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#344375 - 23rd Aug 2009 10:02pm Local Characters
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1279
Loc: Wallasey Village
Most of our forum concentrates on places/ buildings but probably we all also remember some of the local characters, and perhaps it would be worthwhile to start a thread in which we recount our memories of them and their activities.

Does anyone remember Elai from Birkenhead market?

I remember him from the OLD market. He had quite a big area in the corner (can’t say which corner because I was less than 10 at the time). He used to “auction” stuff off to quite big crowds. He would start by pulling some items out of a box – crockery, teapots, clothing, rugs – anything, and then give a price. With a constant stream of patter he would bring the price down and down until up would go the cry from someone “ Er y’ar Elai” and then one of his lads would find the person, take the money and pass over the goods.

Elai could keep up this constant patter for hours. I remember going with my mum, guess around the early 1950s, when she had saved up a few bob to be able to go looking for something for the house or for Christmas.

I think Elai or some successor moved to the new market after the old one was destroyed. Did he move to where the flower seller is by the crossing through to TJs?

Especially I remember that my Nan bought a chemistry set for me from Elai. Little tubes of coloured crystals and a set of word/ picture instructions. I played with it for hours until all the chemicals were used up. I was then always asking for another (bigger) set for birthday or Christmas. Eventually I took a degree and masters in Chemistry and was a chemical technologist all my working life.

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#344382 - 23rd Aug 2009 10:38pm Re: Local Characters [Re: Snodvan]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19160
Loc: Here.
Im too young for 'elai' but at first i thought you were talking about a fella who had a stall, outside at back of the market near fruit+ veg- he was the bartering del-boy type, this was in the 70s/80s.
My mum used to love him, made us stand there for hours.
_________________________
Mia Mabel

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! Jer-e-my Cor-byn


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#344383 - 23rd Aug 2009 10:38pm Re: Local Characters [Re: RUDEBOX]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19160
Loc: Here.
Im too young for 'elai' but at first i thought you were talking about a fella who had a stall, outside at back of the market near fruit+ veg- he was the bartering del-boy type, this was in the 70s/80s.
My mum used to love him, made us stand there for hours.
_________________________
Mia Mabel

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! Jer-e-my Cor-byn


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#344384 - 23rd Aug 2009 10:40pm Re: Local Characters [Re: Snodvan]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7927
Loc: tranmere
I remember Eli very well, it was a good comedy show watching him every time we went to the market. His stall was in what we called the inside outside market, like a corrugated part just by the outside stalls, on the right as you walked in from those stalls. He could sell sand to the Arabs, no doubt about that, never bought anything from him my self but plenty did. I think he was there right up to the market burning down in what i think was the 70s, someone will come up with the date.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#344385 - 23rd Aug 2009 10:41pm Re: Local Characters [Re: RUDEBOX]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19160
Loc: Here.
'cat wheasal'- moreton.
Old lady, kids used to pěck on her. Knock her plants off the window ledge and stuff.
_________________________
Mia Mabel

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! Jer-e-my Cor-byn


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#344386 - 23rd Aug 2009 10:44pm Re: Local Characters [Re: Snodvan]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19160
Loc: Here.
Originally Posted By: Snodvan
Most of our forum concentrates on places/ buildings but probably we all also remember some of the local characters, and perhaps it would be worthwhile to start a thread in which we recount our memories of them and their activities.

Does anyone remember Elai from Birkenhead market?

I remember him from the OLD market. He had quite a big area in the corner (can’t say which corner because I was less than 10 at the time). He used to “auction” stuff off to quite big crowds. He would start by pulling some items out of a box – crockery, teapots, clothing, rugs – anything, and then give a price. With a constant stream of patter he would bring the price down and down until up would go the cry from someone “ Er y’ar Elai” and then one of his lads would find the person, take the money and pass over the goods.

Elai could keep up this constant patter for hours. I remember going with my mum, guess around the early 1950s, when she had saved up a few bob to be able to go looking for something for the house or for Christmas.

I think Elai or some successor moved to the new market after the old one was destroyed. Did he move to where the flower seller is by the crossing through to TJs?

