I'm researching my Father, Robert HEYES, BORN 9TH March 1901, Park Road, Parr, St Helens. Son of John, hewer at colliery possibly Lea Green collieries or Bold. His Mother was Mary nee Davies, SISTERS May Florrie and ? brother named Ellis.
1.Father joined the Communist Party St Helens at it's outset in 1920. Would like to know if anyone has knowledge of the Communist Party (CP) names, membership and activities in St Helens and Lancs 1920-1939 and if you could guide me to appropriate links. Dad was an atheist and a true if not mislead communist the product of Soviet propaganda. The effects of his political leanings had a profound effect on me. Dad was an agitator for the CP and regularly attended right wing meetings to disrupt especially the Fascist Black Shirts of Sir Edwin Mosley. Has anyone knowledge of CP activities in this era?
2. I'm writing a novel and would like to, so to speak, put myself into Dad's shoes beginning as a youngster growing up in Park Rd 1901-1911 housing conditions, education, health, diet, poverty. What infant/junior school would he have attended living on Park Road and what senior school?
3. Dad left school I think at 12 to go down the mine with his Father, his brother Ellis joined them 2 years later. Would like information on probable work duties, pay, conditions etc. Latterly he worked as a hewer and shotfirer. He left St Helens in the early thirties for Armthorpe nr Doncaster to work at Markham Main Colliery, on his bike across the Penines with his friend a musician ? Griffiths.
4. He was an athlete and played I think for St HELENS REC, an amateur boxer with brief pro career as a bantamweight after which he became a sparring partner to British champions, does anyone have knowledge of St Helens boxers in that period 1900 -1939? I remember seeing a medal of his where he won Merseyside Junior Marathon, he was also sprinter and kept these heavy leather spikes he used to run in, he was a gymnast. Does anyone have knowledge of boxing and athletic clubs in St Helens?
5. He was an intelligent young boy but his parents could not afford a scholarship, he excelled in fine art, intricate drawings of the innards of watches and horses. I'm sure he paid for art tutelage from an American visitor. He was involved in amateur operatics ,he saved a musketeer costume including wig. In an old wardrobe at the top of the stairs he kept memories of his younger years, squeeze box, running spikes, musketeer costumes, chest expanders, Indian Clubs. As a young boy he earned pennies dancing on pub tables and would entertain me on the concrete floor of the outhouse. He played the piano by ear alone and at home he entertained us playing his harmonica. His Father John, sometimes performed in circuses/fairgrounds where he would tie a rope around his neck with the end tied around a persons waist and swing them, it's true!
6. Does anyone have knowledge of pubs in the Parr Sutton areas/ theatres/ leisure entertainments and venues in the 1920's and 30's?
7. He loved motorbikes and when arriving in Doncaster early thirties he purchased a 500cc Triumph. He never fulfilled his dream of riding in the Isle of Man TT. Were their motor cycling clubs venues in Lancashire in the 1920-35?
I would really appreciate any relevant information. I'm thinking of going to St Helens to the road on which he was born to walk around the area of his childhood and youth. I appreciate it's over a century later but I can carry images of his face and photos in my head.