When the war was on there were loads of stray dogs, a pack of dogs roamed around near us. One day a dog ran into the house with a bone and went straight down to the outside lav. Mam got the broom but the dog wasn’t having it. Anyhow in time he stayed with us in the back yard. We’d be queuing for the lav because we were all scared to get past that dog. We called him Nelson, because he only had one eye. I waited till he blinked and made a run for it to the lav.
On the dock road the lorries used to come by with sacks of peanuts. I got my little penknife to sneak up and slice one so the peanuts poured out and my jersey and legged it down the dock road. I was about 12 and I was pretty fast. As I ran I left a trail of peanuts behind me. The birds loved it.
Because it was a port you saw more exotic animals – once a monkey escaped and got onto the house roof and started throwing tiles at all the passers by.
A docker near our street had a parrot that he kept outside his house in a cage, as you walked by the parrot you used to say ‘hello Pretty Polly’ and it would give you squawk a load of fruity language back.