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Joyce Wilson


A pig's tale, 1940s

Colour photograph of the face of Joyce Wilson.
Joyce Wilson, photograph taken in 2006 © Carl Rose

I have lived in Pitsmoor all my life. When I was young I lived in Canada Street. We had a large yard with several garages that were rented out to local people. When the war started in 1939, people were unable to use their vehicles as there was no petrol for private usage. This led to the garages being turned into pig sties by my father, Harry Woodhall, where he kept about a dozen pigs.

My father loved his pigs but he knew that once they were fattened up, they would be picked up in a wagon and taken to the slaughterhouse. Somehow the pigs seemed to know when it was their turn and what a noise they would make when that wagon arrived! Many a time the pigs escaped into Canada Street and we all had to try to round them up to get them back into the yard, it gave us kids a good laugh!

My father's favourite was a big black sow which was taken to mate with other pigs and then she would have piglets. My father would stay up all night when she was giving birth, he thought the world of her. The local children used to bring all their mums' pot peelings and greens for the pigs and my father used to boil them up in a big boiler that he had in one of the garages. My mum would give the children an apple or a penny.

After the war was over, I can't remember just when, but we weren't allowed to keep them any more, so the pigs had to go and the sties became garages again. My father did miss those pigs!

Written by Joyce Wilson (born in 1929), Pitsmoor resident and member of Firshill and Pitsmoor Local History Group, January 2006.