Legacy Tribute to Uncle Eric

I just want to say thank you Uncle Eric for the lovely example of a family man who really cared for us.

My first memory is of you living with Beryl in Chalfont Road. I remember the dress I wore to your wedding which was soft and silky and had a little pouch hanging from the belt and a beautiful bonnet. A couple of years later I remember sending Jim and John to knock on your door to ask for sweets…Sweet rationing must have ended as you had boxes of Mars bars in your house yum. I knew I was not meant to ask, so I sent my brothers instead!!

 

I also remember that you lived in a flat in Greenford and I could see your window from Greenford Market and when my mum had her appendix out you were brave enough to look after Jim and John.

Then you came back to live in Chalfont Road and we opened a shop in West Drayton. I remember you and my dad working so hard to open that shop, staying up until 2am in the morning and one time you had a flat tyre which you had to change before you could come home.

 

When I was about 8 I would travel with you to West Drayton every Saturday. You had an Austin A30 van and my dad had the Austin A40 . I would stay with my grandparents and go horse riding while you worked in the shop and at closing time you would take me back to Hayes. Thank you Uncle Eric; Horse riding was the love of my life and you made it possible with a taxi ride every Saturday.

 

Then you were in Camberley and we were in Rickmansworth and everyone worked all hours……the Christmases we had at West Drayton came to an end and Grandma and Granddad moved to Verwood. We only got together for weddings and funerals and the occasional visit and even then we often had to send one member of the family and it was shop shop shop. Both Jim and I came over to your shops to help out when you were short staffed.

Thank you Uncle Eric for loaning me money when the banks would not. IMG_0194

This was your mum Ethel’s favourite photo and she had it on her mantelpiece. As my mum and dad got older  we had a few happy times and of course the funerals. I always loved the photo of me and my Godfathers faithful to the end….taken at mum’s mother Olives celebration of her life.

 

My God fathers img_0196

Mum and I would try and get over with flowers for Christmas and I carried on the tradition. I tried to take a photo of you and Beryl each year. Then whenever Carina came from Australia we would come over to visit.. You would always make tea and ham sandwiches.

 

I just want to tell you thank you you were a brilliant Uncle and for nearly all of my life I always knew I could chat to you about all the things that mattered. Rest in peace and rise in glory.

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The Bridle Way Road Trip

Carina and Trinity came from Australia this summer

I needed to hire a minibus to collect them and their Aunty and Uncle needed to use their Motor-home.

During the last week of the visit we decided to go on a Bridle Way trip. Grandma, Mummy, Trinity, Zippy and a bike

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/OX10+7EY,+Warborough,+Wallingford/Benson+Parish+Hall,+Sunnyside,+Benson,+Wallingford/@51.6311745,-1.1329882,15z/data=!3m

At first it was fun going through the village of Warborough but soon the track was a bit rough and grandma went on a scout on the bike and came back to say the path was bumpy and did not seem to get better. Trinity was sure Zippy could make the trek so mummy and Trinity forged ahead

 

Grandma thought that was far enough and hoped they would turn around; she took a close up of the famous Wittenham Clumps and the intrepid explorers but soon they were a speck on the horizon….time to catch up.

http://walksinoxfordshire.co.uk/oxfordshire-walks/wittenham-clumps/

At one point there was a little bridge over a brook no wider than Zippy and a beautiful Labrador enjoyed a splash..The manoeuvre across the bridge was a a bit too fraught for photos and we had to remind ourselves that this was a bridle way suitable for horses!! A quick glance back at the long road we had travelled and a long hard look at the massive tractor…we could hear horses but we could not see them …….finally arrival at Benson Village Park Ooooo get the boots off, lets have a rest after that boneshaking trip!!!!

