These photos were, fairly obviously, not taken by me. But they are of my family. I was looking for a different picture, one of my father with his three siblings, but I found these first and enjoyed looking at them.
My grandfather’s (my father’s father) two sisters looked fairly alike as these two pictures show.
As the pictures also show, they were quite different characters. Evelyn was the glamourous one who died young in a traffic accident. I don’t know what became of her husband, but her daughter, Cousin Gwyn who developed Alzheimer’s and died a few years ago, having been one of the most lively and entertaining of my many relatives, became an extra sibling for my father, his brother and sisters.
Doll has an important part in my own part of the family history. It was in her pub that my parents met. My father had been demobbed after the end of the Second World War, and was living there along with a host of relatives. How they all squeezed in I can’t begin to undertsand. One of the relatives was a Great Great Aunt by marriage, Alice. She became ill, and my mother was the second nurse called in to look after her.
This picture shows Doll, who was evidently doing quite well, outside the pub with Mrs Gwyn, another figure from my childhood who ran the local paper and grocery shop. When you walked through the door onto the rubber mat a bell would ring distantly and Mrs Gwyn would appear through the slatted curtain at the back of the shop.
My parents did a fair amount of the courting above the pub. My mother would arrive after finishing her nursing shift and lift the flap on the bar to go through to the private accommodation. Jane the dog would start to thump her tail on the floor and Doll would say, “Here’s Anne”.
Doll placed enormous faith in Mother’s nursing knowledge and skills. She consulted her often, and always before speaking to the doctor. When she did see the doctor her opening words were invariably, “My niece, the nurse, says..” to the point that one day, the doctor, apparently exasperated, cut her off after the first two words, saying “Yes, I know, the nurse.”