Both mum and grandad recorded some details of family birthdays during this period including cakes made, cards and presents received and parties held and attended.
In May 1960, mum noted making a cake for dad’s birthday.
Mum in 1960
In 1960, for her birthday, mum noted that she got four plates towards a tea service from dad, Tricia and me, and £50 towards a new van from grandma and grandad.
Tricia and Me in May 1961
The following year, in May 1961, Tricia and I received a joint, and in my case early, birthday present from mum and dad of a paddling pool.
Mum in 1961
In September 1961, Tricia and I bought mum a pair of “slacks” for her birthday. I recall mum referring to women’s trousers as slacks at a time when it was still uncommon for women to wear trousers except perhaps in very casual settings. In her diary, mum noted that the slacks Tricia and I gave her were the wrong size and she had to change them! For the same birthday, dad got her a kitchen cabinet. In fact, dad promised this to mum for her birthday. She bought it later in September from Curls for £25 4s, see Chapter 93.
Me and Tricia in 1962
In 1962, Tricia and I both got bikes for our birthdays and I again got my present early on Tricia’s birthday.
Mum in 1962
That year, for her birthday, mum received a bean slicer, photo album and cake from dad, Tricia, me and Alan.
Grandad in 1962
Grandad noted that, in 1962, he turned 65 and that this made him an old age pensioner.
Tricia in 1963
In 1963, for her fifth birthday, grandma and grandad bought Tricia a watch.
Mum in 1963
That year, for her birthday, mum received chocolates from Tricia, me and Alan, a food mixer from dad, and a spade and fork from grandma and grandad.
Mum in 1964
In 1964, grandma and grandad gave mum a high-speed kettle for her birthday.
Some more details of presents are given in Chapter 84.
Family Birthday Parties
Auntie Bertha’ Birthday Parties in 1960 and 1962
In November 1960, grandma went to Auntie Bertha’s for a small birthday party. She was born in 1883, see Chapter 16, so for this birthday would have been 77. Grandad also noted that grandma went there in 1962 for Auntie Bertha’s 79th birthday.
Eva’s Birthday Party 1963
On 20 September 1962, grandma and grandad had a party for Eva’s 67th birthday with 12-14 guests.
Grandma’s Birthday Party 1963
When we were in Kirkby, in June 1963, we had a small party for grandma’s birthday which had been on 8 May.
Minnie’s Birthday Party 1963
In August 1963, grandma and grandad had a party for Minnie’s 70th birthday.
Grandma and Grandad’s Birthdays in 1964
In May 1964, we went to a small birthday party for grandma and, in December, we went to a birthday tea for grandad.
In July 1963, mum noted attending the Keebles’ silver wedding celebrations. In March 1960, grandma and grandad celebrated their pearl wedding anniversary. Mum, dad and Tricia bought then a pair of adjustable nutcrackers, see Chapter 84.
Tricia’s Birthday Party 1961
In 1961, Tricia had a party on her birthday with Barbara and Timmy Sell, Rosemary and Jonathan Howlett, Betty and Mark Colver, Joyce, Janette and Lesley Smith, Stephanie and Angela Keeble. I am not entirely sure who Stephanie was. Perhaps a French au pair working for the Keebles?
Tricia’s Birthday Party 1962
In 1962, Tricia had a party on her birthday with Rosemary, Jonathan and Joanne Howlett, Joyce, Janette and Lesley Smith, Timmy Sell, Angela Keeble and Sylvie.
My Birthday Party 1962
That year, there was also a party on my birthday and that was attended by Betty and Mark Colver, Vera, Kevin, Ian and Martin Frost and Angela Keeble.
My Birthday Party 1963 in Kirkby
In 1963, I was in Kirkby for my birthday and we had a party with Mary, Derrick and Kathryn Leach and Barbara and Sharon Rowe.
Joint Birthday Party for Me and Alan in 1963
On the 13th, when we were home, we had a joint party for me and Alan with Janet, John and Suzanne Blyth, Rosemary, Joanne and Jonathan Howlett, Rose, Patricia and Stuart Scales, Janet and Christopher Wright, Betty and Mark Colver and Angela Keeble.
Tricia’s Birthday Party 1963
For some reason, Tricia’s party in 1963 was not held until 6 July. I suspect this was because of the operation on her foot which she had on 10 June, see Chapter 78. She had been due to have the surgery in May but it was delayed because of fears she would contract measles which she did. People who attended included Vera, Kevin, Ian and Martin Frost, Anne, Lesley and Nigel Roberts, Carol, Karen Wilson, Lesley Smith, Kim, Mark Colver and Angela Keeble. I am not sure who Carol and Kim were. Perhaps they were friends from school. Karen Wilson went to St Christopher’s School with Tricia. Karen’s father Paul may have worked with dad at the Norwich Union and may also have been involved with Mile Cross.
Other Children’s Birthday Parties
We also started to attend birthday parties for other children during this period, including for Mark Colver, Ian, Kevin and Martin Frost, Jonathan Howlett, Ann Masterman, Nigel Roberts, Patricia Scales, Timothy Sell, Janette and Lesley Smith, Helen Wightman and Karen Wilson. I know who most of these people were with the exception of Ann Masterman and Helen Wightman.
Party at Bowthorpe Hall
In March 1963, Tricia attended a party at Bowthorpe Hall. This 17th century house was leased to the RAF during the second world war and, from 1966, it was used by the Bell School of Languages. It appears that it has been sold off for office and residential purposes. In 1951, it seems it was being used as a guest house.
Rosemary and Peter Howlett’s Housewarming Party
In October 1963, mum and dad attended a housewarming party held by Rosemary and Peter Howlett.
Parties at Hellesdon Community Centre and Playgroup Parties
In December 1963, I attended a party at Hellesdon Community Centre and, in December 1964, I attended the playgroup party.
