested every one people in flip what he used to be doing.