81. Entertainment in the Early 1960s

Family Birthdays

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.

Outside of birthday card from Tricia and me to  grandad in 1960
Inside of birthday card from Tricia and me to grandad in 1961. The red crosses were done by Tricia and the brown ones by me.
 Inside of birthday card from Tricia, me and Alan to grandad in 1962. The greeting was written by Tricia


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.

The paddling pool that Tricia and I received for our birthdays in 1961. This photo shows Tricia and me in the pool on 17 May 1961
Grandma, mum, me and Tricia with the paddling pool
Later photo with Alan, Tricia and me in the 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.

More Details

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. 

Wedding Anniversaries

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[1] 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.

1951 Festival of Britain advert for Bowthorpe Hall

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.

Cliff Richard in 1962 © Bradford Timeline and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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.

My Recollections

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.

Christmas 1962

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.

Christmas 1963

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.

The five-year diary that mum received as a gift for Christmas in 1963. Although, the front cover states that it covers “63-66”, it in fact starts in 1964 and has space to cover until 1968 although there are no entries for 1968 and relatively few in 1967, see Chapter 74

My Recollections

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.

These photos are of a later Christmas (1968) and they include Liz who was born in 1965. Nevertheless, they show pretty much how I remember things.
Above – Liz, grandma, Tricia, Auntie Dolly, me and Alan
Below – Alan, grandad, dad, Liz, grandma, Tricia. In that photo, the china cabinet is in the background and we have this in our living room, see Chapter 60. Also, I think mum would have made quite a lot of the food, including the fruitcake with almonds on top.

Mum’s Rules

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.

Christmas Morning

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..

Clumber Park

For example, grandma, mum, dad, Tricia, Eva and Carole went there in April 1960, see Chapter 66.

Derby Park

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. 

Mansfield Meadows

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.

Chart of visits made by us to Kirkby (blue) and by grandma and grandad to Norwich (green) from when we moved to Norwich on 22 July 1960 and when they did on 8 October 1963

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.

California Beach July 1960 showing grandma and Tricia
Photo of California Beach July 1960 showing grandma, Tricia, mum and me
California Beach July 1960 showing grandma, Tricia, mum and me


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.

Grandad, Tricia, me and grandma at Happisburgh on 1 August 1960
Grandma and Tricia at Happisburgh on 1 August 1960
Me and grandma at Happisburgh on 1 August 1960
Dad and Tricia at Happisburgh on 1 August 1960
Mum and Tricia at Happisburgh on 1 August 1960


We went to Yarmouth on 2 August 1960. Mum noted there was a lot of shingle.

Both photos show grandma, mum and Tricia in Yarmouth on 2 August 1960. Note the windbreak!


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.

Mum and Tricia in Cromer on 3 August 1960

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.

Me, grandma, Tricia, Minnie and Eva in Sheringham in May 1961
Tricia and me in Sheringham in 1961
Photo of Tricia and me in Sheringham in May 1961

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.

Alf and Dorothy’s House in High Grantley, May 1961
Aerial photo of Old Home Farm in 1979 used by permission of current owners Lindsey and Will Hitchen
Dorothy and Heather from May 1961
Tricia, Heather and me in May 1961 in black and white (above) and colour (below)

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.

Group photo taken in grandma and grandad’s garden in Kirkby on Whit Monday 1963 showing (left to right) Jim, grandma, Eva, Richard Parkin, Mrs Leeson, Auntie Bertha and Renie. I do not know who the girl is on the left but it is Tricia on the right. I think the girls are sitting on a run-about grandad made for me and Tricia in 1962.

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.

Dad, Tricia and me at Trent Bridge in Nottingham in June 1963

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.

Left – photo of Annie Higham at the wedding of John Smith and Olive Parkin in 1905. This was the year before she married John Henry Parkin. Right – entry in grandad’s diary for 27 July 1961

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.

News cutting concerning the visit of Annie Parkin to the UK in July 1961. She is pictured with her brother Ephraim. Both had previously emigrated. She had moved to Canada and he had moved to Australia, although he later returned to the UK. This cutting was kindly provided to me by Sandra Chorley.
This appears to be the original photo that was used in the news cutting above. It shows Ephraim Higham and Annie Parkin in 1961. This photo was kindly provided to me by Sandra Chorley.

