Drawing their Pensions
Grandad effectively retired in 1958 (see Chapter 60). But, his diaries continued to talk quite a bit about money matters. Grandma and grandad continued to receive their old age pension during this period. Grandad noted, in October 1973, that the pension went up to £12.50 per week for both of them and, in July 1974, it rose to £16. The arrangements are now different in that each partner builds up their own state pension. For a couple, the full amount would be around £350 per week. Grandma and grandad collected their pensions from the Post Office. I think they did this most weeks although grandad only noted collecting it infrequently. My understanding is that this no longer happens and pensions are paid directly to bank accounts. Sometimes, grandad collected the pension and sometimes grandma. The last time grandad noted getting it was in May 1972.
Annual Tax Return
At the beginning of each year, grandad still completed a tax return. Grandma used to take it in person to the Inland Revenue. The earliest she did this was January and the latest was April. Each year, grandad appeared to receive a tax refund about one week after submitting the return. He did not always note the amount but he did from 1971 to 1973 and it rose from £107.20 to £121.18.
Grandma and grandad continued to have considerable financial investments although I do not really have an idea of the scale of these.
Investing in Luton
In February 1970, grandad noted receiving the bond certificate from Luton for £500 at 9½ per cent interest which was repayable in February 1973. In March 1971, grandad noted receiving a cheque from Luton for six months’ interest.
Interest Payment Delayed by the Postal Strike
He noted that it had been due in February but that they had been unable to send it because of the postal strike. This lasted from 20 January to 8 March 1971.
Trips to the Bank
Grandad sometimes noted going on the bike to the bank, for example, on 30 July 1970. I presume this was somewhere in Hellesdon as he noted calling at ours. However, more often than not, grandma went to the bank in Norwich.
For example, in January 1972, grandma went to the TSB in Norwich about a saving certificate. I am not exactly sure what this was about. The next day, she took their certificates to the TSB to be cashed. I am not sure if these were the same certificates. Also that month, grandad noted that they cashed some savings certificates to the value of £500 each. I am not sure if this was the money from the saving certificates grandma cashed earlier at the TSB. I presume it was.
Post Office Account
In April 1972, grandma opened a bank account at the Post Office.
British Savings Bonds
In June 1972, grandma brought a form from the East Anglian Trustees Savings Bank concerning the purchase of British Savings Bonds. That same month, she went into Norwich to the East Anglian Trustees Savings Bank and bought £600 of British Savings Bonds.
Cashing and Buying Certificates and Bonds
In January 1973, grandma went into Norwich to have some savings certificates cashed. Grandad noted that they had bought them in 1968. In February 1973, grandma went to the TSB and bought a £250 certificate for her and one for the same value for grandad. Then, in March 1973, grandma cashed the £600 in British Bonds that they had bought in June 1972. In May 1973, grandma put a further £800 into British Bonds at an interest rate of 8½ per cent for five years. Grandad noted that 3% of interest would be tax-free and that they were invested from the next day.
Concerns About Saying They Had Received Money that They Had Not
In June 1973, grandad wrote to Nottingham redeeming their bonds which matured at the end of the month. He noted that he thought they could invest at a better interest rate. Also, he noted that they had to return the bonds saying that they have received the money. He commented “we did not like sending the bonds and saying we had received the money which we have NOT”.
Investing in Halifax
In July 1973, grandma went into Norwich and put £1,400 into the Halifax corporation at 9⅜ per cent while Nottingham were only offering 9⅛ per cent. That same month, grandad noted that they heard from Halifax that they had received the money and that “the mortgage deed will come later”. This came on 3 August 1973.
More Trips to the Bank
In October 1973, grandma went to the TSB to have the savings certificate entered in their book. Grandad noted that this was £1,000 plus £60 interest so a total of £1,060.
In March 1974, grandma went to the bank but grandad did not note why. That same month, grandma went to the TSB and bought £700 of savings certificates which grandad noted was £350 each.
A Policy with Britannic Assurance
In August 1970, grandma went to the Britannic “re her policy”. Initially, I read this as Britannia but having done some checking, I think it refers to Britannic Assurance who sold penny policies and who are now owned by Phoenix Life.
A Penny Policy
Initially, I was not entirely sure what this policy was but I think it it related to the penny policy that grandma had been paying (see Chapter 91). Grandad noted that the agent would call in a fortnight. In September 1970, the agent came and offered them a surrender value of £13 12 2. Grandad noted that they and grandma’s mother had paid in around £14 19 0. They accepted the offer which grandad considered fair.