Wedding Anniversaries, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
Mum also noted their wedding anniversary and started recording activities for Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day. On occasions, mum refers to “Mother’s Day” as Mothering Sunday and, at times, I recall her being quite forthright in wanting it referred to as this. However, in her diaries for this period, she refers to it in both ways which I found a bit surprising.
Father’s Day 1960
In June 1960, mum noted that she had not yet bought a present for dad for Father’s Day but she had promised him a cup and saucer, see Chapter 84.
Mother’s Day 1960
For example, for Mother’s Day in 1960, Tricia gave mum flowers and dad gave her the record “My Old Man’s a Dustman” by Lonnie Donegan.
Mother’s Day 1961
In 1961, Tricia gave mum the record “Lively” also by Lonnie Donegan and I gave her “Living Doll” by Cliff Richard. I don’t think mum was a particularly big Cliff Richard fan but presumably she liked this record at that time.
Mother’s Day 1963
In 1963, mum noted receiving three pounds of chocolates.
We also used to always have some fireworks in the garden for 5 November. On 3 November 1962, mum and dad took me and Tricia to buy fireworks. In 1963, mum noted that the Keebles also had a big bonfire.
I recall that, as children, we celebrated 5 November (Bonfire Night) in our back garden with dad setting off a few fireworks. There were some safety concerns at the time and I recall there being a lot of discussion about what to do if a lit firework did not go off! I recall loving those nights. My first recollections of organised firework displays were only when Tricia was at secondary school so much later.
Christmas Celebrations 1960-1964
For three of the Christmases during this period, we were living in Norwich and grandma and grandad were still living in Kirkby. For the first two of these, 1960 and 1961, we went to them for Christmas but, in 1962, they spent Christmas with us. From 1963, we celebrated Christmas in Norwich, at ours in 1963 and at grandma and grandad’s in 1964. Auntie Dolly came both years.
Christmas 1960 and 1961
In 1960, mum noted that she had done some, but not all, of her Christmas shopping by 26 November. That year, Christmas Day fell on a Sunday, so this meant having Christmas dinner on Boxing Day. We still had presents on Christmas Day and mum noted that Tricia was very excited. Mum also noted that dad gave her the game Flutter and two records in 1960 and, in 1961, No. 7 make up, a brand that was launched by Boots.
On 10 November 1962, mum took Tricia and me to see Father Christmas. In 1962, Tricia and I got a chair and a seesaw for Christmas. Mum received a bag and gloves, a chip cutter and a milk carrier.
New Year Party 1962
Mum and dad also had a 1962 New Year party for their friends including Barbara and Dennis Sell, Rosemary and Peter Howlett, Janet and Tony Blyth, Margaret and John White, Micky, Janquil and John. In some cases, I am not sure of surnames, e.g. Micky, Janquil and John. This party was held on 5 January 1963. It may have been related to the end of the Mile Cross pantomime, see Chapter 79.
In 1963, mum noted doing some of her Christmas shopping on 12 November. For Christmas in 1963, Tricia and I got a train set. Mum received a liquidiser and a five-year diary, see Chapter 74.
Of course, I also have strong memories of family Christmases. I recall these being at ours with grandma and grandad and Auntie Dolly coming to our house for some of the time. I am not sure when the preparations started but there were lots of them! Mum always sent lots of Christmas cards and I helped her with these in later years when she was no longer able to manage.
Mum was adamant that Christmas should be referred to in full and woe betide you if you referred to “Xmas”. She also was inflexible in that all Christmas decorations needed to come down on 6 January. While we had a Christmas tree and decorated the rooms inside the house, I do not recall the number of outside lights that you see these days.
On Christmas morning, our presents would be in the front room that was only used for special occasions. We could only go in when everyone was up and had had breakfast. Dad would not get out of bed until we were all downstairs! I recall that opening the front room door was very exciting. Our presents were in pillowcases. We all opened our presents at the same time but we had to record who sent us what so we could write thank-you letters later. When we were young, mum and dad wrote those lists and the letters, but as we got older we had to do it ourselves.
Visiting Grandma and Grandad
In the early part of 1960, both families still lived in Kirkby. These families were grandma and grandad and mum, dad and Tricia, prior to June 1960, when I was born. Mum, dad and Tricia frequently went to grandma and grandad’s including for tea. Sometimes others went with them including Mary and Derrick Leach, Barbara and Sharon Rowe, and Kath and Anne Evans.
In May 1960, grandad noted that grandma, mum and Tricia had their tea on the lawn but a few spots of rain fell and they came into the house in a hurry.
Our first visit there after I was born was on 18 June 1960, when I was two weeks old.
Grandma and Grandad Had Other People Round
Grandma and grandad often had other people round, including for meals. Such people included Eva, Olive, Alf and Carole; Auntie Bertha; Jim, Renie and their friend Vera; and Kath, Lynne and Anne Evans.
Grandma Sometimes Came to Ours for Tea
Sometimes grandma came for tea to mum and dad’s.
Friends Visited Mum and Dad
Friends sometimes came to mum and dad’s.
Mary and Derrick Leach
Mary and Derrick Leach, who had become firm friends, visited frequently. They were my godparents and, according to a will dad drew up in August 1961, they were to be the executors of the will if mum had predeceased him and they were also appointed as our guardians in that event. Mum noted that they had discussed wills with Mary and Derrick in June 1961. Mary and Derrick came on 12 July 1960 to say “cheerio” as they were going on holiday the next day.
Visits to Other Family and Friends
Visits were also made by grandma and mum, in particular, to other friends and family members including Auntie Bertha and Jim and Renie in Mansfield, Cyril and Minnie in Ilkeston, Edna Bust in Heanor, Kath and grandma Drew.
People Came to Stay
During that time, various people also came to stay with grandma and grandad including Auntie Bertha, Eva and Carole and Renie.
Days out from Kirkby
Family members made a number of day trips from Kirkby during this period, including to Clumber Park, Derby Park, Edwinstowe and Mansfield Meadows..
