10 Jun 2014



SOURCE: Presented to my mam in 1960. A 1958 hardback edition now missing its dust jacket.

THE BOOK {According to amazon.co.uk}:The story of everyday life in the big, happy Ruggles family who live in the small town of Otwell. Father is a dustman and Mother a washerwoman. Then there's all the children - practical Lily Rose, clever Kate, mischievous twins James and John, followed by Jo, who loves films, little Peg and finally baby William.

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1: The Christenings}: Mrs Ruggles was a Washerwoman and her husband was a Dustman.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 44}: The knitting book was retrieved, and with much difficulty a bag of bread and butter, very much the worse for sea water, but Kate's hat, in company with a cardboard box of cream buns, went floating gaily out to sea.

MY THOUGHTS: At last an award winning book that I actually enjoyed - The Family From One End Street won the Carnegie Medal as the best children's book of 1937.

The story of a man, his wife and their seven children which I first read as a girl. Considered ground-breaking for its portrayal of 1930's working class life (father, Josiah 'Old Jo' Ruggles, is a dustman, his wife, Rosie, a stay-at-home-mother as we might call her today who takes in laundry) when first published in 1937 it strikes me that many of the issues featured are still relevant today. 

Perfect bedtime reading given that though a novel it reads more like a series of short stories with each chapter being given over to a single event generally but not always starring one or other of the Ruggles children.

A wonderfully nostalgic read. The classic story of one big, happy family who despite their financial hardship are content. I remember the thing that really appealed to me as a young girl (as it still does) was that whilst I loved reading of the adventures of the country living, gingerbeer swigging, adventure having children of say Enid Blyton's books I actually recognised some of myself in the children of One End Street.

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Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I was born in 1958 and can't ever recall coming across this book in my childhood. Whilst I was checking it out to see if it would ring any bells, I discovered that there were in fact three books in the series, so there are still two more adventures featuring the Ruggles family, for you to discover.

Oh how times have changed! Life was so simple when the man was a dustman and the woman a washerwoman ... can you imagine calling someone either of those things to their face now? ... You would probably end up in court!

I got rid of almost all of my childhoos books, although there may still be one or two stored up in the loft. Enid Blyton seems to still be very much in vogue these days and I have often been tempted to buy a few of them, just to rekindle the memories ... I'm not really so sure that is such a good idea though ... You can't go back!

Nice post and I am pleased that this book ticked all the boxes for you.


Kelly said...

Now this one sounds quite delightful!

Literary Feline said...

I love revisiting old favorites from my childhood. I haven't heard of this one, but I can definitely see the appeal. It sounds good!

Suko said...

Tracy, another lovely review! It sounds like a book I'd also enjoy very much. The writing sounds beautiful.

Lindsay said...

I don't think I've heard of this one before. It's lovely to read something that has a bit of real nostalgia in it, that you can identify with, and nice to read that it was your mum's copy.

Alexia561 said...

So nice that a cherished childhood book stood up to the test of time and you still enjoy it! Sounds like a lovely read!

Melliane said...

Oh I'm glad you had a good time with this one. Once again I didn't know about it. You always have the most intriguing ones.

Stephanie Faris said...

Sounds very classy--and like it would be a great way to learn about history.

Brian Joseph said...

Sometimes it is really nice to go back to books that we read when we were very young.

Good point about certain issues still being relevant. The world DOES change in fundamental ways. But SOME things about people really do stay the same.

Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Tracy, I was sure I left a comment yesterday but can't see it so will try again.
I can't believe I've still not read this! I've sold a few over the years but not read it. It's on my tbr list now.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I'll have to try that. Read one of my old fave books. Love that you still enjoyed it and found some of it still relevant. Brill review!

Aunt Mary said...

This book is a perfect read for me, thank's Tracy for that short and sweet review :)

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I don't ever recall reading this book, but it does sound like a great read and I am glad that it was an enjoyable read! I have it on my list now. :)