Thursday, January 04, 2007

When we moved to the bungalow that Ted had built in Yew Tree Lane, my dad and Violet came with us. Other people called their bungalows 'Ivy Dene' or 'Rose Dene', but we called ours 'Flora Dene' because of my name.

Then in August 1946, the club man came and told me, 'Florry I've heard your dad's got married.' It didn't surprise me in the least. He had married Margaret who was the widow of his older brother Jim. Margaret used to wave at my dad as she went past on her way to church, then Aunt Esther encouraged them when they would go out drinking together.

My dad came round right away and said, 'I reckon you've heard I've got married. Well if there's anything you want anytime, I'll help you.' But I never did ask him for anything.

He took all his furniture. Margaret had a general shop in the front room of her council house in Harding Street. After a time they started having rows.

Then one Saturday night, Margaret and my dad came round to the bungalow and she sat herself on the chair by the door. The first words she said were, 'This is mine.' It wasn't very often that I raised my voice but I raised it then. I said, 'Ted, get on your bike. Go to the police station, I'll soon show it whether it's yours or np'. As soon as he got up, Margaret walked out.

The following week, I told my dad, 'It's going up for sale now.' He agreed and I advertised in the Express and Star for a part-exchange. A man came with his wife and said he'd have the bungalow.

We got an old terraced house in Regent Street, Swan Village. The toilet was down the bottom of the yard and was shared with the other houses on the yard. The washing was done in an old brewhouse. Everything was old-fashioned but I didn't mind that. I wanted to get out.

The bungalow had had electricity, but in Regent Street there was a gas lamp fixed on the wall and you lit the jet. There was just one room downstairs for everything. It had a sink in for washing ourselves and for preparing food.

Violet came with us. She went out to work, helping to put up meals at a restaurant. I made friends with Ida who lived on the yard. She worked at home, putting clips onto cards, and she had a little girl called Pamela.


The first time that we went away on holiday was in 1948 when Ted, me, Violet and Carole went to Aberdovey for the week. I sent the big pram by train in advance. We got the bus from Coseley to Wolverhampton, then the steam train to Aberdovey.

The sun was shining when we started out on the Saturday, but it rained all the week afterwards. We stayed in a guest house. When we got there we found we had forgotten to bring the money to pay for the guest house, so I had to write to Stella. She sent us the money and we paid her back afterwards.

There was entertainment in the guest house one night, but Carole didn't like it and she started to cry, so I had to go up to the bathroom with her. One of the other guests and his wife went out one day and came back with a toy boat for Carole.

Violet and Ted went on a boat trip round the estuary while I stayed on the sands and played with Carole.

I met a friend from Sankeys. When she saw me with Ted, she said, 'That's your husband then.' She had seen Ted before doing bricklaying jobs, but she didn't know he was my husband.

We stayed near the church and we used to hear the bells playing a tune.



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