We were actually only half way on our road trip and we could not go back the boneshaking route. There was a chance to get a bus a little way back but that involved a trip through Benson with not very accessible paths (the dreaded kerbs narrow paths) but finally the bus and a trip to the more accessible path through to the village of Warborough. Grandma rode the bike as this was not allowed on the bus and soon caught up with mummy and Trinity as poor Zippy had suffered severe bearing breakdown…in fact if were not for the miracle of getting Zippy home to Oz and getting it fixed this story might have been too sad to tell.

 

Dad

It is ten months since I wanted to write this blog. January 3rd 2018 came and went with only 140 photographs saved towards the project. By May 2018 I had copied all the photos and then in October 2018 I finally made a start. Here I am 2nd January 2019 and whilst I have published it is still unfinished. I had been happy to write Legacy blogs to grandmas, granddads, mum, children, grandchildren  and even aunts and uncles but somehow I just could not get started on dad. I began to realise I had not really grieved the loss of my dad. My mother’s grief at losing her husband was so vast there seemed no room for my grief. Then as the years went by it seemed silly to be so moved by the loss of a loved one who died so long ago.

I have seen, up close and personal, the grief of four widows, two grandmas my mother-in law and mum. Each one was left a half person. It was as if they had a chunk missing ..their ‘other half’. Only one came through with a  partially successful ‘new life’.

Now dear dad I need to give you credit and pay you the respect you always deserved but which I found so hard to give.

 

In the photo of you in my Christening book you are probably in your Demob suit . My first memory was you fixing frames in the bedroom to take my brothers’ carry cots. None of us expected twins but I can only remember my mum’s comments…she blamed you for all my troubles and to be honest those days at Hayes were happy until I think of you. You were so anxious and worried and so was I. I know my brothers were a handful. You had your front room and we had the back room which mum called the nursery but looking at the photos it must have been great when there were just the three of us!

Thank you dad I know you gave me the best you had to give and I remember you let us all use tools and were always eager to teach us stuff. You and mum would spend your evenings pulling nails out of a great log so that the boys would be able to hammer them all in next day.

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You know what dad I always looked up to you. I can still remember the smell of that kite as it was wood and paper stuck with ‘dope’ that smelly glue. It was always great when things you tried to do worked out just right. We loved the aerial runway you fixed in the garden…they call them flying foxes now and they have a seat whereas we had to hang on to a wooden trapeze bar and when one wire snapped you got a better stronger wire.

Dear Dad you were so good at teaching us maths …setting up a shop for us in Jim and John’s bedroom; using an Edam cheese to teach us fractions and showing us the planets travelling round the sun. That was when you were in your element when we wanted to learn and it was a subject you could teach. You always liked to have new technology. The whole street watched the Coronation on our Ekco TV set. Thank you dad.

You were a good son-in-law too. In the early years driving your wife and family up to see Olive and Bill…. leaving at 5am, bacon and egg sandwiches on route, only to turn round and get home on your only day off, Sunday.  You did it so often that Jim John and I knew the route and every town on the A1 off by heart. In those days we did the journey in a van at about 50mph max…..thank you dad

So we grew as a family of 5 and struggled, money worries got worse, you always seemed anxious and you were not often in photos. When I was 12 we moved from Hayes to Rickmansworth this was the era of slides and ‘movie cameras’ alas we don’t have many records. Your biggest feat for us apart from paying for our horse riding, scouts (World Jamboree) and school trips was a model railway in the loft!!! Sorry dad but all I remember was feeling I would never live up to your expectations ….You worked so hard seven days a week and things got better. You fought with the headmaster for your son’s integrity. Then we were all at Grammar school, we all got bikes and you could afford the £12 a year school fund money for the three of us  (about £260 in 2018). Thanks for paying for my driving lessons and getting me a car Thank you dad.

In 1966 you found a shop in Didcot; got a manager in your shop at Rickmansworth and finally you were able to house your family without you having to sit hunched round a tiny kitchen table with your wife. You even had a room for Tristan’s dad who was working at the power station..You paid for my brothers driving lessons and got them on the road…In between the shops you  found time to take your family on holiday albeit to your mum and dads in Verwood and take that boat on Poole Harbour.

