75. The Family Expands

Mum. Dad and Tricia

At the start of 1960, mum and dad had been married for three and a half years. They had one child, my sister Tricia (Patricia) who was around eighteen months old.  Mum was expecting her second child, due on May 30 1960.

My Birth

In fact, I was born on 4 June 1960 at the house where we lived at the time, 41 Diamond Avenue. Mum started having labour pains at 4.30am and I was born at 2pm. She was attended by Nurse Sheppard and Dr Rutter. Mum described the second stage as hard and noted that this was “no wonder” given that I weighed 10¼ lbs (4.64kg).

41 Diamond Avenue
Copy of my birth certificate from June 1960

Although dad went to work in the morning, he was present at the birth. This was not the case when Tricia was born in 1958. I don’t know if mum and dad had changed their views on this or if it was just that I was born in the afternoon and Tricia in the morning. In 1960, it was still unusual for a father to be present at his child’s birth but that has changed markedly over time.  

Mum noted bathing me a week later on the 11th presumably for the first time.

Preparations for My Birth

As was the case when Tricia was born, mum had made various preparations for my birth. For example, in February 1960, she noted buying some material to make clothes for me. It seems my parents already had a pram, from when Tricia was a baby. However, grandma went into Nottingham with Auntie Bertha and bought a new cover for this a few days after I was born. Also that month, mum bought Tricia a chair for the pram from Brays. In July 1960, mum bought me a cot. Then, in November 1960, mum bought me a blue eiderdown for the cot.

Mum with me aged 11 days old
Mum, me and Tricia soon after we moved to Norwich – August 1960
Me in May 1961
Photo of me in pram in January 1961
Me in pushchair in April 1961
Tricia and me in August 1960
Me, dad and Tricia in August 1960
Tricia and me in January 1961
Me in April 1961
Tricia and me in April 1961
Photo of Tricia and me
Tricia, mum and me in August 1960

Friends and Family Members Come to See the New Baby

Various friends and family members came to visit me after I had been born. These included Edna Bust; Mary and Derrick Leach; Hilary Newall, who lived next door but one to us in Diamond Avenue; John Smith; Cyril and Minnie; Basil, Hilda and Simon; Barbara and Ron Rowe; and Jack and Eileen Fawthrop. Mum referred to John Smith as Uncle Jack. He was the widower of Olive, grandad’s sister.

Trips Out

My first recorded trip out was on 15 June to Mansfield Meadows. This refers to Titchfield Park, see Chapter 44. The next day, we visited Derby Park. This refers to Markeaton Park, see Chapter 38.

Visits to Family and Friends

On 18 June 1960, when I was two weeks old, we went to grandma and grandad’s for the first time. As when Tricia was born, we also visited various friends and family members, presumably to allow them to see the new baby. These visits included Cyril and Minnie; Barbara and Ron Rowe; Auntie Bertha; Jim and Renie; Mary and Derrick; Marilyn and Dorothy.


During the early sixties, various people babysitted for us, including grandma and grandad; our next-door neighbours Mr and Mrs Keeble and their daughter Angela; Joyce Smith; Betty Colver; Mrs Thurston and Vera Frost.

Grandma with dad and me and mum and Tricia. I am not sure exactly where this is taken – perhaps Nottingham or by the river in Norwich? I am not sure when it was taken – around 1961 perhaps
Me, grandma and Tricia in Norwich in September 1960
Mum, me, grandma and Tricia in Norwich in September 1960
Grandad, me and Tricia in Norwich in September 1960
Easter Monday 1961 – the Rowes came to visit us and we made a visit to Sutton Bridge to see Ron’s sister Gladys
Back row – Gladys, Barbara, mum, Ron, me, dad
Front row – Sharon, Tricia
May 1961 – the Fawthrops came to visit
 Tricia, grandma, John, Jack, Susan (kneeling), Eileen, me
Photo taken in May 1961 – Tricia and me with Heather, Dorothy’s daughter on a visit to High Grantby
May 1961 – Eva, me, Carole, Tricia, Olive and grandma – visiting Harby
Visit to Harby in May 1961: Olive and Alf Holland
Visit to Harby in May 1961: Carole Holland


Arrangements were made for my christening on 10 July 1960 at 4.15pm with Mary and Derrick Leach acting as my godparents. However, this was cancelled as mum was unwell with a breast infection and high temperature.

Nevertheless, on 8 October 1960, mum bought me a christening “dress”. I was christened on 30 October 1960 at Trinity Methodist Church in Kirkby in Ashfield. This was noted in grandad’s diary and on my baptism certificate. However, at this time, the Bourne chapel and the chapel in Diamond Avenue were operating together as Trinity Methodist Church. According to mum’s papers, I was baptised at Bourne. This is confirmed by my baby book which says I was baptised at Trinity Methodist Church in Lowmoor Road (not Diamond Avenue).

