I always imagined that the expression “living on the wrong side of the tracks” had some reference to the onset of railways and the less desirable neighbourhoods were built on the land further away from the town itself and the shops and amenities. It didn’t really affect me as I lived but a few yards from the main street. I often wonder whether living on the “wrong” side you might have a different mindset and consider the posh townies as being on the wrong side of town
Many years ago I met a Lizzie. Lizzie worked in the adjacent office of the Egg Packing company to that of the surveyors were I did. I had just started work and was quite green. Ours was such a small office that the boss had made an arrangement with the manager of the Egg packing office to make morning and afternoon tea for our team of three!
Lizzie brought the tea in and I was in love straight away. Film star June Haver the sweater girl had nothing on her! She was a stunner she had a body to die for, and I very nearly did. One of the downsides of egg packing was the seconds or unsellable eggs, misshapen, too small or too large and the cracked ones too. These were packed but sold at half price to the office workers and Lizzie brought them round to peddle the eggs to us as well. So yes, I bought some too to take home to Mum.
Our town had an autumn fair and being game I asked Lizzie if she would like to go with me. She loved flirting in the office but the thought of actually going out with me or anyone else clearly worried her. She agreed we could meet there by accident but she would be forbidden to go with me. So, with this tenuous arrangement, I went along that Friday evening to the large green just out of town to the fair.
We had arranged to meet by accident by the dodgem cars about 8 o’clock. I reckoned I must have got there at 7.30 and just waited, impatiently, trying to work out which of the cars was the best. I picked out the deep pink one to match one of Lizzie’s sweaters and number 8 because it was my favourite number.
She walked casually by just a bit after eight, feigned surprise at meeting me and tentatively agreed to go on the cars. All this subterfuge was in case her brothers should see us. It was meant to be a chance encounter! Lizzie and I squeezed onto the dodgem car and I could feel the warmth of her body next to mine. She smiled happily but a little nervously and as we took off she held onto my arm and I sensed she was looking at me the whole of the time.
The ride was over too quickly. As we left the floor I just held her hand to steady her and we were met by two extremely angry looking men. My heart sank. I knew instinctively that they were her brothers. Strange really as they looked nothing like her. One escorted her away the other fronted up to me and brandished his fist. “Keep away from our Lizzie” he said. “She’s not for you”.
It was no point me trying to explain. He made it clear I came from the wrong side of the tracks to be going out with Lizzie.
Now I must tell you this I did go out with her again. We arranged to go to the flicks. In the continuous showing movies of the day we both bought our tickets separately and at the interval found each other and did what most courting couples did in those days. We never saw or heard a word of the film but I can confirm that she was a real stunner. I often wonder whether ever she got away from the other side of the tracks.