Thursday, 27 March 2008

The Monkey Walk

Bustling Petty Cury, c. 1910. All the buildings on the right are no more - the site now being occupied by the Lion Yard shopping centre. 

I recall my gran's stories of working in the kitchen at the Mecca Cafe in Petty Cury, during periods when she was "stood off" from her regular job at Pye's, and tales of her youth in the 1920s, when Petty Cury formed part of a route that she always called "The Monkey Walk" - a weekly peacock parade (every Sunday) for young local people:

"We’d walk round and round Sidney Street, Petty Cury, Market Hill and Market Street. We’d walk one way and the boys the other - all in our best clothes.

"It was all innocent, great fun. Something similar happened when they used to have a band at the bandstand on Christ's Pieces on Sundays. Once again, boys walked one way, girls the other. Whether it was 'Monkey Walk' or bandstand, we'd all be in twos or threes - I used to go with cousin Muriel.

"There was always the hope that you might meet the love of your life on 'The Monkey Walk'. But I never heard of anybody that did. Still, if you had a new dress or hat it was lovely to show it off!"

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