Pauline Ellis (nee Littleton)

My life

By Pauline Ellis

Grandparents

Three of my grandparents died before I was born.  We lived with my father's father at Church Farm, Elmore until his death just before my first birthday.

Father

My father was William Francis Littleton, known as Frank (the same name as his father).  My grandfather on dad's side was Frank Littleton 30/07/1871 - 11/03/1945.  He married Annie Jenner1871 - 17/06/1930 (who was a twin with Herbert).  They lived at Duni Farm, Minsterworth.  They had 5 children:
William Frances (my father known as Frank) born 6/10/1906 - died 1/03/1980
Mary   27/09/1907 - 10/03/2001 married John Thomas Camm (known as Jack)  no children
Elizabeth (Lizzie)   1909 - 17/05/1925
Reginald   10/11/1910 - 30/09/1975   married Vera Camm  (Jacks sister) They had 2 children Graham and Diana.
Edna      1917 - 1917 (died aged 10 weeks)

Frank and Annie moved in 1908 across the River Severn to Farleighs End Farm, Elmore with Frank and Mary.  They were tenants of Elmore Court Estate.  Their other children were born in Elmore.  The farm was later renamed Church Farm, Elmore as the farm next door was  also called Farleighs End (later spelt Farleys End).

Dad went to Elmore School until he was 11 years old, then followed on to Sir Thomas Riches School in Gloucester.  He cycled there every day.  Dad was a good and conscientious scholar.  His brother Reg went to the same school and was more of an entrepreneur.  The Maths teacher taught the identical syllabus every year, so Reg acquired Frank's homework book and sold his older brothers answers to other pupils four years later.  Reg always had money in his pocket.

Dad was in Gloucester Royal  Infirmary (hospital) when the First World War ended.  He had Appendicitis and Peritonitis and was ill for some time.  He was very frightened when war ended as there were many happy, drunken people milling round the streets and hospital.  He was only a 12 year old boy and wanted to escape to home, peace and quiet.

Being the elder son, dad left school at fourteen to look after the mixed farm.  When Reg and Frank wanted to get married, Reg bought Pleasure Farm, Elmore and dad stayed at Church Farm.  Mary stayed at home looking after her parents until she married to Jack Camm and moved to the next farm - Farleighs End Farm.

On the farm were many orchards and cider apple trees.  Father made about 800 gallons of cider each year.  This was given away to all who called including the road sweeper, postman, farm workers and anyone who wanted a free drink.

Dad grew most of our vegetables in the very large garden, plus he grew potatoes and swedes in the field.  We also had orchards, so we had a lot of seasonal fruit.  Most of the plums, pears and apples were picked and sold in the fruit market in Gloucester.  Uncle Jack (dads brother-in-law) and Uncle Harold (mums brother-in-law) both had flat-bed Lorries to transport our fruit, with their own, to market in Gloucester.

My father bought his first car from Uncle Jack in about 1955, a Vauxhall Wyvern HFH101.  In about 1958 he had an accident and wrote the car off.  He had no car for 6 - 12 months.  Hence we had to rely on the buses which ran about every 2 hours.  We did not dare miss the bus or if we did we had a 3 mile walk on unlit country lanes from the Bristol Road, Quedgeley to home.

My father retired from Church Farm in September 1974 and had a farm sale.  My parents then rented Pike Cottage, 27 Elmore which was previously a cottage on Church Farm.

Dad died of lung cancer.  He had smoked unfiltered Players or Senior Service cigarettes most of his life.  He gave up smoking about 10 years before he died on 1st March 1980.

