46. The Parkins Move House

The Diaries in the Early 1950s

Both mum and grandad kept diaries for this period. However, the books they used differed greatly. Grandad used the same “John White Footwear” diary each year although the one for 1953 was marked on the front “1953 Coronation Year”. Presumably, he was given these diaries as a form of product promotion each year. By way of contrast, mum used a different type of diary most years. In 1950, she used an Enid Blyton diary that appears to have been a gift from Marilyn. For both 1951 and 52, she used an Heiress Diary. “Heiress” was the name of a magazine from 1951 to 1956 (see Chapter 51). In 1953, she had a Film Star Diary and, in 1954, The International Film Diary.

Mum’s (back) and grandad’s diaries (front) 1950-1954

A Time of Transition

For mum, this was a time of transition. She left school in 1950 and worked in various roles during this period. She first mentions dad in October 1952 and, by September 1954, they were engaged.

Moving to 96 Welbeck Street

In September 1951, the Parkin family moved from the back of the shop in Station Street to the property at 96 Welbeck Street. Grandma’s parents had lived there previously (see Chapter 24). The family called it “Elstow”. It consisted of a semi-detached house. Annie Holmes, a family friend, owned the attached house (No. 98). Her husband, Tom, had worked on the railways with grandma’s father. He died suddenly in the garden in April 1943 (see Chapter 29).

96 and 98 Welbeck Street
96 Welbeck Street
Welbeck Street circa 1951 – this road was opened up in June 1952 and tarmacked in January 1953
Gardens in preparation at 96 Welbeck Street
Grandad’s “cabin” which included a coalhouse and a workshop

What Led to the Parkins Moving in 1951?

I don’t know why the Parkins did not move into this house earlier after grandma’s parents died in the 1930s (see Chapter 23). However, it seems that other people may have been living there including a Mr Smith. While I initially thought he may have been a Methodist Minister, the 1939 Register records him as a colliery undermanager.

Anyway, in July 1951, mum noted that Mr Smith had bought a bungalow which meant that the Parkins would be moving to Welbeck Street that year. Grandad noted similar saying that Mr Smith had visited him in the shop to tell him that he had bought a bungalow in Trusthorpe (see box) and they would be leaving the house in Welbeck Street. Mr Smith asked grandad if he needed written notice from him. Grandad replied that his word was good enough. The Smiths moved out of 96 Welbeck Street on 22 August 1951.

Sadly, in February 1953, the Smiths’ bungalow in Trusthorpe was badly flooded and they “had to leave everything”.

Preparing to Move

There were intensive preparations for the Parkins to move. These started as soon as the Smiths announced they were leaving. New purchases included a bath, carpets and curtains, an electric cooker, a sink, a lavatory and a bedroom suite. Once the property was empty, there was a flurry of cleaning, whitewashing, laying carpets and lino etc. It appears that the property may not have had electricity at this point as grandad noted hiring Meggitt (see Chapter 53) of Mansfield to put electricity in.

The Move

The Parkins moved into the house on 25 September 1951 when mum had just turned 17.

After the Move

In January 1952, around four months after they moved, the back boiler burst in the kitchen. As a result, they had to have a new boiler fitted. They also bought various items for the house once they were living. These included a thermometer for the bathroom. In April 1952, they had the bathroom painted and, in March 1953, they had  a telephone installed although it took a few days before it was working. In April 1953, they had the houses painted.

96 Welbeck Street today – I am grateful to the current owner, Timothy Curtis, for this photograph.

Other Moves

Arthur and Irene Hill

The Parkins were not the only ones who moved house during this period. In January 1950, their friends Arthur and Irene Hill moved to a house in Annesley Woodhouse. Grandma helped them with jobs at the new house. Soon after they moved, grandad cycled there to see the new house. In early February, mum and grandma went there for tea. However, just over a year later, mum noted that Mrs Hill (and her son David) had moved to 98 Kingsway (see box). She does not mention Mr Hill so it is unclear if the whole family had moved.

Edith Searson noted in her book(let) “I Remember” that Kingsway was so named after the reigning monarch King George V visited. It had previously been called “Cemetery Road” and it was known informally as the “Monkey Run”. Mark Ashfield has a chapter by that title in his book “Ferrets, a Tin Whistle and Haircuts at Home” (from p10.)

Jack and Phyllis Attwood

Also in January 1950, other friends, Jack and Phyllis Attwood bought a bungalow in Beulah Road for £1,850. This would be around £44,000 today. Grandad lent them £100 to pay off their mortgage. This would be around £2,400 today. A few days later, grandad noted that he received the money back when Jack sold his bungalow. Phyllis got the keys ready to move in at the end of February 1950.

Grandad the Landlord

During this period, grandad continued to own other properties which he rented out. On occasions, mum collected the rents.

Grandad the Tenant

It seems he was also renting the Station Street shop and living accommodation from Cliff Green. In February 1953, Cliff Green agreed that they could sub-let the house if they paid another three shillings per week. The new rent was fixed at £78 per year. In April 1953, Ken and Pearl Hodges (nee Marshall) came to live at the back of the shop. They had been married for just over eighteen months.