Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Baffle Wa

I'm going back to the early 1940's, I posted a photo 2 days ago about the old 12 sided Thruppeny, or as I called it " A Baffle Wa." ( Baffle Wall )
Other coins had nick-names such as, 1. 6 pence was a " Tanner " 2-1//2 pence today
2, Shilling was a " Bob " 5 pence today
3. 2 Shillings was " 2 Bob " 10 pence today....and all the way up eg, 50p was "10 Bob"
4, 2/6d was Half-a-Crown= " Half-a-Dollar " 12-1/2 p
5, 5 Shillings, was a " Dollar " Today 25p
Today I want to tell you about the Thruppence ( Three-pence ) which had 12 sides and was thicker than all the rest of our coins ( Photo Above ) we called it the " BAFFLE WA' " ( Baffle Wall ), it could stand on it's edge quite easily
During the early 1940's, at that time all workers were paid on a Friday Night, you could always tell it was Friday by the number of wives standing outside all the Ship Yards, and other places of work, trying the catch the men for their money before they hit the pubs, in those days all pubs were Lock-Ups, which meant the doors had to be locked at 9-30 pm sharp, so last orders were 9:00pm.
So Saturday morning in Greenock, Scotland, was a busy, busy day, all the shoppers packed the " Home & Colonial ", " Liptons " & Mac Fisheries, corner of Westburn St.
Saturday morning in Greenock at that time, as there was a war on, all the family, my mothers brothers & sisters would meet at a pre-arranged spot every week e.g outside Woolworths, Corner of Charles St., we didn't have any phones back then, only the rich, certainly not us Gibshill Folk
Outside every main large shop, Marks & Spenser, Woolworths Burtons etc, a Large wall was built, at the edge of the pavement, it was approx. 8 feet high, and varied from 8 inches to a foot thick, and ran the length of the shop, it's purpose was , if a Bomb dropped this wall would prevent the blast coming through the door and also prevent he windows being blown in, these walls were known as BAFFLE WA'.s
Now the Baffle Wa's and I didn't mix very well, in fact I hated them, my mother was known up Gibshill as " Big Ann " and she was big, so on a Saturday Morning shopping, with our Gas-Masks slung over our shoulder, if we were unlucky enough to be caught in the town centre and the War Siren went off, every one had their place of safely ( They Thought ), 1 was under the Municipal Buildings, The Crystal Palace,( Public Toilets )across from now Tesco's, mother would grab either my hand & Gas-Mask strap, and run, Now if I told you how many times I slammed into a Baffle Wa., in my mothers haste to get to shelter, and because Greenock was such an important Port, the Air-Raids were constant
To this day I have a Pug Nose, god knows how many times, I butted a Baffle Wa'
Now that is why, standing an old Thruppenny on it's edge, it looked like a Baffle Wa.

Billy Sinclair

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