I calculate that if they had been paying in one penny a week, they would have had to pay for 69 years to get this amount! That would mean the policy would have started in 1901. I guess that is just about possible. It must have started in 1937 or earlier as that is when grandma’s mother died.
Grandma and Grandad Helped Mum Financially
Grandma and grandad’s financial position meant that they were still sometimes able to help mum with money.
Helping with the Cost of the Trip to Oberammergau
For example, in July 1970, grandad noted that grandma went to the TSB and got a cheque for £148 and £40 in cash for her holiday in Oberammergau (see Chapter 106). He noted that they were giving mum £60 towards costs of that trip for herself and Tricia. That same month, grandma went into Norwich with mum and Robin Harrison. Grandad noted that both grandma and mum got travellers’ cheques for their trip from Barclays Bank but that Robin went to another bank.
Helping with the Cost of Central Heating at College Road
In September 1973, grandma went to the TSB in Norwich to collect a cheque for £187.80 which they were lending to mum for the purchase of the house in College Road (see Chapter 102). That same month, grandma called again at the TSB to draw saving certificate of £1,000 to pay for the installation of central heating at College Road. In October 1973, grandad noted that they lent mum £400 which was part payment on the College Road central heating. At the end of that month, grandma withdrew a further £330 which they lent to mum. Grandad noted that this made a total of £917.80. Mum paid this back in February 1974. This was paid by cheque and grandma paid this into the bank a few days later.
Grandma and Grandad Make Wills
In April 1974, grandad noted going with mum and grandma to Mills and Reeve about their wills.
Mills and Reeve
Mills and Reeve are a firm of solicitors that are still operating. Currently, they are based at 1 St James Court, Whitefriars, a new development close to the inner ring road.
According to the 1960 and 1967 Kelly’s Directories, they were based at 74 and 75 The Close with sessions in Kenninghall on Mondays and in Long Stratton on Tuesdays. 74 The Close is still home to a firm of solicitors, Leathes Prior who, in the 1960s, were based at 12 The Close.
In the 1970/1 and 1971/2 Kelly’s Tradefinders, the entry for Mills and Reeve noted that they had taken over Claude Stratford and Moore that had been based at 12 Castle Meadow and they now operated from 3-7 Redwell Street and 2 Upper King Street, which is now home to a bar/restaurant called Mr Postle’s Apothecary.
Among mum’s papers were a number of letters from Mills and Reeve from 1980 relating to the sale of grandma and grandad’s bungalow and grandma’s death. The letterhead for these shows they were still based at 3-7 Redwell Street. This is now called Francis House and is home to the Norwich University of the Arts. It looks like a fairly modern building but apparently it was built in 1958-59 for the Eastern Daily Press. To be honest, I have walked past that building quite often and never noticed it. I don’t think I ever knew the name of that piece of street!
Signing the Wills
On 10 May 1974, grandad noted that men came from Norwich for their signatures which I presumed related to their wills. This was confirmed when I found the probate copy of grandad’s will among mum’s papers and this was dated 10 May 1974. His signature was witnessed by a solicitor and clerk from Mills and Reeve, although I have not been able to decipher the names from the signatures!.
Grandad’s will gave mum £100 and everything else to grandma who was also named as his Executrix. Apparently, this is the feminine form of Executor although the term Executor is now commonly used for both men and women.
However, among mum’s papers was a handwritten note which related to details of money given to us children at the time grandma died. This states that grandad also gave us £100 each in his will and grandma gave us this money to put in our bank accounts. However, although the will contained provision for each of his grandchildren to receive £100 each, this was only the case if grandma predeceased him which she did not. She must have decided to give us the money anyway.
Grandad makes little if any reference to dad’s work during this period. In July 1970, he noted that grandma went to a Norwich Union gala. The same month the next year, he noted that grandma went with mum, dad, Tricia, Alan and Liz to a Norwich Union Garden Party. It appears that I did not go but I do not know why. Grandad recorded it as S R P A & E and I have assumed from the order that R refers to dad. The Garden Party was featured in a news article entitled “sun pays for Norwich Union”.
That same month, grandad noted that mum brought him 11 drawers that dad had been given by the Norwich Union. I have no idea what these were. I assume they were wooden and grandad wanted to use the wood.
Dad worked for the Norwich Union throughout that period. But, after he and mum split up, he moved to what I believe was the West End branch office in London. This would have been at the end of 1973 or the beginning of 1974. I believe he was in the same role as he held in Norwich, Assistant Branch Secretary, but in a larger office.