Mother

My mother was Ida Mary Watts.  She was the youngest of 10 children (4 boys and 6 girls), who were all born at Weir House, Weir Lane, Elmore.  Her parents were William Watts (1867 - 1937) who married Mary Elizabeth Green(1870 - 1933).  Her family consisted:
Number of children

Ethel    1890 - 1973 (married George Bates)                3     Eileen, Ron and Joan(who were twins)

William Ray    1892 - 1960 (married Violet Newman)     2     Ray, Marion
Hilda Serena   1894 - 1967 (married  Arthur Smith)       2     Eric, Audrey
Fredrick Elias     1897 - 1950 (married Elsie Smith)       3     Douglas, Jean, (Fredrick) Michael
Horace James (Jim)   1899 - 1960 (emigrated to          6(the eldest died at birth)
(Australia1921  and married Ivy Bennett)                                  Bill,Dorothy, Valmai, Dulcie, Muriel
Dennis George 1901 - 13/11/1959 (married Freda Vick)  4    John, Josephine, Christopher, Margaret
Dora 1903 -1977 (married Harry Ward,                         1    Barbara
Bill Meadows, Bill Brown)
Lena   1905 - 1923                                                                            -
Florence Evangeline Annie   1906 - 1987 (married        3    Gordon, Kenneth, Nigel
Harold Meek)
Ida  Mary  1907 - 1992 (married Frank Littleton)            2    Jennifer, Pauline
TOTAL                 25

Weir House was a small holding of about 37 acres mostly on the river bank and consisted mostly of orchards.  It was rented from Elmore Court Estate.  (The house is now a farm workers cottage on Elm Farm.)  My grandfather was a fruiterer.

Mum also went to Elmore School presumably until she was 14.  She then became an Assistant Teacher at Hardwicke and Elmore Schools.  She took teaching exams but failed them.  As her parents got older and the rest of her siblings were married and left home she had to stop work and look after her parents.  This she did until they had both died .  The tenancy of Weir House was given up and she went to live with her sister Florrie at New Farm, Elmore Back.

Ida Mary married William Francis Littleton on 16.11.1938 at Elmore Church.  They lived at Church Farm, Elmore, with Frank's father.   They had 2 children:
Jennifer Mary                    born 14.04.1940 at Elm Farm, Elmore
Pauline Frances                                born 15.03.1944 at Church Farm, Elmore
I was the youngest of 25 cousins on my mother's side.   There were 2 cousins on father's side - Graham 8 months older than me and Diana 3 years younger than me.   Mum was 37 when I was born but she always seemed old to me.  When I was in my teens she was taking pills for High Blood Pressure and quite a lot for anxiety/depression and sleeping tablets.

Mum lived alone at Pike Cottage after dad died until 1989.  Something happened which affected her memory - she could not find he way around the house.  I was working full time but called 4 times a day to look after her.  A week or so later it started to snow, I brought her to live with me at Elmgrove Road West, Hardwicke.  After a few days she got out of bed in the early morning and fell pulling the radiator off the wall.  It landed on her back and burnt her badly.  She then moved into Great Western Court, a residential home in Gloucester.  She later moved to Woolstrop House, Quedgeley where she stayed until her death in 1992.

My sister  -  Jennifer

Jennifer was 4 years older than me.  Until I was 10 years old we had to share a double bed.  We did not get on well with each other.  One night I moved to another bedroom - I could not sleep because the bed was so cold and damp - it was winter and we had no heating in the bedrooms.  The main reason we did not like each other was because I was frightened of my teacher and was sick almost every day at school.  Jennifer was made to clear up the mess!

Jennifer went to Elmore School and had extra private tuition because the teacher was so bad.  This enabled her to go to Ribston Hall High School for Girls until she was 16.  When she left school she worked in the Inland Revenue, Tax Inspectors Office in Gloucester.  At the age of 21 she was transferred to the tax Office in Brixton, where she met Derek.  She went to lodge with Mrs Tripp in Tooting, London.  In May 1970 she married Derek Frederick Sullivan who worked at the same office.  He had the same birthday as Jennifer, 14 April, but was 5 years older than her.  They married in Elmore Church.

They lived in flat over a shoe shop in Streatham High Road, Streatham with Derek's mother.  She later moved in with Derek's sister, June, because Derek paid his sister to take her.  There they had 2 girls, Julie Elizabeth born 3 March 1972 and Christine Jane born 26 September 1974.  Jennifer had to carry 2 children up a flight of outside steps then up another flight inside.  In 1975 bought a House in Hastings where Jennifer still lives, 67 Braybrooke Road.