Where I pushed the boat off the mussel bed and you were too timid to come back for me!!! Still that prepared you for the highlight of your life when your sons persuaded you to get the boat….I think they talked you into the MGB too!

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At 46 you were ready to be a granddad and what a brilliant one you were. I think all your children were quite jealous at how good you were with Tristan.  I felt that for you and mum I had finally got something right.

I have over a hundred photos of you over the next 33 years it is going to be hard to get the balance right dear dad.

So where do I start? Two children to employ always on the lookout for new income and growth opportunities. Managers in shops that seemed to leak any profit. Oh and the interminable stock-takes. Then your children all married within two years. How did you find the money?

 

How did you juggle it all and manage to keep us all mobile? No sooner had we grown the business than we contracted with your beloved wife running one shop, your son running another and you managing another… time was running out….Thank God you had found time once a week to take your wife dancing. I think from 73 to 83 must have been good with us kids out the way.

1972 c dining dancing years

By 1983 you provided part time work for your grandson too. The pair of you enjoyed writing computer programs and I hope one day Tristan will write his reflections of that time.

 

Then two of us came home having failed marriages only to leave the nest again once we were recharged. You never had a go at us and even if I pranged the car you would just hand me the accident claim form.

I never really appreciated you during those years and I very often exacerbated you….sorry dad.  You came to my new home in ’86 to celebrate your granddaughters birthday and for the odd meal and christened my couch with your favourite position.

By 1987 you made a home for your mother in law. She thought you were the most wonderful son-in-law in the whole wide world. For years you had sent her and Bill money to keep a car on the road. Welcomed them for holiday breaks.

Thank God we made up and made good with retirement in 1990. There were miracles but that is my story.

Finally by miracle ( again that is my story) You were able to retire to a bungalow big enough to house your mother and your mother in law. There was a brilliant 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1991 and your grandson’s wedding in 1992

 

It was not until about 2008 that I found out what you wrote about us. In 1995 you had reason to find your old crew from the 57 Squadron Lancaster P Peter.

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I was quite amazed you called me an angel…….You said nice things about all of us

 

Clearly you were proud of all of us but we never knew.

I also wanted to write about grandchildren I have mentioned Tristan but as you tell your friends you had another 5 grandchildren and a great grandson before

you left us…..from those letters we can see that you kept up to speed with the children’s progress and achievements

Dad I still have another 5 years to write about I wanted to publish  “My dad at work” because whilst you hated gardening and decorating and do it yourself some of your feats were fun. How many times did we climb ladders, unblock gutters and pass cable through the loft space? In your 10 years of retirement you did good dad….especially as for the last 6 years you had; as you described to your old crew members; a blood disorder which meant you needed to go for a blood top up quite frequently. I still have those white overalls and your shorts from RAF and your string vest which by the way I don’t think you wore after Greenford Market.

So many of the other photos can be found in my Legacy of your wife and my tribute to your wedding anniversaries. The amazing thing is you recorded your story for Tristan and we have that on DVD and a very humble testimony it is. Thank God you also gave testimony to your answer to prayer when you prayed to be content…..and your payer was answered….. Miss you dad

 

 

 

2017 Southwark, Rochester, Canterbury

The idea of pilgrimage has been on my mind for several years and I started by visiting cathedrals; Winchester, York and Lincoln then last year I visited Christchurch Oxford and Coventry.

At Coventry I found a cathedral that was alive and this persuaded me that my pilgrimage involved cathedrals.