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.

Mrs Merry

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 Holland

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.

Day Trips

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.

Postcard showing Hardwick Hall

Jim and Renie Seville

Grandma and grandad also went various places with Jim and Renie, e.g. to Gunthorpe Bridge in July 1960.

Annie Holmes

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.

Chapel Trips

Grandma also went on various chapel trips, e.g. to Cleethorpes, King’s Lynn and Northampton, see Chapter 79.

Kirkby Carnival

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.

Visiting Parks

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.

Postcard of Mousehold Heath
Postcard of Chapelfield Gardens
Chess in Chapelfield Gardens
I believe this photo and the one below are taken in Eaton Park circa 1962. They are not labelled as such but this one appears to be by the boating lake and the one below has dad, me and Tricia in the same clothes! This photo shows Tricia, mum, me, dad and grandad,
Tricia, me and dad in Eaton Park
Entrance to Waterloo Park from Angel Road © Northmetpit and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Map of Waterloo Park
Bandstand in Waterloo Park
Covered Walkway in Waterloo Park
View to pavilion in Waterloo Park
Postcard of Wensum Park
Multi-view card of Norwich featuring Wensum Park, Norwich castle, Norwich cathedral, Eaton Park and the River Wensum – posted 1950
Above and below – views of Wensum Park in 2022
Map of Wensum Park

Taking Visitors to Norwich Castle and Cathedral

In the city, mum often took visitors to see the castle and the cathedral.

Magdalene Street

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.

These photos show Tricia with Jane in August 1960. The last one is dated the 27th. The diaries do not specifically mention Tricia playing with a friend that day. It was a Saturday. Dad was at work in the morning and, in the afternoon, dad looked after Tricia and me while mum went shopping. The only mention of a Jane in mum’s diaries is on 15 August 1960 when she says “went to mobile Welfare Centre at Sotherton Rd [near Eaton Park] but didn’t have them weighed. Went in Jane’s mother’s car”.
Tricia and Jane in paddling pool in August 1960
Jane and Tricia on 27 August 1960

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.

Two Janets

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.

Visiting Friends

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.

In May 1961, the Fawthrops came to visit at the same time grandma was visiting us. This photo shows Tricia, grandma, John Fawthrop, Jack Fawthrop, Susan Fawthrop, Eileen Fawthrop and me
This photo shows Eileen Fawthrop and me

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.

Yarmouth 1961

Renie, me and Tricia in Yarmouth in June 1961
Tricia and me in Yarmouth in June 1961

Sheringham 1961

Tricia and dad in Sheringham in June 1961
Me, dad and Tricia in Sheringham in June 1961

Yarmouth 1964

These photos were taken on a trip to Yarmouth with grandma and Auntie Dolly on 7 April 1964. This photo shows Auntie Dolly, grandma, Alan, Tricia and me. I am grateful to various contributors on the Great Yarmouth Remembers Facebook Group for explaining to me that this was a shelter in the Waterways area of Yarmouth. While many contributors identify this as the shelter that still exists and that was recently renovated, others point out that there were other similar shelters in the Waterways area
Auntie Dolly, Alan, mum, Tricia and me in Yarmouth in April 1964
Alan, Tricia and me in Yarmouth in April 1964
Me and Alan in Yarmouth in April 1964
Postcard of the Venetian Waterways in Yarmouth dated 1956
Postcard of the Waterways in Yarmouth dated 1961

Probably the Same Trip

I am not sure if these photos were taken on the same Yarmouth trip but they might have been. The photos are on adjacent pages of an album and some of the clothes (Tricia’s dress, grandma’s and Alan’s hats) are similar. The photo above and the one below show Tricia, me, grandma and Alan. I am grateful to various contributors on the Great Yarmouth Remembers Facebook Group for confirming that this photo and the one below were taken in Yarmouth. The distinctive building, that is The Chateau and Trotwood/Rampart Serviced Apartments, is in the background on the left. I think the Imperial Hotel is visible on the right
Me, Tricia, grandma and Alan
Photo of me, Alan and Tricia. This photo seems to be the hardest to place. Most contributors on the Great Yarmouth Remembers Facebook Group seemto think it on the beach somewhere but a few dispute this. If it is on the beach, it may be where a road runs down to the beach. Possible locations include Sandown Road (at the southern end of the waterways), Beaconsfield Road (between waterways and Venetian water park) or Salisbury Road (northern end of Venetian Water Park)

Other Seaside Trips

Me and Tricia on an early seaside trip
Alan, me and Tricia at the beach
Tricia, mum, me and dad at the seaside

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.