Derek became difficult and did not get on with Jennifer and his daughters as they grew up.  He died  of a heart attack on February 26 February 2002 .

Church Farm - the house

The house is 150 - 200 years old and is built on clay.  This means that the house moves according to the weather.  Sometimes the doors fitted, sometimes they had to have bits shaved off the side or bottom so they would close.

All the time we lived at Church Farm the only heating in the whole house was an open fire in the kitchen.  The floor was red tiles with a mat in front of the fire and a strip of coconut matting to the back door.  It was very cold in the winter because there was a big gap under the back door, but we did not know anything different.   There were fire places in every room but these were seldom used.

We lived in the Kitchen - ate, cooked, washed etc.  The only reason we moved to another room for was to sleep.   In the kitchen were two easy chairs with wooden arms - one each for our parents.  Jennifer and I, or any visitors had to sit on hard wooden kitchen chairs all the time.

We had a room upstairs used for a bathroom which had a china bowl for hot water to be carried to and a white enamel bucket with a lid to use for a toilet.  The bucket and bowl had to be emptied daily by my mother.  Our proper toilet was a brick building about 1.5metres square at the bottom of the garden behind a privet hedge.  It had a wooden bench with 2 holes in.  It had a stepped seat with a high seat with a large hole for adults and a low one with a small hole for children.  We also had china pots under the bed which were emptied every morning by mother.

When I was 6 years old the mains water pipes were laid through the village.  We then had taps , Indoor sink and drain installed instead having to go outside to the pump to get water and carrying it into the kitchen to wash ourselves, drink or do the washing up in a bowl on the table.  Until this all dirty water had to be carried outside to the drain.

Laundry was done in a very cold outhouse with three wooden walls which did not reach the ground.  This allowed the buckets of water to be used to scrub the floor and the water to flow out to the drain. Monday, washday was hard work for my mother. Water had to be hand pumped, heated, by lighting a fire under the copper,  put into large tin baths, one of hot and one of cold water on an old wooden bench where she did all the washing.  She then put it through a mangle which had 2 wooded rollers, turned by hand, to squeeze the water out before putting it on the line.  Sheets, towels, overalls, clothes had to be washed by hand then rinsed in cold water and hung out.  Also, white washing was put into a blue bath and all collars and tablecloths were starched.  My father had to ensure that there were no animals in the paddock with the washing lines.  When it was dry then the ironing was done on the kitchen table which was covered by several blankets topped with a sheet.  Cast Iron flat irons were heated over the kitchen fire and the marathon ironing process started.  Clothes were then put in an oven at the side of the grate to air or on a wooden clothes horse round the fire.  We did not see the fire on a Monday evening.

The copper was also filled and a fire lit underneath to heat the water for bathing once a week on a Saturday night.  Then the hot the water was carried to the kitchen where a tin bath was put in front of the fire.     I bathed first as I was youngest, I was then sent to bed.  My sister was next, then my mother and father.

For the first 8 years of my life we had no electricity.  My mother cooked on a paraffin stove which had 3 burners and an oven.  Our light was a single paraffin lamp in the middle of the kitchen table.  To go to another room or to bed we carried small paraffin lamps or candles which were put out immediately I was in bed.  Dad used to take paraffin hurricane lamps round the farm.

Our entertainment was a big radio on the kitchen cupboard.  We could get the Light Programme (now Radio 2) and the Home Service (now Radio 4).  Our parents chose the programme.  The radio was powered by a large battery called an accumulator.  This was swapped fortnightly by a man who came in a van, swopped and recharged the battery.  We had our first television in 1961 when I was 17 - after I had left school.  It was thought it would distract me from my homework!  Three houses in the village had the first black and white TVs installed for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953.

Electricity transformed our life.  We had centre lights in every room, an electric cooker, kitchen water heater fitted on the wall over the sink, a washing machine which also heated the water and had an electrically powered ringer over it.  Upstairs, the room was changed into a proper bathroom with a flush toilet, a plumbed in bath, a wash basin and large airing cupboard housing a tank and emersion heater!