This year Open Doors*  http://www.opendoorsuk.org/events/fundraise/pilgrimage.php had a plan to raise money by walking the Winchester- Canterbury Pilgrims Way following a new book published in February.   https://www.cicerone.co.uk/product/detail.cfm/book/777/title/the-pilgrims–way#.WT5IvZLyvIU

I thought I might first try Southwark to Canterbury but soon found I could not carry my backpack and do the walking. I had a brilliant day in London and loved Southwark Cathedral which was alive and welcoming. The refectory provided good food and a comfortable place to rest my feet. It was here I saw two real life pilgrims with their khaki outfits wide brim hats and the pilgrims shell hanging from their backs. The cathedral, next to Borough Markets, is in the heart of community. One lovely lady, with a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, seeing my distress in the Harvard Chapel came and prayed with me. This was a lovely pilgrim moment for me because, as I read that Harvard had been christened in Southwark Cathedral and went on to found the American University that carries his name, I realised the needs of all men who, in this world seem to have everything, yet don’t know Jesus.

 

 

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Harvard Chapel very moving place

So to a night in ladies only backpackers and then a rail trip from London Bridge to Rochester. I did not have a place to stay in Rochester. I had been trying online for weeks but I was fairly confident that once I got into the Tourist Information Office all would be well.  Times have changed; they could offer a list but after 2 expensive phone calls I gave up deciding to ask at the cathedral and if that failed to hop on the train to Canterbury. The cathedral was alive with a flower show but alas the tea room was closed because, they said, of little demand. People in the cathedral had no idea of any accommodation not even for pilgrims

I waved goodbye to Rochester from the train.

 

 

I arrived at Canterbury East Station walked up the Dane John and eventually arrived at the Cathedral.  Those I asked knew of no ‘pilgrim accommodation’ so, knowing my ticket would give me access to the cathedral every day, I rushed out  to The Beaney House of Art; once again the visitor information centre could not help except direct me to Premier and Travel Lodge on the outside of town. Long walk with back pack and a sad return to town centre realising there was no room at the Inn.

There followed a brilliant night on the streets with all the students marching in bands up and down the cobbled streets, an unusual meeting with some lovely people outside the cathedral gates and times with the street sleepers bedding down for the night. Eventually, about 3.30am, tired of walking round I came up behind the street pastors saying,

“Hey know someone who needs £20 for a few hours on their sofa?”

They told me that there was nowhere in Canterbury where I could lay my head but McDonald’s was open all night and the manager was very kind. He was very kind and I spent the rest of the night chatting with students and local young people who were more interested in God than those I meet in the daylight.

I was excited I had another 6 days and nights in Canterbury I just knew I was going to love every minute.

Kipps Canterbury

The lovely guy on reception took one look at me and said “I find you different bed”. Apparently I don’t look the type to fit on a top bunk! I did not argue; nights on the top bunk in St Christopher’s were not the best! So for 4 lovely nights I had the bed by the window in a six bed room.

The garden was a wonderful extra, the lounge comfortable, the kitchen fabulously equipped and a place in the fridge. Great place to stay and it cost less for 6 nights than my one night in the Cathedral Lodge.

http://kipps-hostel.com/ 

Although I know I am on a pilgrimage not just a holiday but Holy days I still don’t know where and why. A sacred place a holy relic who knows. All I know is that it hangs around Cathedrals as being the place in England where God has been worshipped the longest.

Seems that although pilgrims were offered hospitality in times gone by they were often a nuisance. Canterbury was extended and an Ambulatory built round the place of worship so that dratted pilgrims could walk in and round without disturbing the service. There is a sense in which modern tourists with their lack of respect for holy ground are resented by the clergy and one clergy person nearly bit my head off but others had nothing but love and compassion. Takes all sorts.

I was in Canterbury for 8 days and  I had intended to travel out and walk on some of the Pilgrim’s Way but instead found myself immersed in the City and Cathedral. I was interested in finding out where modern day pilgrims would be welcome.

http://www.pilgrimswaycanterbury.org/the-way/

 

The Bridle Way Road Trip

Carina and Trinity came from Australia this summer

I needed to hire a minibus to collect them and their Aunty and Uncle needed to use their Motor-home.