For example, grandma, mum, dad, Tricia, Eva and Carole went there in April 1960, see Chapter 66.
I believe this is referring to Markeaton Park, see Chapter 38. For example, grandma, mum, dad, Tricia and I went there on 16 June 1960 when I was less than two weeks old.
I believe this is referring to Titchfield Park, see Chapter 44. Grandad referred to this as Mansfield Meadows and mum as Mansfield Park. For example, grandma, mum, dad, Tricia and I went here on 15 June 1960, my first recorded trip out.
Trips Between Norwich and Kirkby
After we moved to Norwich in July 1960 and before grandma and grandad re-located there in October 1963, we made frequent trips back to Kirkby and they often visited Norwich.
Grandma and Grandad’s First Visit to Us in Norwich
Grandma and grandad first came to visit us in Norwich a few days after we had moved and we used that visit (and their car!) to explore parts of the Norfolk coast.
California is a beach just north of Yarmouth. We went there on 29 July 1960. Mum noted that the sea and sand were nice but that it was not too nice on the cliff top. She also noted that Tricia loved the sea and sand.
We went to Happisburgh on 1 August 1960 and grandad noted that “Happisburgh is pronounced HAZEBOROUGH”. Mum noted that Tricia enjoyed the sea and sands.
We went to Yarmouth on 2 August 1960. Mum noted there was a lot of shingle.
We went to Cromer on 3 August 1960. Mum noted that they liked the sea and the sands. She also noted that there had been no shingle at the centre but they had been told there was some to the north and south.
Grandma and Grandad Visited Us Again in September 1960
Grandma and grandad’s next trip, in September 1960, was mainly focused on helping us move to our new house in Hellesdon, see Chapter 76.
We Visited Kirkby in October 1960
At the end of October 1960, grandma picked us up from Norwich and took us for our first trip back to Kirkby since we had moved. On that trip, I was christened, see Chapter 75. We caught up with family members, including Jim, Renie, Auntie Bertha, Cyril and Minnie, Denis and Margaret Randall, Olive, Eva, Carole and Lynne, and with friends, including Mary and Derrick Leach, Ron and Barbara Rowe, Arthur and Irene Hill, Phyllis Attwood, Edna Bust, Irene and Arthur Cross, Shirley Sadler and Les Vryenhoef. Also, we bought a new van, see Chapter 80.
We Visited Kirkby Again for Christmas 1960
Our second and final trip back to Kirkby in 1960 was for Christmas and New Year. During that trip back, in addition to some of the people we had seen on the first trip, we saw David Hill, Mrs Kemp. Anne Evans, grandma and grandad Drew, and Ken and Margaret Roome.
Grandma and Grandad Visited Us in February 1961
In 1961, grandma and grandad visited in February when mum was unwell with flu but unfortunately, though unsurprisingly, they both became unwell and grandma, in particular, needed several weeks to recover, see Chapter 78.
We Visited Kirby in March 1961
In March 1961, we visited Kirkby for the weekend. On that trip, we saw Basil, Hilda and Simon Parkin.
We Also Visited Kirkby in April 1961
We also went to Kirkby for the Sunday School Anniversary at the end of April 1961, see Chapter 79.
Grandma, Minnie and Eva Visited Is in May 1961
Following that visit, grandma, Minnie and Eva came to visit us in Norwich. During that trip, we took them to visit various places including Mousehold Heath and Sheringham. During that visit, the Fawthrops came to visit us, see Chapter 75.
We Went to Kirkby for Whit in 1961
Following this trip, we made another trip to Kirkby over the Whit holidays. During this visit we also saw Marion Slater. On the Monday, after the procession, dad went back to Norwich but he returned on Friday 26 May. In addition to the procession, mum went on a chapel trip to Epworth and we also went on the Sunday School outing to Markeaton Park, see Chapter 38.
Visiting Alf, Olive and Carole Holland
On the 25th, we went to Harby to take Eva and to see Alf, Olive and Carole.
Visiting Marilyn and Dorothy
From the 29th, we made an overnight trip to Driffield to see Marilyn and we then went on to High Grantley near Ripon to see Dorothy. According to mum’s diary, the last address she had for Dorothy was Old Holme Farm, Eavestone, Sawley, Ripon, Yorks. This turns out to now be Old Home Farm between Grantley and Sawley. Mum spelled Holme with an “l” but it is now spelled “home”. This now operates both as a farm and as bed and breakfast called St George’s Court. The owners, Lindsey and Will Hitchen, advise that the original house now sits in the middle of their house. There were barns added around the house and these now provide bed and breakfast accommodation. They also kindly provided the aerial photograph from 1979.
Meal Out With Mary and Derrick
On returning to Kirkby, mum noted taking Mary and Derrick for a meal at Grange Farm, see Chapter 66.
Grandma and Grandad Visited Us in July 1961
Grandma and grandad’s next visit to Norwich was in July 1961. During that trip we went to Horning to see the boats. This was also the first time we went to Walcott, which became our favourite place for going to the beach.
Views on Yarmouth and Other Seaside Places
Yarmouth was and is the best-known resort in Norfolk. As such, it was the place family and friends wanted to visit. However, mum and dad were somewhat disdainful about it referring to it as “fish and chip alley”. They preferred Cromer (although mum reckoned that went downhill over time!) or Lowestoft. But they particularly like Walcott and we went there often.
Many of our visitors would go to Yarmouth either with us or by themselves, e.g. grandma and grandad Drew; Doris, Rita and the two boys; and Tom, Edna and Sylvia Bust. Carole and Tony visited Yarmouth five times while they were staying with grandma and grandad but they did also go to Cromer, Gorleston, Lowestoft and Sheringham.
Mum and Dad Went to Shirley Sadler’s Wedding
While grandma and grandad were with us, mum and dad took the opportunity to go to Kirkby for the weekend, mainly for Shirley Sadler’s wedding in Nottingham, see Chapter 77.