Especially I remember that my Nan bought a chemistry set for me from Elai. Little tubes of coloured crystals and a set of word/ picture instructions. I played with it for hours until all the chemicals were used up. I was then always asking for another (bigger) set for birthday or Christmas. Eventually I took a degree and masters in Chemistry and was a chemical technologist all my working life.

Snod
just re-read this, same spec in the market! Same fella?
_________________________
Mia Mabel

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! Jer-e-my Cor-byn


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#344441 - 24th Aug 2009 11:41am Re: Local Characters [Re: RUDEBOX]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1279
Loc: Wallasey Village
Yes, outside the current market by the fruit & veg ie where they have a flower stall now. Whether it was the same guy I remember from the old market I do not know. I doubt it. Maybe sons/ daughters took on the business because the Elai I remember was no spring chicken back in the '50s. What I remember of the site in the new market was that there would be a modest crowd of maybe a dozen on lookers but that was nothing like the (literally) hundred or so who would be there after pay day in the old market. Yes, a bartering Dell-Boy and Bert is quite right with his comment about selling sand to Arabs.

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#344456 - 24th Aug 2009 12:14pm Re: Local Characters [Re: Snodvan]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5361
Loc: Birkenhead
Think I may have said somewhere else on the site, but I remember Eli selling a jacket, or it might have been a jumper, brought the price down and held it up and it only had one arm. A woman talked him into a further reduction, or did he reduce it himself? it was a long time ago. Anyway, she took and was dead pleased. Must have had some poor soul at home with one home. It was brilliant, Eli was always good entertainment. He was outside for years and then went just inside on the right, with your back to the pubs, and in the corner as said.
_________________________
Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

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#344458 - 24th Aug 2009 12:17pm Re: Local Characters [Re: BandyCoot]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5361
Loc: Birkenhead
Who remembers the vagrant, used to spend his time, and sleep, on the benches on Park Road North and all round there? Won't say his name as I knew the family. For some reason he preferred to sleep rough. The good thing I remember is that he wasn't given a hard time, at least not whenever I saw him and this was over many years.
_________________________
Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

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#344459 - 24th Aug 2009 12:20pm Re: Local Characters [Re: BandyCoot]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7927
Loc: tranmere
There used to be a tramp that walked up and down Grange rd, i remember him being called the Colonel, he used to shoot imaginary planes out of the sky with his walking stick. Anyone else recall him.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#344460 - 24th Aug 2009 12:20pm Re: Local Characters [Re: BandyCoot]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5361
Loc: Birkenhead
There used to be an ex-pugilist that rode on the buses on New Chester Road. If I ever had to ring the bell I used to make sure I was well away from him (I was a conductor). When the bell went he was up and in smack mode. He looked frail but when he hit you on the arm it went sort of dead for a while. It was a lazy type of punch too, obviously used to be good at it. He was harmless really, but you was armless. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who saw this as he was a regular and must have amused many passengers.
_________________________
Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

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#344462 - 24th Aug 2009 12:23pm Re: Local Characters [Re: BandyCoot]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5361
Loc: Birkenhead
Bert, remember the Colonel. We had a similar one over here, the poor fellahs must have been half shell shocked I should think. No counselling for our heroes then.
_________________________
Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

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#344477 - 24th Aug 2009 1:40pm Re: Local Characters [Re: BandyCoot]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
Anyone remember Mad Mick in Claughton village? He used to walk up the road talking to himself and he was followed by a dog. And every so often he'd turn around and tell the dog to fook off and stop following him - even though it was his dog omg raftl
_________________________


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#344478 - 24th Aug 2009 1:51pm Re: Local Characters [Re: MissGuided]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5361
Loc: Birkenhead
I remember a bloke in the Gents, "The Old English Gentleman", in Cleveland Street. Had an op on his throat which meant he couldn't swallow but he'd sit in the corner, get a pint and pour it down a funnel into a pipe which went up his nose and bypassed his mouth altogether, so he was mainlining direct to his stomach. That's what I call a dedicated Pub drinker. He wasn't a bad bloke either.
_________________________
Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

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#344489 - 24th Aug 2009 2:31pm Re: Local Characters [Re: BandyCoot]
spider Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 17th Aug 2009
Posts: 367
Loc: Birkenhead
was his name Albert saunders? he lived in Massey street.

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