During the last week of the visit we decided to go on a Bridle Way trip. Grandma, Mummy, Trinity, Zippy and a bike

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/OX10+7EY,+Warborough,+Wallingford/Benson+Parish+Hall,+Sunnyside,+Benson,+Wallingford/@51.6311745,-1.1329882,15z/data=!3m

At first it was fun going through the village of Warborough but soon the track was a bit rough and grandma went on a scout on the bike and came back to say the path was bumpy and did not seem to get better. Trinity was sure Zippy could make the trek so mummy and Trinity forged ahead

 

Grandma thought that was far enough and hoped they would turn around; she took a close up of the famous Wittenham Clumps and the intrepid explorers but soon they were a speck on the horizon….time to catch up.

http://walksinoxfordshire.co.uk/oxfordshire-walks/wittenham-clumps/

At one point there was a little bridge over a brook no wider than Zippy and a beautiful Labrador enjoyed a splash..The manoeuvre across the bridge was a a bit too fraught for photos and we had to remind ourselves that this was a bridle way suitable for horses!! A quick glance back at the long road we had travelled and a long hard look at the massive tractor…we could hear horses but we could not see them …….finally arrival at Benson Village Park Ooooo get the boots off, lets have a rest after that boneshaking trip!!!!

We were actually only half way on our road trip and we could not go back the boneshaking route. There was a chance to get a bus a little way back but that involved a trip through Benson with not very accessible paths (the dreaded kerbs narrow paths) but finally the bus and a trip to the more accessible path through to the village of Warborough. Grandma rode the bike as this was not allowed on the bus and soon caught up with mummy and Trinity as poor Zippy had suffered severe bearing breakdown…in fact if were not for the miracle of getting Zippy home to Oz and getting it fixed this story might have been too sad to tell.

 

Romantic Granddad

My granddad died in 1973. He managed to see at least three grandchildren wed which was lovely. It was my first big family bereavement and my worst. My brother Jim and I stayed behind to mind the shops; Mum went off to support my grandmother and dad went down to Bournemouth whenever he could. My brothers and I did not even go to the funeral. Have to ‘mind’ the shop! Even though I am not supposed to make vows; I vowed I would never put a shop or anything before loved ones again.

One day I will write a full story to give credit to the wonderful legacy James Walter Creak left me….not a penny or a treasured gift willed to me but when my Grandmother, Ethel Amelia Creak, died in 1995 I helped empty her home. When my mum died in 2006 I inherited all the stuff no one wanted and it was among these things that I found my romantic grandfather.

This remembrance starts on the 1st December 2017 as I cut the last rose from banging against my neighbour’s window. It had been trying to flower for the last fortnight and I could not bin it. As I put it in a vase I recalled the cards that my grandmother had kept. I inherited a lifetime of cards sent to her by her beloved Jim.

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Each Christmas I bore the pants off my children and grandchildren by bringing out Grandma’s cards

I promise that after writing this I will not repeat the story again….you see I know this card was  bought before they were married because all the other cards said Wife except this one which says sweetheart and the very first one below…

…how unusual to have daffodils on a Christmas card but this is pre 1918.

To return to the sweetheart card my Grandma actually wrote about it. Unbelievable as she thought she could not write and thought she was unlearned; yet her words opened up my granddad’s heart for me.

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Married 55 years. I spent many childhood Saturdays with the pair of them. I knew them intimately but never knew granddad’s romantic side. I will save the verse mentioned in Ethel’s note for a time when I can write more about granddad’s life. Till then thank you granddad I will never cut the last rose without remembering you.

 

 

My Family at War

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It was quite a tradition in my family to get depressed as we come to the eleventh of November.

As I got older I realised that my mum had suffered her first bereavement at the age of fourteen. In November 1936 Gwendoline’s dad, Joe Turvey, died. He was 46 and had been gassed in the First World War and his chest never recovered.  Gwen’s mum was 36, had never worked for an employer and Gwen was still at school. Both my Grandma and mum would get very morose in November.