An Unscheduled Trip to Hastings
While they were there, mum received the news that grandma’ brother Bert had died in Hastings and, on returning to Norwich, she and grandma went there for the funeral, see Chapter 78.
Grandma and Grandad Stayed a Further Week
Following this, grandma and grandad stayed a further week and they visited many places including Norwich cathedral and castle, Wroxham (including Wroxham Broad), Lowestoft, Sheringham and Cromer.
Grandma Visited Us Again in August 1961
Grandma came again in August 1961. During this visit, we were decorating, so grandma was mainly involved in that, although we did manage one trip to Walcott.
Grandma and Grandad Visited Us with Doris in September 1961
At the end of September 1961, both grandma and grandad came with Doris, Bert’s widow. They took Doris to various places in Norfolk including Caister, Cromer and Gorleston.
Grandma Came on a Ladies’ Trip in October 1961
Grandma came by herself in October 1961 for the day with a group of ladies from chapel who were visiting the Colman’s factory in Norwich, see Chapter 79.
We Visited Kirkby at the End of October 1961
At the end of October 1961, we went to Kirkby for another visit. We visited similar friends and family as on other trips. This was the trip where dad went with the men’s fireside to Metal Box, see Chapter 79.
We Went to Kirkby for Christmas in 1961
We went again for Christmas that year. That year, mum and dad had to go home to deal with a frozen pipe and flood. They came back to collect Tricia and me on New Year’s Day.
We Visited Kirkby Again in February 1962
In February 1962, we visited Kirkby for the weekend and this coincided with the performance of the Trinity pantomime, “Beauty and the Beast”, see Chapter 79.
Grandma, Auntie Bertha, Jim and Renie Visited Us for a Day in June 1962 After Alan Was Born
There was then something of a gap until grandma came for the day on 20 June 1962, a week after Alan had been born. Auntie Bertha, Jim and Renie came with her.
A Week Later, Grandma and Grandad Came for a Longer Visit
Just over a week later, grandma returned for a longer visit with grandad. During this visit, grandad did a lot of odd jobs but there were also some trips out to Eaton Park, Drayton Park and Yarmouth. I am not sure entirely what is meant by Drayton Park. I wonder if this refers to the playingfields opposite where grandma and grandad later lived or if it refers to somewhere else.
We Visited Kirkby in August 1962
In August 1962, we went to Kirkby and Alan was christened there.
Grandma and Grandad Also Visited in August 1962
At the end of August 1962, grandma and grandad came to visit again and stayed at our house while we went on holiday to Lowestoft. They visited us in Lowestoft and we also went together to Eaton Park once we were back.
We Visited Kirkby in November 1962
We visited Kirkby again for a weekend in November 1962. During that visit, mum visited Hazel Ward (nee Munns) and her baby Christopher, who had been born on 12 October.
Grandma and Grandad Came to Us for Christmas in 1962
In 1962, grandma and grandad came to us for Christmas.
Grandma and Grandad Visited Us in March 1963 for Easter
At the end of March 1963, grandma and grandad came to ours again for almost three weeks, including over Easter. Grandad did a lot of odd jobs including helping with putting a fence up between ours and the Keebles and, on Good Friday, knocking down a shed. There was little time for trips out although there is a note of visiting Chapelfield Gardens on Sunday 7 April.
Grandma and Grandad Visited Us in May 1963
Grandma and grandad came again for a few days in May 1963 over Tricia’s birthday.
We Went to Kirkby for Whit in May 1963
We went to Kirkby for Whit at the end of May 1963. In addition to seeing people we had seen on previous trips, Richard Parkin and Mrs Leeson came to see the procession.
Note on the Group Photo
In mum’s album, this is just labelled as having been taken in grandma and grandad’s garden in Kirkby. However, I believe this is Whit Monday 1963 on the basis of having all the people in the photo in the same place. In addition, Tricia appears to be wearing the same dress and cardigan that she wore in the procession, see Chapter 79.
Mum has labelled this photo saying that the two other children are Carole’s children, Eva’s grandchildren. However, this is not the case as Stephen Anthony was only born in 1967 and Alison Jane in 1969 making her 11 years younger than Tricia. If my dates are right, I think the boy is probably Richard Parkin. He was there that day and was around eight years older than Tricia. I do not know who the girl is but suspect she was probably in the Sunday School procession with Tricia. One possibility is Sharon Rowe who was around 18 months older than Tricia. Mum has Auntie Bertha’s friend labelled as Mrs Merry but, if my dates are correct, it is more likely to be Mrs Leeson.
Visiting Grange Farm and Trent Bridge
As they had at Whit 1962, mum and dad went with Mary and Derrick for a meal at Grange Farm on 5 June 1963. On 6 June 1963, dad took Tricia and me to Trent Bridge in Nottingham on the train. We met mum there and came back in the car.
A Visitor from Canada
A particularly noteworthy visitor during this period, in July 1961, was Annie Parkin, grandad’s sister-in-law from Canada who came with her brother. Initially, I struggled to read his name and thought it looked like “Eath”. I think it probably reads “Eaph” as a shorthand for Ephraim. A week after she visited, grandma and grandad took her to Cyril and Minnie’s in Ilkeston and then on to Eva’s in Harby.
Relatives in Canada
I first became aware that grandad had an older brother, James Henry, who had emigrated to Canada, when I read a news article concerning the death of their mother Sarah Parkin in 1930, see Chapter 15. Prior to that, I had thought grandad had four siblings, Olive, Leonard, Cyril and Eva, see Chapter 1. Although I then learned some things about James Henry, I still knew very little except that he married Annie Higham in 1906 and, when they emigrated to Canada in the 1920s, they had two children Gordon and Ethel.