I was christened by Rev Derrick Leach and, apparently I “cried all the while Derrick had him but was good when Mary & I had him”. After my christening, some relatives came for tea, including Auntie Bertha, Jim and Renie.

My certificate of baptism from October 1960

Christening Gift

Among mum’s papers was a pocket New Testament. This was a christening gift from Mary and Derrick Leach to me. However, it appears that they gave it to me some time after the christening as it is dated 1 January 1961. This corresponds to our second visit back to Kirkby after we moved to Norwich. The earlier visit in October 1960, when I was christened, was our first, see Chapter 81.

New Testament given to me by Mary and Derrick Leach for my christening showing front cover (above) and inside pages (below)

The Adventurous Duckling

Among mum’s papers, I found quite a battered copy of a book called “The Adventurous Duckling”. It is clearly a children’s book. Also, from the torn pages and scribble, it seems that it was much read! However, I don’t recall it so it is possible it belonged to one of my siblings. Mum clearly kept it and there have been some attempts to repair torn pages.

I tried to find out more about the book. It seems it was printed in Germany and that the text was written by Ludmilla Herzenstein with illustrations by Ingeborg Meyer-Rey. From the little I have found out online, it was published in 1950 or 1957 and is widely available in German as “Das Neugierige Entlein”. However, I struggled to find another English version.

Front (above) and back cover (below) of the book “The Adventurous Duckling” which was among mum’s papers when she died
Various German editions of the book “The Adventurous Duckling”. The large one (above left) is from 2005 while the most modern one (top right) is from 2011. The oldest (above right) is dated 1955. All have hard covers unlike the English version
Clean English version of the book “The Adventurous Duckling”. I found a very battered copy among mum’s papers


Mum had baby books for all of us – but I passed the ones for my siblings to them or their families when mum died.

Front page of my baby book
Inside page of my baby book showing it was a gift from Cyril and Minnie
Extract from my baby book showing when I got teeth
Me in December 1960

First Smile

Mum noted that I first smiled at her on 9 July when I was just over one month old.

Holding a Rattle

I held my rattle for the first time on 18 August 1960 when I was just over two months old.

Big Bath

On 28 August, mum noted that she bathed me in the “big bath”.

Getting Teeth

On 18 November 1960, mum noted that I had got my first tooth and, on the 21st, my second.

Sleeping Through the Night

I first slept through the night on 3 December 1960, just before I was six months old.


I waved “tata” to dad when he left for choir practice on 27 January 1961.

The Seaside

In March 1961, mum noted that we went to Cromer as a family and that “P really enjoyed herself so did Roger”. There were other similar trips, e.g. to Sheringham and Cromer in June 1961 and to Lowestoft in July 1961, and mum noted that I “really enjoyed the water”.

At the beach called California (see Chapter 81) in July 1960 showing grandma, Tricia, mum and me
Happisburgh in August 1960 showing grandad, Tricia, me and grandma
Sheringham in May 1961 – Tricia and me
Sheringham in May 1961 – me, grandma, Tricia, Minnie, Eva
Yarmouth in June 1961 – Renie, me and Tricia
 Sheringham in June 1961 – me, dad and Tricia
Tricia, mum, me and dad at the seaside
Burying Tricia in the sand
Me in Sheringham in June 1961

Paddling Pool

In May 1961, mum and dad bought us a paddling pool. This was for our joint birthdays, I think. Mum noted that I really enjoyed going in that.

Me and Tricia in the paddling pool in May 1961
Grandma, me, Tricia and mum with paddling pool circa 1961
Alan, Tricia and me in paddling pool circa 1963
Me coming out of paddling pool circa 1961

Standing Up

At the end of May 1961, just before I turned one, mum noted that I stood up in my cot.

First Words

On 19 June 1961, I apparently pointed at a dog and said “Wo Wo”.


By that point, I appear to have been doing some walking as, on the 22nd, we went to Mousehold Heath and mum noted I walked a long way holding hands with her and dad. Mum noted that I stood up by myself for the first time on 28 July 1961. By October 1961, mum noted that “Roger walking quite nicely now”.

Potty Training

In January 1962, I used the potty for the first time!

No More Naps

In March 1962, in an attempt to stop me waking so early, mum stopped giving me a morning sleep.


Initially, I was breast fed. However, mum supplemented my feeds when she had the breast infection. At the end of August 1960, that is just before I turned three months old, mum noted that she fed me some “Robsoup”. That same year, by November 1960, I was having jam sandwiches for my tea and was eating them in the car seat chair. At this time, I was also eating Heinz Junior Foods. Mum stopped breastfeeding me when I was six months old.