My dad had a terrible illness in the early 50’s no one explained this but by the time I was a teenager mum said he had a ‘nervous breakdown’. It was not until he was 70+ and I saw his face during a storm with sheet lightening that he confided how 30+ ‘Ops in a Lancaster Bomber in 1943 had affected him. No one knew about PTSD then. Even the men who did not recover from World War One were called ‘shellshocked’.

No one in my family glorified war. My grandfathers and father did not talk about it. I have so few facts except that in the 90’s one of my father’s crew sent a diary that detailed the ‘Ops’ the other snippets were light hearted even humorous in a dark way.

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Back in 2008 I made a book with photographs for Walter’s grandchildren and gave them each a copy. My idea was not to glorify war but to remind them of the sacrifice their grandparents and great grand parents had made.

It should be easy to look up military records even without date of birth. Joe Turvey’s 1914/15 medal has his number on it. I looked up Jim Creak and found a record for ‘Buffs East Kent regiment? 1916 G2576 I think his date of birth was 9/6/1897. Bill Barnes’ medals have probably never been requested. My dad W.J.Creak is well documented and a visit to East Kirkby http://www.lincsaviation.co.uk/  would bring everything to life they have a his log book and a copy of the diary. I have written lots elsewhere about the family but here on November Eleventh 2017 I just wanted to say we will remember you and hope and pray your descendants do not have to go to war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tristan reaches 50

Happy Birthday darling son. Your granddad was ready to get involved in children at 46 he had got over all the worries and was living in a flat big enough for the whole family and the shops were managing. Your Uncle Jim bought you every cuddly toy imaginable. Your grandma adored you. You were the first, a boy and surrounded by adults who had time for you. What a start. There is not a photo of you watching the first man on the moon but I woke you up ,sat you up and you saw it.

Before you were five you were a page boy twice went to four weddings one in France and perhaps wondered why you did not have a top half to your swimmers.

Still before five; yes you went to the Isle of Wight 1970; messed around on boats and lived in Harwell. Grandma always made a cake to suit the cartoon of the moment Thunderbird 1 I remember.

The Northbourne school years were hard work. Out of the house by 8.08 even after your long awaited sister arrived and always getting in the wrong company Andy Thomas and Julian Cox.  The headmaster telling me that you did not need remedial reading because you had me!!! needing to win at sports day. Peter was your first coach remember Edmunds park? No sooner had Andy and Julian left you behind but you had a love hate mate in Richard Deeley.  You did have fun in Harwell and seemed to enjoy cubs and dressing up in black tights, Lurex and a blond wig for the gang show. Oh my hard work but Grandma and Granddad loved you and if you fell out with me you could always go to them. What a blessed boy! On your 12th birthday we had a fabulous barbecue the weather was brilliant and we had bales of straw in the garden.

Harwell was fun and Auntie Glenys and Uncle Pete used to come over. You got to see a house being built in your garden and so to big school.

We were all very proud of your sports and academic prowess of course there were a few teenage tantrums but you worked hard in a part time job for your beloved grandfather and studied hard at the last minute. Got some fabulous results. Your Grandmother was over the moon that you achieved some of her dreams running and playing rugby for County. You wore your heart on your sleeve and this sometimes brought you heart ache. You found out on your 18th how hard it was to clear up after a party! You vowed never to have another.

So to University you handled it very maturely and I enjoyed picking you up at the end of term and I loved getting your calls on a Saturday morning, usually while you were doing your laundry.  I was honoured to see you run for Loughborough and was patient as you discussed yet another physio appointment. You managed incredibly well and even wrote to your sister. Seems no sooner were you home than you were….married.

1992 is only half way through the story but of course you move away; go on fabulous holidays; make a home and then so soon after the arrival of George you get a new home.

You had special birthdays with George but in between celebrated the arrival of a precious daughter…and then there were four of you.

I say four but mum was always the elusive one. You have been married 25 years now but it is still hard to get a photo of the pair of you. I could of included the photos of Tristan the coach (usually the back of bald head) at Rugby with George or Tristan the windswept watching Rebecca play hockey. This is all such a little taster especially of the last 25 years. Hope you understand how precious the yearly photos are to me as time marches on.