More Information from Canada
In March 2023, I received an email from Sandra Chorley. She had seen the family diaries website and decided to get in touch. By way of explanation, she noted that she is married to Gordon Chorley, the grandson of James Henry and Annie Parkin. She provided a lot of details of their life and family in Canada. Essentially, the family spent two years in Canada from 1911 to 1913 but they emigrated there permanently in 1922.
Photos of Annie’s UK trip in 1961
Among the photos that Sandra shared was one of a cutting concerning Annie’s visit to England in 1961. On that visit, she met up with her brother Ephraim. He had emigrated to Australia at the same time she had gone to Canada. However, he had later returned to the UK.
Visiting Various People
Grandma and sometimes grandad visited various people during this period including Reg Edwards, Annie Holmes and those listed below.
Auntie Bertha, Jim and Renie Seville in Mansfield
On one occasion, in July 1962, grandma and grandad saw Graham and Joan Hardy there.
Edna Bust in Heanor
Sometimes these visits were with Edna’s mother-in-law, Mrs Bust, or her parents, Mr and Mrs Deakin.
Cyril and Minnie Parkin in Ilkeston
Grandma and grandad went there with various people including Arthur and Florrie Booth, Emmie Barker, Frances Robinson, Eva and Doris. On one occasion, grandma took Auntie Bertha, Annie Berwick and Renie to Ilkeston. Grandma and Renie visited Cyril and Minnie while Auntie Bertha and Annie Berwick went to visit Miss Clayton.
Olive and Alf Holland in Harby
On one occasion, grandma went with Auntie Bertha, Jim and Renie.
Aunt Mabel in West Bridgford
This was Uncle Frank’s sister and grandma visited her with Auntie Bertha and on one occasion with Doris and Renie. While in Kirkby, Doris visited various people including Bill Evans, Mrs Berry, Florrie Booth and Mr & Mrs Calvert of Pilsley.
Mrs Bee Near Sutton Junction
This was a friend of Auntie Bertha’s. Grandma went with her to visit.
Harold and Edith Evans
Grandma and grandad visited them with Eva. This was Arthur Evans’ younger brother and his wife. I think they may have lived in Mansfield.
Grandma and grandad visited her with Mrs Bust.
Basil and Hilda Parkin
In May 1963, grandma and grandad went to stay at Basil and Hilda’s while they were on holiday in Norway. This involved looking after their three boys, Simon, Peter and Richard.
Grandma Went to Visit Doris Cirket
In July 1963, grandma went by bus for a holiday to Hastings, presumably to stay with Doris. The previous month, Florrie and Arthur Booth had gone on holiday to Hastings.
People Stayed With Grandma and Grandad During This Period
A number of different people stayed with grandma and grandad during this period. In addition to the people mentioned below, they included Auntie Bertha, Eva, Ella and Arthur Lofthouse, Doris and Adrian Cirket, Simon Parkin, Richard Parkin, Rev and Mrs Howells and Mrs Hartley.
Cyril and Minnie Parkin
While they were with grandma and grandad, Cyril and Minnie visited Frank and Kath Bowmar, Fred and Hannah Willets and Emmie Barker. Albert and Frances Robinson came to visit while Cyril and Minnie were staying.
Carole came to stay with grandma and grandad with her grandmother, Eva Evans. In 1963, she also came to stay with Tony, who she later married. While staying with grandma and grandad, Carole and Tony visited various places including Matlock, Nottingham, Ladybower Dam, Belper and Ilkeston.
Grandma and sometimes grandad also made day trips to various places particularly when they had visitors staying.
Arthur and Ella Lofthouse
For example, in 1961, with Arthur and Ella Lofthouse, they visited Calverton, Edwinstowe, Gunthorpe, Newark, Newstead Abbey, Oxton, Southwell and Willersley Castle.
Florrie and Arthur Booth
They also visited various places with their neighbours, Florrie and Arthur Booth, e.g. Bridlington, Flamboro Head, Hardwick Hall, Lowdham and Southwell. The trip to Hardwick Hall was made by grandma, Florrie Booth and Auntie Bertha.
Jim and Renie Seville
Grandma and grandad also went various places with Jim and Renie, e.g. to Gunthorpe Bridge in July 1960.
In September 1961, grandma went with Annie Holmes to Leicester.
Doris and Adrian Cirket
In August 1962, grandma went to Doncaster with Doris and Adrian Cirket.
Grandma also went on various chapel trips, e.g. to Cleethorpes, King’s Lynn and Northampton, see Chapter 79.
In 1962 and 1963, grandad noted that Kirkby Carnival took place but that it had been changed to take place in Kingsway Park. Grandad’s diary implies that this first happened in 1962 but, from the Kirkby Living Memory Facebook group, it appears this was also the case in 1960.
Horse Jumping at Bentinck Sports Ground
In June 1962, grandma, Eva, Jim, Renie and Florrie Booth went to Bentinck Sports Ground to see horse jumping.
Exploring Norwich and the Surrounding Area
After we had moved to Norwich, we began to explore our new surroundings.
Local Walks and Bike Rides
This included walks around Norwich city centre and Hellesdon, where we were living, for example, the area around Links Avenue.
Once grandma and grandad had moved to Norwich, grandad sometimes took short walks from Lilburne Avenue, including to the shops on Woodcock Road. He also had short bike rides including to the Boundary Garage.
We visited a number of parks. Favourites were Mousehold Heath, Chapelfield Gardens and Eaton Park. Of the various parks and public spaces around Norwich, Mousehold Heath is perhaps the one I remember best from my early childhood. We also visited parks that I remember less well, such as Waterloo and Wensum Parks. In 2022, the Eastern Evening News produced an article looking back at the history of Waterloo Park.
Taking Visitors to Norwich Castle and Cathedral
In the city, mum often took visitors to see the castle and the cathedral.
In July 1961, mum noted taking grandma Drew round the shops in Magdalene Street.
