Wedding photograph taken on the front steps of South Ormsby Hall. From left to right :-
Bridesmaids are Marjorie (Bert’s sister), Cecile (Bert’s niece), Joan (my niece) and Flo (Bert’s sister).
The best man is Horace (Bert’s brother). Herbert (my brother-in-law) gave me away. Beryl is another of Bert’s nieces.
I stayed on at the Hall for two years after we were married because Bert was sent to Leicester to learn to repair aeroplanes. When he passed as a fitter, I left the Hall to live with Bert as he was lodging with his sister.
After the Hall – a Nightmare
I left the Hall and went to live with Bert who was lodging with his sister down on Brant Road in Lincoln. It was the worst thing I could have done. She made my life hell. We stayed there about a year. The man who lived next door to Bert’s sister had a young person as a housekeeper, but they were called up for the ATS* . He asked us if we’d like to go and live there and keep house for him, and we did. I think we were there about four years, and I fell for our first baby, Raymond. He only lived a fortnight, after a difficult birth.
We had a dreadful time after that, moving from one place to another, looking after people’s houses for them while they moved around because of the war. We got tired in the end. We heard of a friend selling a caravan, so Bert bought it. It wasn’t a very nice life, but we were on our own and it meant a lot. We had only been married a short time.
Our Own House, My Heaven
I fell for David. When I found out, I was cross and frightened because of what I’d gone through with Raymond. I told Bert I wanted a house before he was born, and poor Bert got one in Bracebridge, down Russell Street. I thought I was in heaven, but he didn’t like it because it was on a passage that led on to the street. We were there 13 years.
David was born on January 3rd, 1952. It was a very good birth; only six hours. Life was different in those days. I was in hospital eleven days. We had the time of our lives. We used to push the breakfast trolley round the wards as it was just after Christmas and they were short-staffed.
Grace was looking after Bert while I was in hospital and she stayed a fortnight when I got home to settle me in. I felt awful when she left with Bert at work and a baby to see to, but I soon got used to it. Bert was a big help with David. He always carried him up to bed after his last feed at ten o’clock. Of course, he was in bed when his dad got home at seven o’clock, so he looked forward to his feed at ten o’clock. Then he fetched him down and gave him his bottle and, when ready, took him up to bed.
* During the Second World War, the Auxiliary Territorial Service was the women’s branch of the British Army.