US advert for Heinz Junior foods © Don O’Brien and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

My First Birthday

For my first birthday, grandma and grandad bought me a walking frame. Mum noted that I received 28 cards and lots of presents. We spent the day in Kirkby but returned to Norwich that evening. Just after my birthday, mum bought a “special spoon” with my birthday money. I am not exactly sure what this was.

I think this is the walking frame I got for my first birthday. However, I am not sure as this photo is dated May 1961.

Family Planning

I don’t know whether mum and dad used any family planning methods after I was born, or at any time. I don’t think it is the sort of thing mum would have discussed openly even in her diaries. However, there was one relevant entry, in September 1960, mum noted going into Norwich and buying a diaphragm for 12/6 and cream for six shillings. I am not sure if she used this or, if so, for how long.

Pregnant Again

Anyway, in October 1961, mum discovered that she was pregnant again. In March 1962, mum bought a mattress for the pram and carry cot.

My Brother Alan is Born

Mum had labour pains all day on 12 June 1962. My brother, Alan, was born at 1am on the 13th.  Mum was attended by Nurse Brown and Dr English although mum noted that the doctor didn’t do anything! Mum noted that she got on better than before as she knew what was happening and why. As when I was born, dad was there for the birth. Alan weighed 9¾ lbs (4.23kg).

Dad with Alan, me and Tricia in Eaton Park
Dad with Alan, me and Tricia in our garden in Hellesdon
Tricia, mum, Alan, dad and me in May 1963

Friends and Family Members Visit

Various friends and family members came to visit Alan after he was born. These included our next-door neighbours, Mr and Mrs Keeble, their daughter Angela and their French au pair, Sylvie. Other visitors included Betty Colver.

Trips Out

Alan’s first recorded trip out was to Lowestoft on 23 June when he was ten days old.

Alan, me and Tricia at the beach. I am not sure where or when but circa 1963

Visiting Friends and Relatives

Alan was taken to see various friends and relatives, particularly on a trip to Kirkby at the beginning of August 1962. People visited included Mary and Derrick Leach; Jim and Renie; Barbara and Ron Rowe; and Auntie Bertha.

Me with Alan, grandma and Tricia. I am not sure where this photograph is taken or precisely when but presumably sometime in 1962
Me with Tricia and Alan. I think this night be in grandma and grandad’s garden in Drayton. I am not sure of the date but circa 1964

First Smile

Mum noted that Alan first smiled at her on 15 July 1962 when he was just over one month old.

Enjoying Fireworks

In November 1962, mum noted that we had some fireworks and that Alan enjoyed them.


I am not entirely sure how mum was feeding Alan but I think she was breastfeeding. At the end of July 1962, she saw Dr Rutter about feeding Alan, presumably because of concerns over breastfeeding, but she decided to carry on as he seemed more settled. However, in early August, because of concerns over weight gain, Dr Rutter advised mum to gradually switch him over to bottle feeding. By early August, so when Alan was less than two months old, he was already being given some solids, including Farex and Robsoup.


Farex now seems to be a rice-based cereal. The listed ingredients are Ground Rice (97%), Sunflower Oil, Vitamin C, Antioxidant (Herb Extract), Mineral (Iron), Traces of Milk, Wheat and Soy. But, according to the “Farex Guide to Weaning” from 1952, it was a mix of wheat, oat and rye flour.

Farex “Guide to Weaning” 1952

Alan’s Christening

Alan was christened in Kirkby on 5 August 1962 at Trinity Methodist Church. I am not sure if this was at Bourne chapel or at Diamond Avenue. At this point, the churches had merged under the name of Trinity but both buildings were used for a while. However, at this point, Bourne had been closed for some time so it seems more likely that Alan was baptised in the Diamond Avenue chapel. However, there is a note among mum’s papers which states that Tricia, Alan and I were all baptised at Bourne by Derrick Leach. But, this is not completely the case as Tricia was baptised by Rev Howells before Derrick Leach was a Minister in Kirkby.

As in my case, Rev Derrick Leach officiated at Alan’s christening and Derrick and Mary were his godparents too.

Formal Photos

Mum had formal photos taken of the three of us at the beginning of December 1963 when Alan was eighteen months old. On this occasion, they had to be re-taken twice!

It appears we might have had formal photos taken in November/December each year. This photo is of Tricia and me in December 1961 – taken in Hucknall where mum was photographed aged 15 months
Me and Tricia in November 1962
Tricia, me and Alan in December 1963

Pregnant Again?

Right at the end of this period, in December 1964, mum thought she was pregnant again. However, it is not clear this was welcome news as two days before Christmas she wrote “felt depressed all day about having another baby”. On Christmas Eve, she saw Dr English. She noted “only 5 weeks but wonder about the tablets I am taking they are OK he thinks. Felt better.” It does not seem that she told anyone about the pregnancy. On 29 December, she noted that she tried to tell grandma but she did not as she felt it was not the right time.