Summer Holidays

During this period, we had a variety of summer holidays.

Lowestoft in 1962

In 1962, we stayed in a flat in Lowestoft for a week in September. The address was 10 Marine Parade, where holiday accommodation is still available.

View from flat in Lowestoft where we went on holiday in September 1962
Tricia and me on train in Lowestoft
Me in swing with dad in Lowestoft in September 1962
Mum and Tricia in boat in Lowestoft in September 1962
Dad and me in boat in Lowestoft in September 1962
Tricia, dad and me in a boat in Lowestoft in September 1962
Me and Tricia with an arcade speedboat in Lowestoft in September 1962
Tricia, dad and me on beach in Lowestoft

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

While on holiday, we spent a lot of time on the beach but also went to chapel on the Sunday and visited Kensington Gardens, Corton and Oulton Broad.

Postcard of Kensington Gardens posted in 1964
Postcard of boats in Kensington Gardens posted in 1957 – note the similarity to some of our photos on the previous page
Multi-view postcard of Corton posted in 1978
Multi-view card of Oulton Broad that forms part of a souvenir lettercard
Postcard of Norwich Castle
A guide to Norwich Castle Museum dated 1965 and priced at one shilling
King’s College Cambridge in 2012 © Dmitry Tonkonog and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
American Cemetery in Cambridge in 2014 © Stevekeiretsu and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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.

Holiday with the Frosts in Bacton in 1963. Mum has labelled this as showing Kevin, Ian and Adrian Frost with me and Tricia. However, it can’t be as Adrian was not born until 1964. I think the two boys sitting at the front are Kevin and Ian and that it is Martin who is standing. This would mean that it is me and Tricia in the deckchairs at the back. Alan is not there as that is the time he was ill and in hospital.

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.

 This photo is labelled as showing grandma in Bacton. I am not sure when this was taken. I don’t know if she visited us while we were in Bacton or if she went there at some other time.

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.

Meal times at Butlin’s – on the left of the table – me, mum, Tricia and on the right side, dad then Alan
Me and Tricia in the aisle with dad in second row
There were a lot of organised activities at Butlin’s including competitions for children and families. Photo shows Tricia in the Junior Princess competition (#21)
Me in Junior “Tarzan” competition #16
Mum and Alan in Bonny Baby competition (#7)
I won third prize in the “Tarzan” competition for boys aged 3-6 years. The three prize winners
My third prize certificate
These photos are in a book Tricia put together from mum’s slides. They may all have been from the same year as we look roughly similar ages and we are largely wearing the same clothes. It could well be Clacton in 1964 as there is no sign of Liz. In the top right shot, it looks like Tricia and I are wearing some kind of identifying badge.
Top left – me, Alan and Tricia  Top right – me, Alan and Tricia
Above left – Tricia on trampoline Above right – me, Alan and Tricia on a train with dad sitting behind

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.

Various photos of us at grandma and grandad’s. This photo shows Tricia, Alan and me
Grandma, Alan, me and Tricia
Mum, Alan, me and Tricia in grandma and grandad’s back garden. In this photo and the one below, we appear to be riding runabouts made by grandad. In this photo, we appear to be wearing our Kinsale Avenue school uniforms.
Tricia, me, Alan and dad in grandma and grandad’s garden. In this photo and the one above, we appear to be riding runabouts made by grandad. While I initially thought this photo was taken in Drayton, I am now confident  it is earlier, June 1963, and was taken at grandma and grandad’s in Kirkby

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.

Photos of friends and family who visited grandma and grandad in Norfolk. This photo shows Auntie Dolly and grandma outside grandma and grandad’s back door
This photo shows dad, me, Tom, Tricia, Amy, Alan, Auntie Bertha, grandma at the front of grandma and grandad’s bungalow
Amy, Eva and grandma
Amy, Tom, Renie and Bertha possibly at Carole’s wedding in 1965
Auntie Bertha, Amy, Tom and grandad
These photos are in a book Tricia put together from mum’s slides.
Top left – grandma, Amy and Auntie Bertha  Top right – Amy, Tom and grandad Above left – Eva, grandad and grandma Above right – Amy, grandma, Tom and Eva. For a discussion of the location of the top two photos – see Chapter 92

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.

