September 14th 1941 my mum and dad got married. Faced with separation of 18 months while my dad was training in South Africa with the RAF they married. They lived next door to each other and their mother’s matchmaked them!
They wrote to each other every day and were separated for 5 years, even in South Africa my dad could look at the moon at the same time my mum would and know their hearts were joined. My mum always told me it was Lord Nuffield that paid for her beloved Wally to come home on weekend leave. Dad said it was great when they got a medal the pilot had to go to the palace to get his DFC but the crew got a weekend pass.
As a small child I remember my mum and dad singing in the kitchen If you were the only girl in the world …and changing the words I was the boy next door
then they would switch to La Boheme and dad would catch mum’s hand and sing
they might also do a Noel Coward
Our move to Rickmansworth and a tiny flat saw mum and dad sat together at a tiny kitchen table while the kids had the lounge. Then the move to Didcot and a 25th Wedding Anniversary which my brothers barely noticed and mum cooked a family 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 it was a thrill to see them dance together. My dad was quite a shy man and my mum was quite bossy I was so proud of my dad.
The highlight was every September 14th Dad would put Anniversary Waltz on the shop sound system and mum and dad would waltz round the shop
So in 1990 to the retirement to care for their mothers; the two women that, on my mum’s 17th Birthday, arranged a little dinner for two in the bay window of the front room in 7 Chalfont Road. I still have the table at which they sat. At first they had bags of energy and mum almost single handedly organised her Golden Wedding.
Not long after their mothers went to heaven dad took sick…a cancer of the blood; I blame it on the luminous dials and the radar in the RAF. Mum was in denial and fixing a Squadron Reunion and I was spending time at the local hospital while dad had yet another transfusion. Dad did not get to see the 60 years but in the February of 2001 I took them back to Hayes to revisit their wedding site the front door, Church door and the pub where they all went for a celebratory drink before going home for a meal which all the neighbours had contributed to because of rationing.
Each year I would take them out for lunch some time between mum’s birthday in August and their anniversary and always I would get a photo
Miss you both very much let’s go out on another one of your favourites that mum often sang to dad then follow on with ‘you made me love you………