On the wall of the kitchen, near the back door my father kept a 12 bore shot gun.  I've always hated guns.

Church Farm - the farm

The farm was a 200 acre rented farm on the Elmore Court Estate.  Half the land was behind the house and the other half behind the church, stretching to Velthouse Lane.  My grandfather rented the farm from 1908 then my father took over when he married 1938.  It was a mixed farm with about 15- 20 cows which were milked by hand until 1953 (when the electricity was installed).

I was born during the Second World War.  At that time there were a lot of German prisoners of war held in Gloucester Gaol.  They were brought out daily by bus to work on the farms.  I do not remember them but I do remember the toy they made for me.  They brought their own lunch and sat in an outhouse which we called the "Wood House".  In here my parents stored all the logs for the fire and my father stored all his tools and work bench. The two prisoners made me a wooden disc with a handle, like a table tennis bat, with pecking hens on it and they made a goose with wheels on and its wings flapped when pushed for my sister.  I don't know how these toys were coloured but somehow they coloured the wood without any paints.  These toys were treasured as we had very few toys as most things were either rationed or just not available after the war.

The cows were milked in an open cowshed and the milk was carried in buckets to the dairy near the back door adjoining the house, about 30 metres away.  It was cooled, filtered and put into 10 gallon churns which were collected daily from outside the front gate by Stan Dando with a lorry.  He also kept the Anchor Inn, Epney.   The dairy also held a large slate trough used for salting (or curing) bacon and a meat safe to keep the flies off perishable food.  The safe had a wooden frame and wire mesh sides to let the air through.

I can only remember us having one cart horse called Captain. Around 1950 we had a tractor, so Captain, who was old was no longer used.  The horses used to do all the hard work on the farm - ploughing, pulling trailers, mowing grass, reaping and working the monkey pole to load loose hay on to the ricks.  When I was young my father employed two people - Peter Webb who lived in a tied cottage, Pike Cottage, for 30p per week and Harold Hill who lived in an estate cottage at the end of Spring Lane.

Water for all the animals was pumped and carried to them or they drank from ponds.
Father grew Wheat, Oats and Potatoes for eating, cattle feed and selling.  My father always had a working dog, usually a collie.  The dog helped to round up the stock and always lived in an outhouse, never in the house.  We also had a couple of cats which myself and my sister loved.  They were often in the house and on our laps.

Dad always had up to a hundred sheep, plus a few pigs were fattened.  Some were sent to market and one was killed on the farm by Jack Evans.  This one was shared with the neighbours as we had no fridges.  The bacon sides were placed in a long slate trough and salted to preserve for many months.   A month or so later a neighbouring farm would kill a pig and share it.  We had not fridges or freezers.

When my father retired in 1974 the farm was sold in two lots.  The land behind the church to Mike Watts and the farm house and land behind to Paul Round.

Childhood

My first memory is of the 1947 floods.  All the houses and farms at Elmore Back were flooded and everyone evacuated.  Around my third birthday I was taken half way down Jack Camm's Pitch to a boat with a number of other people.  We sailed through the willow tree tops and across the meadow land.  At the same time we had many household goods delivered to Church Farm.  This consisted of tin baths, buckets, pots and pans for the people of Elmore Back as they had lost everything.  Many goods were rationed at this time following the Second World War and could not be bought.

All the Elmore Back residents were put up by friends and relatives, many of whom lived in the village on the higher ground.

At this time many things were rationed.  Because of the shortages due to the Second World War we had ration books which allowed you to buy about 30 grams of cheese per week or 30 grams of sweets or a few grams of meat each.  Clothing was also rationed each person had to save their coupons for 6 months before a new item of clothing could be purchased.  Often children's clothes were parents garments cut up and remade.  Shoes were the difficult thing to buy especially for me as my feet grew very fast.  I often wore sandals around home with the toes cut out.

