I was very sad to read about the death of Charles Braithwaite and he will be greatly missed.
I first met him when recording local history for the Archaeological and Historical Society.
Charles was very welcoming and very knowledgeable about the town’s fantastic history.
His postcard collection is second to none and he was always helpful with local history enquiries.
Charles was born in Scarborough in 1929 and went to the Friarage Infants School.
His father was in the army and his mother had to move council house several times. Charles grew up on the Edgehill estate with 300 other families in what he remembers as a friendly neighbourhood where everyone looked out for one another.
Front door keys hung on a piece of string behind the letterbox and there was no theft because there was little worth pinching! It was very rare that anyone could pay the rent man in advance.
Charles gained a scholarship to Scarborough Boys High School and during the war remembers carrying a suffocating gas mask. Discipline was tough with regular use of a cane across the palm of the hand.
During the winter months, Charles went to school through the snow with a piece of cardboard inside his shoe to cover a hole in the sole. He also remembers feeling embarrassed at his clothing as his mother could not afford any better. When Charles left school he worked at the train goods yard in Gallows Close. One or two trains a day brought a dozen wagons loaded with hundreds of deliveries for all the local traders.
They worked six days a week to operate the complex system of collection and dispatch for British Railways. Horsedrawn carts made the deliveries but were later replaced by flat bed trailers drawn by three wheel cabs. It is wonderful that Charles was willing to share his memories of growing up in a different time, lest we forget.