1959 (continued) Arthur: My father, you know, he was a great organiser. Pauline: Your father couldn't organise his way out of a paper bag. Arthur: We never had banks in our family. My dad always thought his savings were safer under the floorboards. My mum used to carry her housekeeping around in her brassiere. Willy Roper: Very safe I'm sure, but what about interest? Arthur: Yeah, she got a lot of that. Arthur: My old mum couldn't tell the difference between a fraction and a decimal, but that didn't stop her bringing up a family. Arthur: My mum thought every day was going to be her last. Not just when she was old, but when she was young too. And that's how she thought about us. She thought that every time we went out, we'd get knocked down by a bus. She was scared. She couldn't live in the future. She couldn't plan anything, nothing. And she couldn't live for today either because she was just a bundle of nerves and worries. Peggy: My old granny, she came to live with us just before the end of her life. One day she said to me, it wasn't long before she passed away, "Peggy my girl, if I had my time all over again, I'd forget the past, ignore the future and just set my mind on enjoying the here and now. Always remember that. Make sure you enjoy what you've got while you've got it." Arthur on his father: When he was drunk, he was a bastard. Do you know, he hit her. My old mum, he hit her. I see this poor old woman with her hands [clenched], frustrated, all her dreams gone. She was beautiful, had beautiful hair and beautiful eyes. She had nothing except an old man that hit her when he was drunk. And she held this up, this statue, a bloody old chalk statue, it wasn't worth a rum, and he broke it. And she said, "You broke it", as if it was something special. And it was to her. And I wondered why, I said, "Why?" and she said, "It's not the statue, it's not the statue," and I didn't understand. Arthur: My old mum was up at five every morning, off to the city to clean banks and offices while the rest of us were stirring. Then she did the school dinners and-- Pauline: And then it killed her, Arthur. Grant Mitchell: What's that saying about a bit of hard work never harmed anyone? Peggy: Who told you that? It killed your Great Uncle Dave. Jim Branning: I've done my fair share of graft in me time. Lynne Slater: Last time you broke into a sweat they were still lighting gas lamps. Terry Raymond: I had to watch my father take any job he could just to support us. Made me vow never to be hard up again. Irene Hills (née Carter): I was the opposite, spoilt rotten. My dad saw to it that I never wanted for anything. Terry: Had a bob or two, did he? Irene: Not always. Irene: I come from a family who do not believe in criminal activities. Ali Osman: I was brought up in the restaurant trade. My mum had five kids and she never stopped working, never. She just took us along in a pram, toddling about, and as soon as we was big enough, we all helped. We carried, we cleaned, we did everything. We worked together as a family. Ali to his brother Mehmet: All my life, [our father] has put you first. Whatever I did didn't count. The sun always shone out of your ... Masood Ahmed: My father — ambitious, charming, full of dreams, a slave to his appetites. Jane Beale: Ambition isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Masood: It is if you haven’t got what it takes to back it up. Masood, making a noise with his lips: Just an old trick my father taught me. It relaxes the facial muscles. Inzamam Ahmed, Masood’s brother: I’ve [made fun of Masood] all my life and with good cause. Stacey Slater on her mother Jean: She’s been seeing doctors all her life. Cora Cross to Jean: From what I’ve heard, you’ve been fighting all your life. Peggy: When we were kids, we used to laugh at all the old 78s [records]. Aunt Sal on Peggy: She was always after my boyfriends. Peggy: I wasn't. Aunt Sal: She even turned up at the cinema once when I was on a date. Pete: It was one of the best films ever made. Pauline: Rock Around The Clock? I've never been able to stand that film, ever since you had me slung out the cinema. And why was it always me had to open the fire exit so as you and your mates could bunk in? Pete: Because the exit was near the ladies', remember? Pauline: Rose Hickey — we used to knock around at school together, and for a while afterwards as well. Pauline: There was some Chapmans [the family Rose would eventually marry into] when we was at school — big family, rough lot — up at the other school. Phil Mitchell, speaking in 1993: They're a big family, pretty heavy a few years back. One of them was into post offices, bank robberies, that sort of thing. Pauline: The Chapmans I remember were just a bunch of tearaways. Rose Chapman (née Hickey) to Pete: I remember you and your mates knocking a ball about. I always tried to catch your eye. Pete: We was at school together? Rose: Yeah. Pete: Same class, was it? Rose: One form down. Pete: So how comes I didn't know you? Rose: You were more interested in the other girls. Pete on Rose: She had a crush on me. Pauline, speaking in 1993: I had a crush on that Philip Hughes, remember him? He was in the Gazette a couple months ago, pinching ladies' underwear off of washing lines. Johnny Allen, speaking in 2005: I'll never forget my first crush - Valerie Smith. She was a year below me at school. Every day without fail, she'd get on the bus two stops after me, give a cheeky little smile to me and my mate, Jimmy Kebab. And one day, Jimmy Kebab was off sick and I'm sitting there on my own and then, regular as clockwork, two stops later, on she gets. Only this time, she plonks herself down right next to me. My heart was in my mouth, my palms were all sweaty, I thought, "This is it." I'm just on the point of asking her out when she delivers the fatal blow. She only wanted me to set her up with Jimmy Kebab! Ruby, his daughter: And did you? Johnny: Well, believe it or not, Ruby, they're still together to this day. Makes you realise how one tiny incident can change the course of your life. If Valerie Smith had fancied me, I might never have met your mum. Pauline on Eddie Skinner: He used to carry my books home from school for me. Eddie: It was hard work and all. Eddie Skinner: Pauline [was] the most gorgeous girl in Walford. Joe Macer: I don’t suppose you were a pushover even in those days, were you? Pauline: If you had a mother like mine watching through the net curtains, you’d be too scared to do anything. Big Mo to Pauline: I bet you’ve always been [reluctant to get involved in a relationship]. I wouldn’t have wanted to be the boy trying to cop a feel off of you in the playground. Dot to Pauline: When you was young, you only had to walk down the market - every head would turn. Johnny to Peggy: Whenever you walked into a room, heads would turn. I know mine did. Nora White to Kirsty Branning: I used to turn a few heads when I was younger. I was like you. I had something about me. Cora Cross: I used to be able to walk down the street and stop traffic. Pauline: When I was young and I used to walk down the street, there was always blokes on the street corner and they'd always whistle, always. Dot: Or they'd shout, "Give us a smile, love!" Pauline: Yeah, that's right. Dot: Oh, I hated it. I used to think, "Why should I smile at you? I don't know you." Pauline: So you didn't smile back at them? Dot: No, I did not. I used to put me nose in the air and walk past as if I couldn't see them. Pauline: Me too, yeah. Kathy: Pete Beale, he was the only bloke I ever fancied, right back from school. He was a couple of years ahead of me. Never been no-one else. It weren't no schoolgirl crush I had on Pete. Pete: I was always getting into fights when I was a kid. Most of it was over silly birds. Rose: All the girls fancied you. Pete: Did they? No one told me. Rose: No, you were too busy hanging out with the other boys. You all used to go to that cafe on the high street. Pete: That's right. The lessons I skived off so I could have a fag in that place! I didn't even like smoking really. Arthur: I used to [smoke], but then we all did in the old days. Cora Cross on smoking near a baby: In my day, nobody batted an eyelid. Dot: They used to say fags were good for your nerves. Rose: You were always getting in trouble, weren't you? Pete: Yeah, bit of a tearaway in them days. Rose: You wore that leather jacket and your hair was slicked back. We thought you looked like Elvis. Remember that Christmas dance? You got up onstage with that group and started singing 'Love Me Tender'.