Blackberrying and Chestnutting
Mum also made reference to us going blackberrying and chestnutting, presumably for horse chestnuts/conkers, in September and October 1961, 1962 and 1963. On one day, in September 1961, we collected more than four pounds of blackberries.
Hellesdon Recreation Ground
I am not sure exactly where we went for this but we did spend a lot of the time on the recreation ground behind our house in Hellesdon, including on the swings. There may also have been a sandpit there.
We went to the Recreation Ground with mum and dad and also with others including Ron and Sharon Rowe; Joyce, Janette and Lesley Smith; grandad and Angela Keeble.
In June 1962, dad took me to a carnival on the recreation ground.
Mum joined the library in 1960 and we went there most months. The library now is at the community centre and I assume it was there then although I do not recall this.
In November 1963, grandad joined Mile Cross library. He went there most months after that.
In April 1964, Auntie Dolly went to the library and got a book out on one of grandad’s tickets.
Playing with Other Children
Sometimes, we went to play with other children, for example Tricia went to play with Timmy Sell on 7 August 1961 and there are photos of her playing with someone called Jane from the time we lived in Newmarket Road.
Visitors to Hellesdon
During those years, we had various people visit us at home in Hellesdon. These included John Merriman, Geoffrey Morley and Brian Reddish who were, I think, people dad knew from the Norwich Union in Nottingham who, like dad previously, had come to Norwich for particular courses.
Various people we knew from Kirkby also visited including Marion Slater; Ron, Barbara and Sharon Rowe; Eva; Minnie; Jack, Eileen, John and Susan Fawthrop (and Eileen’s mother); Jim and Renie; grandma and grandad Drew; Joyce and Ken Dawn (dad’s sister and brother-in-law); Irene and Arthur Cros;, and Jack and Phyllis Attwood.
More Local Visitors
People we met in Norwich and Hellesdon also came to visit including Joyce, Peter, Janette and Lesley Smith; Barbara and Dennis Sell; Rosemary and Peter Howlett; Mr and Mrs Keeble, Angela, Pierre and Sylvie; John and Margaret White; Betty and Mark Colver; Vera, Brian, Kevin, Ian and Martin Frost; Janet, Tony, John and Suzanne Blyth; Janet and Christopher Wright; Rose, Stuart and Patricia Scales; Brenda and Susan White; Nancy Howe; Anne Lee; Micky; Margaret, Arnold, Stephen and Andrew Clough; and Miss R Walker.
There were two Janets, Blyth and Wright. It is not always clear which one is being referred to. On 1 November and 13 December 1962 and on 31 January and 28 March 1963, both visited and mum denoted these as Janet (B) and Janet (W) but she did not always do this. On 24 October 1963, she simply noted that “Janet and Janet and children came in aft”. Similarly, on 10 December 1964, “Janet, Janet & Rosemary came”.
Also, on 8 November 1962, 26 September 1963 and 3 December 1964, mum noted visiting Janet Wright. On 22 December 1962, mum babysat for Janet and Derrick Wright. Then, on 10 January 1963, mum went to Janet B’s. On 14 March 1963, mum was going out to Janet B’s but Tricia did not get home from school until 3.35pm and, by then, mum decided it was too late to go. On 25 April 1963 and 26 November 1964, mum noted going to Janet B’s.
Mum noted that we also visited a number of the people who visited us and others. Those we visited included Rosemary and Joanne Howlett; Betty Colver; Margaret and John White; Joyce Smith; Vera Frost; Barbara Sell; Nancy Howe; Janet; Rose Scales, Stella, Brenda White and Rosemary Porter. I am not entirely sure who Stella and Rosemary Porter were.
Exploring Further Afield
We also explored further afield, particularly when we had visitors. These trips included the broads, including Wroxham,, and particularly the coast, including Cromer, Gorleston, Lowestoft, Sea Palling, Sheringham, Walcott, Wells and Yarmouth. Towards the end of this period, in October 1964, mum and dad bought a static caravan in Sea Palling.
Probably the Same Trip
Other Seaside Trips
These trips included places on the way to the coast, such as Reepham and Oulton.
We also ventured further afield. For example, when the Rowes were visiting in 1961, we went to Sutton Bridge to visit Ron’s sister, Gladys, see Chapter 75. Mum also went to Ely in 1964. However, her diaries were blank at this point so I don’t know why she made this trip.
During this period, we had a variety of summer holidays.
Lowestoft in 1962
Grandma and Grandad Looked After Our House
Grandma and grandad stayed at our house while we were away. However, I am not sure why. Perhaps it was so they could be nearby to visit or perhaps it was because mum was anxious about leaving the house empty following the burst pipe we had had over Christmas 1961.
Grandma and Grandad Visited Us and Other Places
Grandma and grandad visited us twice from there, on the second occasion with Angela Keeble. They also visited Drayton, Costessey, Catton, the Castle Museum and Cambridge, where they visited King’s College and the American Cemetery.
Places We Visited in Lowestoft
Bacton With the Frosts in 1963
In August 1963, mum, dad, Tricia and I went on holiday to Bacton with Vera and Brian Frost and their boys, Kevin, Ian and Martin.
We stayed at 30 Sea View Estate. This appears to be a private estate in Bacton. It is possible to see the entrance to the estate on Google but StreetView does not cover the estate itself. There is a photo of what the estate looked like in 1955 on the Francis Frith website.
Alan was not able to go as he was in hospital at the time, see Chapter 78. Mum and dad took it in turns to visit him in hospital.
Butlin’s in Clacton in 1963
From 1-3 November 1963, mum and dad went to Butlin’s in Clacton. Butlin’s in Clacton opened in 1936 and closed in 1983 with the site being redeveloped for housing.
Mum noted that they had a marvellous time and they went swimming, played table tennis, snooker and darts. I am not sure if it was intended just as a break for them or whether they were looking at whether it would be a suitable holiday destination for us.
