I was born in Summer Street, Kingswinford, South Staffordshire. Kingswinford was a fairly old and small village, mostly agricultural, on the southern edge of the Black Country. My father had been employed in the pipe-moulding trade, casting iron pipes, and this particular occupation closed down because the Post Office, who had been using these pipes for their cables, changed over to earthenware ducts. It was a skilled occupation and I suppose my father at that time had a fairly decent wage. My parents certainly owned their house and eventually sold it, for £40 I believe. It was a small cottage with two downstairs rooms, an externally-built kitchen or washhouse, two bedrooms and an attic. It was detached with a large kitchen-garden and some flowers; it was alongside a similar one occupied by my grandmother and an aunt and an uncle, both unmarried. The cottage my mother owned had been left to her by one of her uncles when he died.