The first window I remember is the upstairs one in our house-cum-shop where I lived as little girl. You could sit at the window and look out straight onto the street. This wasn’t a suburban semi-rural sort of place, but a shopping street of small individual shops, buchers, bakers, shoe shop, hairdressers, chemist, greengrocers, sweet shop. Nowadays you’d find all these under one roof in the supermarket, but not back then.
I could sit beside the window and watch the people passing, the relatively few cars and vans and the buses. The bus stop was only a few yards away and we had trolley buses . These made a distinctive sound, quite different from what we called “petrol” buses, smooth and pleasant. The wires ran high up above the road and they were attache to the bus with a trolley, a long metal rod that hooked onto the wire. Sometimes the trolley came off the wire and fell with a clang onto the roof of the bus. Then the conductor – there were still bus conductors at this time – had to hook it back on with a long cane kept for this purpose undereath the bus. A fascinating procedure to watch!
Being on the first floor meant not only could I see a fair distance up and down the road, but I was immune from other people staring in. The upper windows across the road never seemed to be occupied and low-flying aircraft were a rarity then as now.
One particular memory is that of looking out of the window on a school day and assessing whether or not the school would be closed. (This was before there were details of school closures broadcast on local radio.) The rough rule of thumb went something like this: If I couldn’t see as far as the other side of the street because of fog or more likely smog, I didn’t have to to school. If there was more than a few inches of snow it was likely that the buses wouldn’t be runing and again I was let off school and could go and make snowmen and have snowball fights with my friends.