‘Young’ Teddy Ballard
My Maternal Grandfather has for some inexplicable reason, to me that is, been known as ‘Young’ Teddy. I just cannot comprehend how this miserable grumpy old man was ever young. Least of all a man with friends.
The man I knew was retired and did not suffer the best of health, he had contracted emphysema whilst working in the mines, he had been invalided out of the mines because of his illness as I discovered when I was a little older.
When I left school at fifteen, there wasn’t at the time an apprenticeship in my chosen career was unavailable, so I took a stop – gap job at a General Wholesalers. This was after my Grandfather’s death.
Unknown to me, after my Grandfather had left the mines. he worked for the Wholesaler doing deliveries locally by horse and cart, I believe this would be in the 1930’s. When I told my Grandmother where I was working she told me that he had worked there.
My first week in my new job, I found that one of my tasks was to deliver goods to the packing department. This was in the basement on the opposite side of the road. I was introduced to the Packing dept. Manager and he asked me who I was. I mentioned my Grandfather, he announced ‘This is young Teddy’s Grandson!’ and I was surrounded by a gaggle of elderly men, who all apparently knew ‘Young’ Teddy.
The one that I always remember with fondness was Mr.Pollard who at that time, Late 50’s wrote all the Company’s Delivery Labels in longhand with pen and ink. This elderly man fascinated me as a naïve 15 yrs old, not so much for his appearance, the few tufts of hair and the old fashioned round glasses and the ink stains on his fingers and smock. it was more the fact that to me he resembled Jiminy Cricket in Disneys Pinnochio!
(c) Damian Grange 2017