Mum and dad were both born in 1930, both in November. Mum on 10th and dad on 29th (these facts become more important later on). Anita was born in 1958, when I was 7 years old. We also have a brother, Stuart, who was born in 1967, when I was 16. Most of the photos of my parents and sister haven't been digitised yet, and none of Stuart have.
Mum in the 1970s
My parents were married on 8th April, 1950. I put in an appearance 10 months later. Dad was the youngest of 4 brothers, George, Robert, Jack and Leonard (dad). Mum was the eldest of 7 children. Grace Anita(mum) George Alan, Gordon Andrew, Gilbert Anthony, and the twins Ernest and Glenys. You can notice a pattern there, but I think gran had enough choosing names by the time the twins arrived. Sadly Gilbert (known as Tony) died of pneumonia before he turned one year old.
Mum (seated) with gran, granddad and aunty Glenys
As my grandfather's name was also George, everyone called them 'Big George' and 'Little George' which gran didn't like, so little George became known as Alan.
Mum, with gran and uncle Alan
Anyway, back to my beloved parents. I've already told you about the adventures dad and I had chasing Goldie through the neighbours gardens. Other adventures were involving his motorbike and sidecar. He once took me to by some straw for my guinea pig, also called Goldie. I'm not very imaginative when naming pets. I sat on the back of the bike, with the straw in the sidecar. Dad revved off, and I promptly fell off the bike!!
Dad in 2014, aged 84
Mum, 2002 aged 72
We would go into Derbyshire quite a lot, Matlock, Matlock Bath, Black Rock, and the pretty villages that would hold Well Dressings every year. One year we set off for Bakewell. Dad driving, mum on the back, me and Anita in the sidecar. I had a portable reel to reel tape recorder at the time and had recorded the Top Ten from the radio. Anita and I each had a plastic flask of raspberry pop - which promptly got warm, made me feel sick, and put me off raspberry for years. Still, it was an enjoyable journey, with my music playing as loud as I dared and the beautiful view of the Pennines on the right of us. We never made it to Bakewell, dad took a wrong turn and we ended up in Glossop!! So back it was, this time with the menacing view of the Pennines on our left (it was raining by now).
Mum, dad and Anita
That motorbike and sidecar took us everywhere. Uncle Gordon took his family to Dawlish Warren in Devon. It was a brilliant holiday, under canvas. Another trip we went on was to Great Yarmouth. The bike let us down on that trip, it broke down on the way home. As it was getting dark, and the back lights weren't working, dad parked outside a cemetery. Mum slept in the front of the sidecar with Anita on her lap, I slept in the back seat. Dad slept on the ground, leaning up against the cemetery wall. Not very pleasant.
Uncle Gordon with my cousin Avril at home in Australia
Uncle Gordon and Aunty Maggie
Aunty Maggie on my cousin Steve's motorbike
We had some great times. When Stuart arrived, dad upgraded to a car. I was a teenager then, and didn't go out on family jaunts any more. I wanted to be out dancing, ice skating, horse riding, walking for miles, things I can no longer do.
Anita and Marley
Anita's partner Val, 2015
Other family members are:
Anita's son Benjamin who lives in the US. He and Anita were married for a short time. He came from St Kitts, and one year he and Anita went island hopping in the Caribbean, trying to keep ahead of one of the hurricanes that was punishing those beautiful islands at the time.
I've already mentioned Stuart, who married Corrinne. She already had a son and daughter from a previous relationship, and went on to have Billy and Danny. Billy had Cerebral Palsy, and died at the age of 3 of Pneumonia.
Cousin Avril, part of the ever growing Australian contingent of our family
Avril has 2 brothers and one sister, Paul, Steve and Julie. She also had a brother Lee who was born in Australia and was killed aged 19 in a motorcycle accident. He and his brothers loved motorcycle racing. All had accidents, but only Lee lost his life.
Alan has two stepsons and one daughter, Carole.
Ernest and his wife Gill have Phillip, Sindy, Patrick, Yana, Carrie-Ann, Isaac (who died a few days after his birth) and Zakkia. Not sure if that's spelled correctly!!
Glenys' children are Perry, Amanda, Sally, Keith, Duncan and Douglas.
That's all mum's family. Here is dad's. Uncle George had one son, Robert, who died a few years ago. The only cousin I had who is older than me.
Robert (no longer with us) had two daughters, Linda and Jill. Jack who died in 2010, has Ian, Neil, Jacqueline (Jackie) and Joanne.
So that's most of my family, there are more, but we'd be here forever if I listed them all!!
Next chapter, sad times.