Butlin’s in Clacton in 1964
Whatever the purpose in going, they decided it would be a good place to take us and we went there for a week in late June/early July 1964. Although mum did not complete her diary during this trip, there were quite a few photographs in her albums.
For many more details of our later holidays at different Butlin’s camps, see Chapter 92.
My Recollections of Butlin’s
We took a Butlin’s holiday every year while I was growing up. I don’t know why mum and dad decided on this rather than a cottage holiday, as we did in 1962, or going away with friends, as we did in 1963. However, I suspect factors were cost, a break from cooking and other chores and activities for us which, of course, allowed mum and dad space for activities of their own.
I Loved Holidays at Butlin’s
These holiday camps fell out of favour as people were able to take package holidays abroad. Now, they are looked on as somewhat corny. Nevertheless, I loved those holidays with all the activities and things to do, particularly as we had a lot of freedom to choose what we went to. I suspect part of the attraction was that regular week-long family holidays were relatively novel and they beat the odd day at the seaside or staying with friends and family.
Things I Remember
I recall the dining rooms where we had meals, the chalets and the excitement of arriving, getting the programme and planning what we would do for the week, for more details, see Chapter 92.
Visiting Grandma and Grandad Once They Had Moved to Norwich
Once grandma and grandad had moved to Norwich, we started going there for meals and they also came to us. This continued once grandma and grandad had moved to Drayton. We also sometimes went there for longer periods, including overnight, e.g. in December 1963. In November 1964, I and then Tricia slept two nights at grandma and grandad’s.
Visits by Family Members and Friends from Kirkby
Grandma and grandad had lots of family members and friends, that they had known from Kirkby, come to visit them in Norwich. Some stayed over while others visited when staying elsewhere. They included Eva; Roy Evans and Alma; Olive, Alf, Carole and Tony; Nellie (a friend of Olive’s); Doris, Peter, Rita, Adrian, Bertie and Peter (Jnr); Simon Parkin and Joyce; Auntie Dolly; Mrs Deakin; Tom, Edna and Sylvia Bust; Linda, Clarence and Maurice Reeve; Tom and Amy Wilson; Eileen, Jack and Susan Fawthrop; Florrie and Arthur Booth; grandma and grandad Drew; Auntie Bertha, Jim and Renie; Ken and Pearl Hodges; David Hill, and Basil, Hilda, Cyril and Minnie. I suspect that Joyce, mentioned with Simon Parkin, was Joyce Freeman. According to FreeBMD, they married in the third quarter of 1966.
Visits from People They Met in Norwich
They also had visits from people they met in Norwich including Mr and Mrs Keeble and his mother and father, and Miss Walker from Mile Cross chapel, see Chapter 79.
Visiting People in and Around Norfolk
Grandma and grandad also visited particular people in and around Norfolk. In June 1964, Bob Keeble took grandma and Eva to visit his mother. That same month, grandma, grandad, Eva, Tom and Amy went to Overstrand to see G Bailey and his wife who had moved there from Kirkby. In September 1964, grandma and grandad went with Clarence and Linda Reeve to see Mrs East in Bungay.
Grandma and Grandad Took Visitors to Various Places
Like us, grandma and grandad took their visitors to see various parts of Norwich, Norfolk and beyond.
Favourite Destinations in Norwich
In Norwich, favourite destinations included the castle and cathedral.
Broads and the Coast
They also took visitors to the broads, including to Wroxham, and particularly to the coast including to Aldeburgh, Caister, Cromer, Gorleston, Lowestoft, Overstrand, Sea Palling, Sheringham, Southwold, Walcott, Wells, Weybourne and Yarmouth.
Inland Towns and Villages
They also visited several inland towns and villages in Norfolk and further afield including Acle, Aylsham, Bungay, Bury St Edmunds, Fakenham, Foulsham, Framlingham, Holt, Oulton, Reepham, Sandringham, Taverham, Weasenham and Wymondham.
Oulton or Oulton Broad
When grandad refers in his diary to Oulton, I assume he meant Oulton Broad although there is a village in Norfolk called Oulton.
Cromer and Wymondham
In Cromer, grandma and grandad went to the top of the church, see Chapter 79. Grandad noted it was 165 feet high with 175 steps. In Wymondham, grandad visited the Abbey church.
In November 1963, grandma went from Norwich to Bedford for Aunt Lois’ funeral.
Visiting Nottingham and Mansfield
That same month, grandma went by bus to Nottingham and Mansfield. In February 1964, grandma went to visit Auntie Bertha.
In November 1964, grandma went by train to London and met Doris and a friend there.
While mum and dad were not able to go to the cinema or theatre as frequently as they had in earlier years, they did still manage some trips during this period, particularly to pantomimes.
Cinderella in Nottingham in 1960
For example, on 29 December 1960, while visiting Kirkby, mum, grandma, Tricia and Auntie Bertha went to see Lonnie Donegan and the Three Monarchs in “Cinderella” in Nottingham in the afternoon. Mum considered it very, very good.
Pantomime at the Festival Hall in Kirkby in 1961 and 1962
In January 1961, grandma, Renie, Vera and Florrie Booth went to a pantomime at the Festival Hall, see Chapter 59, given by the Co-op players. Grandma attended a similar performance in January 1962.
Pantomime at the Mansfield Grand in 1962
In March 1962, grandma, Doris, Renie and Vera went to an amateur pantomime at Mansfield Grand, see Chapter 21.
Babes in the Wood at Jenny Lind Hospital in 1963
In January 1963, mum, Tricia and Angela Keeble went to the pantomime, “Babes in the Wood”, at the Jenny Lind Hospital, see Chapter 78.
Ice Show in 1963
That same month, grandma went to an ice show with the Keebles.
Dick Whittington at Jenny Lind Hospital in 1964
In January 1964, mum and Tricia again went to the Jenny Lind pantomime, “Dick Whittington”.
