Friday 19th May 1950
First page of an earlier telling of this story, November 1979
1. I was born on Friday 19th May 1950 at Glenroyd maternity home, Whitegate Drive, Blackpool. When I left there
with my new parents, it was to Cleveleys that I was carried, to a house in Palatine Road which was to be my home for about six
2. For I was six weeks old when we moved from Cleveleys to Preston. My Dad worked for the Post Office, which in those days was part of the Civil Service. He took an examination to get promotion to Clerical Officer, the next grade up in the Civil Service; but the only post available was in the War Office in Preston. So that’s why we moved from Cleveleys to Preston.
Letter from “Mother & Dad” (Nanny Paine and Grandad Jack, my Mum’s mother and father) to my Mum, dated “Friday [19th May 1950]”
Letter from “Dad” (Grandad Jack, my Mum’s father) to my Mum
Letters from “Jack” (Uncle Jack, my Mum’s older brother) and “Ronnie” (Uncle Ronnie, my Mum’s younger brother) to my Mum, written on two sides of the same sheet
Card from “Charlie” (my Dad) and “Steven” (my brother, some 2 years and 3 months older than I)
Card from “Aunty Connie” and “Uncle Roland” (friends of my Mum’s and Dad’s, not relations; my brother Steven’s godparents)
Found on the reverse of the card when unfolded:
Card from “Aunty Jessie”
Card from “Aunt Joan” and “Uncle John” (friends of my Mum’s and Dad’s, not relations)
Card from “Auntie Margaret & Uncle Harry”
Card from “Auntie Monica”
Card from “Monica & Cliff”. Why would Monica be named on two cards? — unless one of
them was sent on the occasion of our Steve’s birth. The comment “Better late than never” doesn’t shed much light on this point, because my Mum can’t remember whether there was any prolonged gestation of either of us; but my Mum’s mother’s (Nanny Paine’s) words in her letter, above — “I was worried that
you were still in labour, anyway it’s over now…” — may refer to this. In which case, perhaps the other card, the one from “Auntie Monica”, was sent on the occasion of Steve’s birth. I don’t have access to these; it would be interesting to see whether a card from Monica were lacking.
My father registered the birth on Monday 29 May 1950.
I’m told that there was bad damp in the walls of the house in Palatine Road; in fact, in the next door house it was so bad that there was water actually dripping down the walls. Whenever my Mum was expecting prospective buyers to visit to look at the house, she would get the electric fire out and turn it on facing the damp patches, to try to dry them out so that they wouldn’t look so bad.
Map of Palatine Road, retrieved 2011 from Lancashire County Council Maps and Related Information Online. We lived in a semi-detached house, No.14. Mrs. Hartley lived in “the next door house”, referred to above — not the conjoined house, but the separate one, No.16, on the other side.
Image from Bing Maps bird’s eye view, 2011
2A. Of course, I don’t remember any of this. My earliest memories are of living at No. 20, Fairfield Drive, Ashton, Preston, the first house of a terrace of three situated at the far end of Fairfield Drive. There is a “kink” in the street; after Nos. 2 to 18, a terrace of nine houses along the right-hand side, the street turns sharply to the left and then right again. The end of our house, therefore, situated in this “kink”, faced directly up the Drive towards the main road, Blackpool Road.
Images from Google Street View, 2011
Map of Fairfield Drive, retrieved 2011 from Lancashire County Council Maps and Related Information Online
The first house of a terrace of three: Photo taken, 6th June 1996. The nearest house is No.20, despite its having a rubbish bin outside, numbered "21".
Situated at the far end of Fairfield Drive: Photo taken, 6th June 1996, looking back from the far end.
Photo taken, 6th June 1996. There’s my Dad.
There is a “kink” in the street; after Nos. 2 to 18, a terrace of nine houses along the right-hand side, the street turns sharply to the left and then right again. The end of our house, therefore, situated in this “kink”, faced directly up the Drive towards the main road, Blackpool Road: Photo taken, 6th June 1996, looking into Fairfield Drive from Blackpool Road.
How old am I in this photo of my Mum and me? Eighteen months?