This is one of my favourite pictures of my mother, together with my uncle. It's an old sepia photograph, heavily spotted, and she is obviously unsure about having her photograph taken, but I love her hat!
The next photograph is of my mother with my father. This must have been taken shortly after they were married, judging by the very happy expressions. Note the dog in the bottom left hand corner. My mother always liked animals and while I was growing up there was always a dog around, often a pedigree sealyham, sometimes with pups and sometimes with a cat too.
My father died when I was eleven and this really defined my mother's life. She had to bring up three boys during a time when the nation was suffering the after-effects of the war and the only assistance from the state was a ten shillings a week widow's pension. We had various other problems too, which meant that my mother really had to struggle - but she coped.
This photo is of a happier time, when we were all grown up and she had enough money to be able to take a holiday - and even a holiday abroad! My dad fought in the first world war and was a home guard in the second (the greatcoat came in handy to cover our bed) so my mother was always a bit suspicious of the continent. She was eventually able to retire and led a happy life in her later years, setting the world to rights with her next door neighbour and taking great pleasure in the activities of her boys.
And here we all are, in October 1969.