Shows in Yarmouth
In addition, after we had moved to Norwich, mum and dad sometimes went to Yarmouth to see a show. At that time, well-known stars were still doing long summer seasons in Yarmouth and mum and dad were more likely to go to the theatre or a show in Yarmouth than in Norwich. That markedly changed over time.
In July 1962, mum and dad went to see Lonnie Donegan again in Yarmouth. This was his third summer season in Yarmouth. Mum considered it very good.
In August 1962, mum noted going to see Harry Secombe in “Secombe Here” in Yarmouth. Mum noted it as “Here’s Secombe”. Ronnie Corbett was among the supporting acts. She went with Barbara and Dennis Sell, Nancy and John Howe and Rosemary and Peter Howlett.
A Show in Yarmouth
In August 1964, mum and dad went with Jim and Renie to a show in Yarmouth.
Also, mum and dad quite frequently took us to the circus which I vaguely recall. In October 1961, dad and I went to see the circus walk to Eaton Park and, later that month, we went to the circus with Joyce, Janette and Lesley Smith. Dad and I went round the menagerie.
In May 1963, dad and Tricia went to Bertram Mills Circus with Vera, Brian, Kevin and Ian Frost. In July 1963, mum took Tricia and me to the circus in Yarmouth.
In April 1964, grandma, mum and dad took Tricia, me and Alan to Chipperfield’s circus.
Other Films and Performances
In addition, mum noted various other films and performances.
The Ten Commandments
The Granada in Mansfield
Opened in 1930 as the Plaza, this cinema was renamed as the Granada from April 1942. In the 1960s, it hosted many bands, including the Beatles. It closed and was demolished in 1973 and is currently the site of Primark.
I Packed My Bag
In August 1961, mum and dad went with Angela Keeble to see “I packed my bag” at Anglia TV. This was an Anglia TV show and presumably they were in the audience. For details of Anglia House, see Chapter 90.
The Wrong Arm of the Law
Cinema on Sunday
Although grandad had always enjoyed going to the cinema, when there was a vote in 1961 about cinemas opening on a Sunday, he and grandma voted with the minority who were against this, see Chapter 79.
Grandad Gave Slide Shows
Grandad was a keen photographer and sometimes he gave slide shows for friends and family, including Margaret and Rena Smith; Rev and Mrs Howells and Mrs Hartley; Tom and Edna Bust; Arthur and Ella Lofthouse; Arthur and Irene Cross; Reg and Robin Edwards; Roy Evans, Alma and her mother; Emmie Barker, her husband and two friends; Jim and Renie; Albert and Dawn Curtis; the Keebles; Auntie Dolly; and Doris, Rita, Adrian and Peter.
Other People Also Sometimes Gave Slide Shows
Other people also sometimes gave family slide shows, including Basil Parkin, of his holiday in Norway. I believe such foreign holidays were considered very exotic at the time. I have not come across mention of any other such holidays in the diaries for that time.
Norwich Union Social Activities
There were quite a lot of social activities associated with dad’s work at the Norwich Union including at the extensive sports and social centre, Pinebanks. This was the Norwich Union’s sports and leisure centre which closed in 2008 and became derelict before most of it was demolished in 2019.
Dad played cricket and darts there and Tricia went to a party there in January 1963. There were also summer garden parties there in July 1963 and 1964.
From November 1963, dad started taking dancing lessons. I was a little puzzled as to what this was about but it seems that it was so he and mum could attend “Old Tyme Dances” put on by the Norwich Union.
Mum noted attending several of these, including with the Keebles in December 1963 and with Janet and Tony Blyth in February 1964. These were held at Pinebanks and the Norwood Rooms. On 22 December 1964, the Norwich Union held a Dinner Dance at the Norwood Rooms.
Mum and dad were avid board game players and this was something we grew up doing. I recall that we always played board games at Christmas including some of the games they played during the early sixties.
Mum and Dad Played Board Games with Other People
They played with a wide variety of people including John Merriman, Joyce and Peter Smith, Barbara and Dennis Sell, Rosemary and Peter Howlett, Jim and Renie, Mr and Mrs Keeble, Angela and Pierre and particularly Mary and Derrick Leach.
In August 2018, I received an email from Kate Thompson (Kathryn Leach). She updated me that Derrick had died of a brain tumour on 4 August 2018 and, following this, it became apparent that Mary was struggling with dementia. Kate noted that “writing this, has brought back many happy memories of visits to Norwich, playing games and lots of fun.”
Types of Board Games
A wide range of board games are mentioned in the diaries for this period.
I do not recall Bantu. On 1 November 1961, mum and dad played a game at Mary and Derrick’s and it looks like Bactu but I assume this was Bantu also.
I vaguely recall Buccaneer.
For details of this game, see Chapter 66.
The only note of playing Chinese checquers is with the Keebles. I have seen it spelled checquers and checkers.
For details of this game, see Chapter 66.
I recall Contraband particularly the little red box.
We bought Eye Witness on 7 August 1962. I remember it very clearly from my childhood.
I recall Flutter but not very clearly. There seem to be various boxes and graphics but the one I recall is the one with someone in top hat and tails. Dad bought mum this game for Christmas in 1960.
This was perhaps the first board game mum played in the 1940s, see Chapter 40.
I don’t recall Rich Uncle. Mum noted playing this at Rosemary Howlett’s in March 1962.
Risk is another well-known game that I remember very clearly. Mum bought this in Nottingham on 31 May 1961. Originally, they had played this at Barbara Sell’s.
I don’t recall Scoop. I thought this was perhaps because we did not have it but just played it at Mary and Derrick’s but this does not seem to have been the case as mum noted playing it in Norwich in December 1960 when John Merriman visited us. It is of course possible that he brought it with him.
I definitely do not recall Skudo.
I recall Totopoly especially the green box.
They also continued to play card games, for example on a trip to Driffield in May 1961.
During this period, there was perhaps less focus on outside games. However, for a garden party, in July 1962, grandma borrowed croquet and miniature golf sets.