Friday, 4 March 2016

talking about my parents!

I was born in glorious Yorkshire, and now live in bonny Scotland, but both of my parents came from the red side of the roses (whisper it - Lancashire).

My Mum, Margaret, grew up in a small mill town and would be woken in the morning to the sound of clogs on cobbles as the shift changed at the mill at the end of her street. Her family lived in a terraced house and my Mum shared a room with her Auntie, who never married. Mum's Dad worked nights as a nurse at the local hospital which at one point cared for fifty men. Her Mum did what work she could fit in, as a seamstress, childminder, and later as a chiropodist (podiatrist).

My father, Tony, grew up in a more modern semi-detached house in a city, with a park around the corner. His Dad had a managerial office job, and his Mum worked for BT until she got married and had to leave, but went to work for them again later, when they changed their rules on that.

My Dad loved music, and my Mum loved dancing, so they both went to the Grasshoppers rugby club in Preston for social events. They met through friends. They both went to study in Manchester, and they got together. 

They both had opportunities to go to North America, so in 1967 they took the chance for a holiday. Can you see that Union Flag bag at the bottom of the picture? I swear they must have taken that everywhere! And they did seem to go everywhere! (I also wonder if it's one of the bags that appears in the final photo).


My parents got married in 1969 at the little church in Mum's home town where her parents are now buried. It was a bit blowy (as you can see), and my Dad's brother had a rather splendid cast on his leg and a wheelchair! Mum had her hair in ringlets which is sooo cool. She used to do that with my hair when I was a kid too!


My Dad got a job down in Bedford in sales (which I cannot imagine him doing, but apparently he got on well). Mum worked as a chiropodist, but they didn't particularly enjoy living in Bedford, so moved up to Ilkley in Yorkshire, where they still live to this day!

My Dad retrained in the 1970s to teach maths, which he did until he retired, and Mum worked as an NHS chiropodist until she retired too. They had two children. Me and my 6'4" little brother.


I remember a busy household. We had lodgers from the local college, and later, my parents fostered teenagers too, so there were always plenty of people about.

After my parents split up in 1983 I thought for a while that my Dad was going to go live in a commune. I must admit I was slightly gutted that he didn't, I could quite fancy that!