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More Memories.

 

Grandma lived in Neasden, about a half hour drive from where we lived in North Harrow. Virtually every Sunday afternoon after Lunch was cleared away we had to climb into the car and go make the filial visit. I so remember how I hated having to go there.  It was so utterly boring for a child, with absolutely nothing to do, it was cold and dingy in all but high summer and totally devoid of anything of anything of any interest, so I would go into the front room and read a book, or annoy Mum & Dad by attempting to play the piano.

Yes I did say piano, for some reason, I know not why, Grandma had an old upright piano in the front  room. My dad was about and musical as me ( ie not at all ) and to the best of my knowledge neither Grandma or Grandad played.  Why exactly Grandma had a chronically unplayed piano I have not the faintest idea, however its much more fun to speculate. It was in the front room opposite the windows so was what you would see from the street if you looked in.

 

I mentioned before that my Dad was born when Grandma & Grandad had been married for almost 20 years and folks will gossip.  The worst gossip and rumours seem to arise when the true facts are not known or uncertain.  I wonder if the sudden appearance of this baby after so long got tongues wagging ?  Fortunately, from the very few family photos that include Grandad, there is not the slightest shred of doubt that they were father and son.

 

Back to the piano,I like to think that this was Grandma & Grandad's way of giving the neighbours a finger !!  You know what  mean.

 

Other relatives I can remember were Her brother George mentioned previously, her sister Emily, (Aunt Em) and an ancient old dear who lived in Pavenham in Bedfordshire, where the family came from. This was Aunt Jane and was in fact my Father's Great Aunt. We visited her once that I can remember, I must have been small as I can remember nothing about it apart from the reek of what I now know to have been Carbolic Soap, that hit us on the doorstep.

Aunt Em was married to Steve Hall, they had one son, also called Steve ( just to avoid confusion.) Hall, he with his wife Gwen and adopted son Andrew lived at Wanstead in NE London, we would see them once or twice per year.

32 Lewis Crescent Neasden.

Other relatives I can remember were Her brother George mentioned previously, her sister Emily, (Aunt Em) and an ancient old dear who lived in Pavenham in Bedfordshire, where the family came from. This was Aunt Jane and was in fact my Father's Great Aunt. We visited her once that I can remember, I must have been small as I can remember nothing about it apart from the reek of what I now know to have been Carbolic Soap, that hit us on the doorstep.

Aunt Em was married to Steve Hall, they had one son, also called Steve ( just to avoid confusion.) Hall, he with his wife Gwen and adopted son Andrew lived at Wanstead in NE London, we would see them once or twice per year.

These were keenly anticipated visits. Gwen & Steve knew how to enjoy life and were a breath of fresh air compared to life with Mum & Dad.  Steve was a tiny little stick thin guy, a perfect foil for Gwen who was huge in every possible dimension.  She was massively fat, red-faced and massively jolly. Half way up the garden path you would hit the gales of laughter coming from within, this would continue until it was time to go.  Everybody loved Gwen and Gwen loved everybody back. Sadly you can't be of Gwen's proportions and have any realistic expectation of long life, not unless you are Gwen anyway, Somehow, God only knows how, she made it to 79. Gwen's funeral was a miserable affair, a force of fun and humour had gone from the world, and we all knew it.

Just as an aside,  Steve surprised us all when not all that long after Gwen's death, he let it be known that he was getting married again, it seems he had no taste for living alone.  After a certain amount of parental tut-tutting, even Mum & Dad came around to the idea that his marrying someone a bit younger and fitter was not such a daft idea when viewed in perspective. Gwen was dead and Steve being alone and miserable was not going to change that situation.  At present I have no information as to who his bride was, so watch this space, I will soon find out.  Sadly this lady may have been younger and fitter but that did not stop her falling off her perch after only a couple of years.

This was the point when Steve really did confound us all. Gwen mark 2 was scarcely cold in her box when Steve announced that mark 3 was on the blocks and that they were to be married soon. This they did and so far as  can remember wife 3 saw him out.  However I am not certain about that, and will have to check.

There was also another couple,  Bernard & Aileen who lived in Salisbury.  Not 100% certain if that was Salisbury Wiltshire or Salisbury Rhodesia ! I don't think I ever met them. I have no idea where they fitted into the family , or for that matter if they were family at all.

 

 

 

And then of course there was Turvey!!

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