Mum at Pull’s Ferry, Norwich 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.

Eva, Tom, Amy and grandma in Yarmouth
Eva, Tom, grandma and Amy in Yarmouth
Tom, Amy and grandma

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.

Postcard of Wymondham Abbey

Visiting Bedford

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.

Visiting London

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 programme from 1960 © Bradford Timeline and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Lonnie Donegan appeared in Cinderella in 1960 © Bradford Timeline and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
The Three Monarchs were in Cinderella in Nottingham in 1960 © Bradford Timeline and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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.

Bruce Forsyth

In August 1961, mum and dad went with Barbara and Dennis Sell to Yarmouth to see Bruce Forsyth on the Wellington Pier, see Chapter 52. Mum considered it very good.

Programmes relating to shows mum saw in Yarmouth in the early sixties – Bruce Forsyth from 1961

Lonnie Donegan

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.

Programmes relating to shows mum saw in Yarmouth in the early sixties – later programme featuring Lonnie Donegan in 1965

Harry Secombe

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.

Programmes relating to shows mum saw in Yarmouth in the early sixties – Harry Secombe from 1962

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.

Ticket to Bertram Mills Circus August 1960

In April 1964, grandma,  mum and dad took Tricia, me and Alan to Chipperfield’s  circus.

 Model vehicle and animals from Chipperfields Circus

Other Films and Performances

In addition, mum noted various other films and performances.

The Ten Commandments

In January 1960, mum and dad went to see “The Ten Commandments” at the Granada in Mansfield.

Poster for the 1956 film “The Ten Commandments” which mum and dad saw in 1960 – image licenced for re-use from Alamy

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

In June 1963, while visiting Kirkby, mum went to the Portland, see Chapter 21, to see Peter Sellars in “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.

Dad and Alan at a Norwich Union garden party in July 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.

Board Games

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.

Selection of board games mentioned in the diaries


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.

The board game Bantu


I vaguely recall Buccaneer.

1970 version of Buccaneer. I recall the playing board and especially the little ships and the treasure they could transport. I do not fully recall how the game was played though!


For details of this game, see Chapter 66.

Careers board game – example of small box version

Chinese Checquers

The only note of playing Chinese checquers is with the Keebles. I have seen it spelled checquers and checkers.

The game Chinese Checquers (or Checkers)


For details of this game, see Chapter 66.

Different versions of Cluedo. The one on the right is modern and is the version we played with our children. The one at the bottom is the one I recall as a child, The one on the left (small box with separate board) pre-dates that and may be the version mum gave dad in 1957


I recall Contraband particularly the little red box.

I don’t think the game Contraband had a board. It was purely a card game like Cheat. Players had to declare what was in their hand or they could bluff. Someone played the role of Customs Officer.

Eye Witness

We bought Eye Witness on 7 August 1962. I remember it very clearly from my childhood.

I remember this being quite a unique game in which cards were used to create a unique version of a very odd story. While I don’t recall the details of game play, I believe it tested memory with one player telling a story and others deciding if it was true or not. I believe that is what the counters were for with green (true) on one side and red (false) on the other


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.

Version of Flutter that I recall from my childhood


This was perhaps the first board game mum played in the 1940s, see Chapter 40.

UK Monopoly set from the early 1960s

Rich Uncle

I don’t recall Rich Uncle. Mum noted playing this at Rosemary Howlett’s in March 1962.

The board game Rich Uncle


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.

We played Risk a lot as teenagers and we also played with our own children. I recall that the games could be very long.


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.

The board game Scoop


I definitely do not recall Skudo.

The board game Skudo


I recall Totopoly especially the green box.

Totopoly had a double-sided board. One side was for preparation for the race while this side was for the race itself. I recall that preparation took the most time and that the winner was not necessarily the one who won the race but the one who made most money

Card Games

They also continued to play card games, for example on a trip to Driffield in May 1961.

Outdoor Games

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.