I was lucky living on a farm as we had free eggs and milk - I was a rebel I did not like either of them.  We could also grow our own potatoes and vegetables.  We also kept chickens so that we could eat one occasionally.  Our meat ration was also supplemented by my father shooting a rabbit, the occasional pheasant and sharing a pig.  As we had no car and we seldom went into Gloucester, the nearest town, we could get most essentials delivered.  Bread and groceries from Meek's at Elmore Back, meat weekly from Thomas Keck also a fortnightly delivery of coal, paraffin, hardware and batteries.

I feel I had a very privileged childhood.  I had the run of our farm and neighbouring ones owned by relatives.  I did not have to tell my parents where I was going - I just put on wellingtons and went across fields in the mud and played.  Parents knew I would return when I was hungry.

When I was four I had a tricycle which I rode down the road to Spring Lane to feed the hens and let them out.  I would put a large metal seaside bucket of corn on my handlebars.  I was only allowed to do this after the 8 o'clock service bus had passed through.  There were very few cars on the road in those days.

I remember that all my toys, books, jigsaws, dolls and games were kept on the one shelf of a low cupboard in a very cold room.  If we got any toy out to play it had to be put away before the next meal and the cupboard door had to shut!  We did not have story books or picture books, only ones we could learn from.  There were no plastic toys only metal and Bakelite which was brittle.  Most of the time, we did not play in the farmhouse we went out into the farm buildings or into our play house.  This was an old disused pigsty at the bottom of the garden.  Anything no longer wanted in the kitchen was taken into the play house including our father's old high chair.  We would mix ashes, dirt and water to make pretend cakes.  One thing I always had was a hand-me-down bike which allowed me to ride round the garden and later explorer the county lanes.  George Tamplin was the vicar who taught me to ride a two wheeled bike when I was five.   He pushed me off down a hill and let go.

When I was 7 it was decided that I should have my tonsils removed.  I went to Over Isolation Hospital on the outskirts of Gloucester.  I was one of the oldest of 15 - 20 children all for the same operation.  We were taken individually in a wheelchair along outside paths to the operating theatre wrapped in a blanket.   I can remember waiting outside for some time until the previous child had been dealt with.  I cannot remember ever having scolds or sore throats, but the operation was fashionable at that time.  The hospital insisted that we were all taken home in a taxi.  One child was sick all over my case!

When we were poorly, which was seldom, a chaise longue was brought into the kitchen and we could lie on this in front of the fire.  This was a great luxury for us.

I was expected to go to church every Sunday with my parents.  I don't think I listened too much but did the right things at the right time!  One of the reasons many of us tolerated church was the games of cricket afterwards, or hide and seek on the farm, all of us in our best Sunday clothes.  The adults congregated in our kitchen and the dozen or so children escaped to play.  I also had to go to Sunday school every Sunday afternoon.  It was held in Elmore Court in a flat let to Miss Russell and Miss Sansom.  Miss Sansom was a teacher at Denmark Road High School for girls in Gloucester.  I don't remember learning much.  I ensured that I had a picture stamp in my Sunday School book to prove that I turned up.

When I was about 9 I went into the church choir under the choir master/ organist Ted Ellis.  I remember singing "Jesu joy of mans desiring" very flat on my own.  My father was leader of the bell tower so when I was about 11 I learned change ringing.  I continued ringing and in the choir until I married when I was 22 years old.

From the age of about nine to eleven I learned to play the piano.  My mother was quite a good piano player.  My lessons were at Mrs Hunters at Elmore Back.  To get there I had to cycle past a flock of geese which sometimes came onto the road and hissed and terrified me.  Occasionally I was too frightened to pass them and turned round and missed the lesson.  I was expected to practise in a room with no heating for 30 minutes every day. Needless to say I had frozen fingers in winter and was not good at practising.

I had a number of friends who lived nearby and were a similar age.  I could play with them a lot, but was not allowed out on a Monday morning as that was wash day.  I did not usually help with the laundry but I think my mother thought it should look as though I did.  Maybe it was that children playing with balls and running through the wet sheets was not a good idea.

