Like myself, my mother, Irene King, kept a diary, but only one has survived. It is the diary for 1929. During this year, Irene was living at The Surrey Hotel, West Bar, Sheffield having previously lived at The Carter's Rest in Rotherham. The Surrey was said to be a rough pub at the time, and home to the Mooney gang. It was so rough that my grandfather, Thomas King, told me he kept a string of teeth behind the bar with a notice saying that others who caused trouble might find their teeth added to the string.
In her diary, Irene mentions that a friend she asked to stay couldn't come because of the rough area and laments that she wants a life away from pubs. She also mentions someone being glassed.
She told me that she was in the kitchen at the time, and her mother came in, swept her arm across the table, knocking all the books onto the floor, and brought in this chap and laid him on the table. In her diary, Irene only briefly mentions this episode.
Irene talks a lot in her diary about going to the pictures and mentions the pictures she went to in the most part. As an only child, it is probable that her parents paid for her to go so that she wasn't on her own whilst they were working in the pub below. Irene also mentions the advent of The Talkies, and the whole diary is a snapshot of a bygone era.
During this year, Irene had scarlet fever and was sent to Lodgemoor Isolation Hospital, and then on to Redmires to convalesce. She also had a thyroid operation as a result of a lump appearing on her neck - all pre NHS days.
At the end of the year, Irene and her family moved from Yorkshire to keep The Globe Hotel in Irongate, Derby, thus leaving behind all Irene's friends and her time at Abbeydale Grange school in Sheffield.