Wednesday, January 03, 2007

When Ted was in the army he wrote and told me that he hadn't been very well. When he came home on leave I met him at the station and he looked terrible. I had never seen anything like it.

I took him to Dr Waddell's surgery. The doctory examined him and said, 'Let him have his leave. He'll be all right for travelling back. Take his letter to the army MO.'

My cousin Violet and I travelled back with him. We stayed the night in a little room in someone's house. When I met Ted the next morning, he said, 'Florry I've got to go into hospital tomorrow.' He was in hospital a while and then he was discharged from the army. If he had been in the army any longer it would have killed him.

When he came home, he stayed in bed for a while. Dr Waddell came out to visit him. I worked at Sankeys and my sister Violet would look after him while I was at work.

He got a bit of a pension at first but then they took it off him. A friend asked him to do a small painting job on his house. He began to do more jobs and to work for a builder. He got a job with Bilston Council and worked there till he retired at 65.


One of the nicest things was in July 1946 when Carole was born. I woke Ted up at half past four in the morning and told him that I thought I'd better have the midwife. He got up and made his breakfast, then he went to fetch the midwife. Later on he made himself another breakfast. Carole was born about 4:30 in the afternoon. I'd only just had her when Ted's mother and Stella came to visit.

When Dr Waddell came and looked at the baby, he said, 'Ooh, she is lovely. You want to have another one.' My dad told him in a broad Black Country accent, 'Yo day say that when yo had you'rn'. He had only one child. After all, I was 36.

I liked to get out with the pram and show off the baby. She was a beautiful baby. Mrs Fellows, the headmistress of Daisy Bank School, who liked a drink, looked in the pram one day and said, 'Don't let anyone kiss her'.

The following winter was the coldest in living memory. I had a little cot at the side of our bed and kept the baby warm. The was no fire in the bedroom but I saw the baby was well wrapped up. I couldn't push the pram out for nearly 10 weeks because of the snow and ice. I tried to venture out one day but I couldn't manage it.

In February 1947, Stella went into labour. She was booked to have her baby in a nursing home on the Penn Road. The weather was so bad that a taxi couldn't get across Penn Common. Stella and Charlie had to walk through the ice and snow across the Common. The snow was up over the hedges. Stella couldn't push the baby out herself. The had to use forceps. Charlie and Stella paid a lot of money for the nursing hom, but it might have been better if she'd just stayed at home. I had no trouble at home with just the midwife.

When I went to visit them, I was walking over the trees and hedges. You couldn't see the path in the snow. The baby, David, wasn't very well. Ted's mother brought him back to Brook House and Stella stayed in the home for a bit. Later the home was closed down.



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