Education

I went to Elmore Church of England School when I was 41/2 years old in 1948.  There were just two classes in the school for pupils aged 4 to 14.  In 1949 all the children, who were aged eleven and over, went to Quedgeley School.  My teacher for the 4 - 8 year olds in the "Little Room" was Miss Cooke, she frightened me.  Many days after school lunch I was sick and my sister was made to clear up the mess.  We had to drink the milk which was delivered to the school daily in a bucket from Barhouse Farm.  This was later replaced by small bottles delivered early in the morning.  When it was very cold the milk froze in the bottles and the foil caps lifted.  The milk was put in front of the big black stove to thaw so that we could drink it.  I hated milk but was forced to drink it.  At this time the class room was lit by paraffin lamps suspended from the ceiling.

I always had school dinners, which were brought from Quedgeley School in insulated containers.  A "dinner lady" was employed to serve the meals and wash up.  Besides the cleaner and the dinner lady no one else was employed at the school - no classroom assistants or parent helpers.  Our library books were brought once a term in a sturdy wooden crate.  Very few of our books had pictures.  Our desks were tables for two pupils with a shelf underneath to hold exercise books, pens and pencils.  In the top of the table was two holes to hold china ink-wells.  We used to dip pens into the ink and write (there were no biros then).  I often got into a very inky mess on my hands and school work!

There was an attendance officer, Mr Betteridge" who came knocking on the door at home if a child was absent.  The only way to report sickness was to tell another child to tell the teacher.  There was no telephone at the school.

After a year or so Miss Cooke left and Miss Price came.  I got on well with her, but then got moved up to the "Big Room".  Here the Head Teacher was Mrs Buckley who got us learning sections of the Catechism and later the girls were teaching the boys to read.  I think that most of what I learned was self taught.  At Elmore School we had no homework, parents evenings or reports.

Elmore School closed in 1977, the pupils moved to Longney School and the building became the Village Hall.  It is owned by the Elmore Court Estate and rented to the Village Hall Management Committee.  The school bell still sits in its tower on top of the building.  We used to throw snow balls at it to try to make it ring.

Somehow I was accepted at a Grammar School in Gloucester called "Ribston Hall".  It was in Spa Road.  I used to catch the service bus at 7.50a.m and arrived home at 5p.m.  School was very different we had a timetable, exams and reports every term, plus homework every night.   School life was fairly uneventful - most of the time I conformed.  I was in trouble and sent to stand outside the Head Mistress's room for not wearing the correct indoor shoes.  Clark's only made the regulation shoes up to size 7 I took size 9!

As I got older I played in the Second Eleven then the First Team for Hockey.  The only other notable thing I did was to be given the Senior Maths prize.  When I chose an Atlas as my prize they Geography teacher asked why I had chosen this book.  She was quite shocked when I replied that I was interested in Geography.

After passing 5 O Levels in two sittings I stayed on in the 6th form for most of a year studying Maths, Geography and Biology A Level.  My father told me to get a job!  Somehow he and the Maths Teacher found a job with an Accountant - Nicholls & Jefferson in Station Road, Gloucester.  My only education after this was:-
1989 - 1991 I trained to be a Social Worker and gained a Certificate in Social Service.(Aged 47)
1992 - 1994 I obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies.(Aged 50)

Growing up

Pocket Money at the age of twelve was 5p per week.  This was stopped as it was the same as the price of bus fare to go into Gloucester and I kept asking for more money to do things and go out.  My father was always working so could not take us out in the car.  Mother did not learn to drive.  When I did have pocket money most of it had to be saved to buy birthday and Christmas presents.
I had no ambitions, they were never discussed at school or home.  School were only interested in people who wanted to be teachers.  I thought the world was bigger than this, but had no one to talk to about it.

YFC

When I was 13 years old I joined the Gloucester Young Farmers Club.  Older members from Elmore used to take us in their cars.  We went every week to learn about farming, cooking, flower arranging, stock judging etc.  It was fun, it got us out of the village.  After the meeting we bought chips for 6d (2.5p).  If I had no money I would share someone else's chips.

