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Inspector’s # 478 St. Helens Borough

This glass is really the first in my collection because it was in the kitchen cupboard in our small terraced house in Burnley. I remember hearing this type referred to as lantern glasses as they resemble an old fashioned lantern. They can be spotted in pub scenes in movies from the 30’s through to the 60’s, often on top of a piano during a sing-along with men in uniform and women in floral dresses doing a knees-up.


This one belonged either to my grandfather or my father but I don’t know because both died before I was 12. William James Campbell, my grandfather, came to Burnley from Burton-on-Trent as a young man. He worked as a brewery rep for the local brewer, Massey.    

  

I remember one weekend each spring the kitchen would be full of steam as he made nettle beer. He must have used some malt, hops and yeast from the brewery as well as nettles because the aroma was just the same as when the brewery was in production in the town. He could have been given the glass by a publican the better to enjoy his homebrew. Another possibility is that my dad could have liberated it from The Queens Arms by the railway bridge near Central Station.  He called in there on his way home from work as a Time & Motions supervisor at Lucas.


He had left his home in Saltburn as a teenager in the late 20’s after stealing from his employer (I only learned this in ’93 after meeting some of my relatives in Saltburn) and the only reason he gave my mother for severing contact with his family was that he didn’t get on with his stepmother. He died of T.B at the age of 40. I remember him complaining that the doctor only came to visit in order to read his Manchester Guardian. Very recently my cousin Enid told me that the doctor, telling him he would not recover, had pointed out to him the potency of the pills .She was telling me that he had taken an overdose. In those days antibiotics were available, of course, but not to everyone and particularly if you were working class and lived in the North.

With Mum & Dad in Blackpool  1949