Happy Birthday son…always thought you deserved a bit more fun…you have chosen a serious dutiful route through life and at 50 can look back with pride and grateful thanks that you and Julia have made a good team and done a good job. Naturally most of the last 25 years have not included me so I hope you will build your own memory store. Now in no particular order I give you a few more memories of the 100’s of photos I have. Remembering that in 1992 half way through, with you and Carina left home, I provided you with an album of photos of your story so far.

I am finishing writing this 12,000 miles away from you….just want you to know you are cherished. I love you Love Joy and Peace on your birthday  Mumx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What will we do without Trevor?

Who put the bunting up for the Queens jubilee 2012? Who built our garden furniture when it came flat pack?

The residents of St Lawrence House are really going to miss you Trevor.  At our coffee morning today we remembered all the times you helped us and always with a cheerful smile and a strong capable hand. We collected the comments and hope that Soha will pass them on to you and maybe even publish the things we said so that everyone will know how much we will miss you.

The first comment is used as our title

“What will we do without Trevor” “Who is going to get us paint for the fence?”

“He is going to be sorely missed” “We were never in the dark with Trevor he could fix our lights”

“No job was ever too much trouble” ” A true gentleman”

“He could put his hand to anything.” “Who is going to look after our washing machine and dryer?”

“Handyman does not begin to describe this wonderful caretaker”

“He’s a lovely man nothing was too much trouble”

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Thanks for building and fixing our replacement bench we promise it will get plenty of use.

We all wish you well Trevor from Brian, Etta, John, Michael, Molly and Angela

 

 

 

 

Happy Anniversary

My mum and dad married on September 14th 1941. It was a romantic love affair. She was the girl next door. The war was about to separate them for 18 months so they married, wrote letters every day and while my father trained in South Africa (same time zone as UK) they would look at the moon at the same time so that they were in touch.

As a small child I would see them cuddle in the kitchen and sing to each other. “If you were the only girl in the world and I was the boy next door…..

If you were the only girl in the world
And I were the only boy
Nothing else would matter in the world today
We would go on lovin’ in the same old way
A Garden of Eden just made for two
With nothing to mar our joy

Another day my dad would grab my mothers hand and sing ‘Your tiny hand is frozen’ I thought they were so romantic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HVjTPqe5I0 Then they would both sing ‘a room with a view’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xty-ej9HeHY this was early fifties but Noel Coward was still popular to their age group.

Even when we moved to Rickmansworth and they gave us children the lounge and they sat together in the tiny kitchen. They worked together did everything together never apart.

We had moved to Didcot by the time they reached 25 years married in 1966. Bless my mum she cooked us all a roast to celebrate. Within 5 years we had all flown the nest and mum and dad took up dancing..ballroom, old time and Latin American. I was so proud of my dad as he was a shy man and my mum was tough on him. All the staff in our shop would wait for September the 14th. My dad would put Anniversary Waltz on the shop sound system and mum and dad would waltz round the shop.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V8K-CGA8KY

Finally retirement came and then one year later 1991 the 50th Wedding Anniversary

They were fit ‘healthy and enjoying life as best they could as they were also caring for their mothers. Sadly no sooner had the mothers gone to heaven but my dad took sick. Mum was planning a big trip to Squadron reunion but I knew my dad was too ill.

In February 2001 9 months before their 60th Wedding Anniversary I took them back to Hayes to the church, the pub where they all had a drink and to Chalfont Road it was incredibly poignant dad hardly had breath but put on a brave smile.

Dad did not make it to the 60th Anniversary and mum died 5 years later of a broken heart. IMG_1601

Most years between Mum’s birthday in August and their anniversary I would take them out to lunch and take a photo at the front door so glad I did…miss you mum and dad you did a good job..can still them singing this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW6Jd7zVpxM

This version was lost ha wonder which folks will prefer?