Gloucester Young farmers Club had about 100 members.  We went to meetings to learn.   Also there were Balls a couple of times a year at the Guild Hall, Gloucester and Town Hall, Cheltenham.  There were many other clubs in the county and country.  We had many competitions against them in Public Speaking, Quizes, Stock Judging, flower arranging and many other pursuits.  The club was known as a marriage council and many people paired off and married over the time of their membership.  This included myself and Colin.

Work

At the accountants I was a clerk.  I spent most of my time adding up numerous columns of figures.  By teaching myself I gradually learned to compile balance sheets.  I was treated as a mere female that had little brain and had to make the tea and buy buns every morning.  I was paid £3.50p per week, which was a very poor salary even for those days.  I left after 18 months and joined the Civil Service, in the Post Office Telephones. I was in the telephone sales department which I enjoyed and learned a lot.  At this time my salary doubled.  I worked in this job until I got married in 1966.  I then went to live at Newton, Cambridge.  I transferred in the same job to the Cambridge office at
No.1 Regent Street.  Because of the people I worked with, in Cambridge, I hated the job and left after a year.

My next job was part time in the Technical Library of The Welding Institute, where Colin worked.  This was interesting as we were obtaining and lending reports and articles on different aspects of welding and metals from all over the world.  One lady was employed as a translator mostly from Russian to English but she also had knowledge of many other languages.  The other librarian was Hungarian and spoke several European languages.  I then left work for a much harder job - having babies.

As Richard and Judi grew up I had a number of part-time jobs.
1973 - 1975         Child Minder looking after Sharron Furness.
1977 - 1979         Home Help in Tuffley, I left when we moved house to Hardwicke, dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and Richard had to have an operation on a blocked tear duct, all at the same time.
1980                       Dowmac  Concrete Ltd. booking concrete railway sleepers on to a train
1980-1  British Petroleum , Hardwicke working in the canteen when required.
1981                       Gloucestershire County Council, Social Services
1981 - 1982          Home Care Assistant
1982 - 1986          Home Care Clerk
1986 - 1993          Home Care Organiser
1993 - 2003          Care Manager

Marriage

We were engaged in April 1965 and married at Elmore Church on 14th May 1966.  A new alcoholic vicar had been in the village for 2 years, so we invited the old vicar back - George Tamplin came to marry us.  Our Best Man was Michael Watts and Bridesmaids - Jennifer(my sister), Cath (Colin's sister aged 5) and Jackie Prout (my cousins daughter aged 5).

For our honeymoon we went to a hotel in Sandown, Isle of Wight.  Colin came home at the end of the week with Chicken Pox!  His father had had shingles for several weeks before the wedding.  Martyn had Chicken Pox on the wedding day and had to stay at home and watch  the Cup Final.  Cath came out in spots 2 days after the wedding!  The reception was at Agriculture House, Sandhurst Lane, Gloucester.

We bought a bungalow in March 1966 in Newton, as Colin got a job at British Welding Research Association in Abington, Cambridge in summer 1965.  I moved in a couple of months later after we were married.  The only thing apart from a mortgage which we had a loan for was a fridge.  The milk went off in June every day so the fridge was bought from the electricity board and paid for on the quarterly bill.
In 1968 Colin fitted central Heating to our bungalow - bliss, warmth at last.

Children

I lost my first baby in November 1966 at 22 weeks and the second in March 1968 at 25 weeks.  No reason could be found for this at the time, but many years later I realised my father had been suffering with Brucellosis (contagious abortion) when we married.  Because he was so poorly we came back from Cambridge each weekend for Colin to help with the milking.  This means that I was in close contact with the disease.  On 7th August 1969 Richard Colin arrived and on 14th June 1971 Judith Ann was born.

In hind sight Richard and Judi were very similar in many things:
Both rode a two wheeler bike before they were 4 years old
They passed a similar number of GCSE's and had similar points for A Levels
They both achieved a 2.1 degrees
Both passed their driving test first time about 4 months after their 17th birthday.

Printed December 2009

This page was added by Peter Harrison on 10/12/2009.
Comments about this page

What a great reminder of the past

By John Watts
On 12/04/2015

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