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Marriage and Motherhood

About a week before Dorothy was born, I was so big I couldn't get out of the seat until all the cinema patrons had left.

We were married at Howdon Panns Church in Willington Quay on Thursday 23rd of December, 1937 at 2 pm.  I wore a brown dress with lace bodice and sleeves and a brown bolero which went with the dress.  It had a satin bow at the waist and was a very nice dress.  I got a brown hat at C&A Modes for 3/9d. – the dress was £2.10s.0d.  I wore a spray of pink carnations, my shoes were brown suede with wedding ring eyes, and brown ribbon laces; they were 12/6d, a lot of money then, usually a nice pair would cost 10/6d.

On my marriage, I was given a strap of cultured pearls and £10.  Mrs Bates, who I used to work for, came to my wedding, which was in my Father’s house and Mr Bates sent a chauffeur-driven car to take us to Newcastle station.  We were going to Whitby to spend our honeymoon with Aunt Dorothy.  The weather was absolutely lovely for my wedding day and all the weekend, I could go out in the oatmeal suit I had, and didn’t need to wear the green coat that I had for my 21st Birthday.

We had 30/-d to start our married life but we didn’t owe anything. All our furniture was paid for – £60 in all, to furnish the living room and our bedroom.  The other two small bedrooms gradually got furnished.  The Bates gave us an old but good bedroom suite which we painted white.  We had a nice flat in Neptune Road to live in; houses were easy to get in those days.  I left it late but was lucky to get that one 10 days before the wedding.  My sister already lived in the block and had asked the landlord to let us have it.

We went to the Queen’s cinema every Saturday.  It was in Wallsend and I used to book two 6d seats for the second performance, no continuous programmes in those days.  I remember one Saturday evening in January 1940, about one week before Dorothy was born, I was so big I couldn’t get out of the seat except with great difficulty after all the patrons had left.  I weighed almost 11 stone.

I had her in “The Green”, a new maternity hospital near the village green in Wallsend.  It was not officially opened, as I remember, taking Dorothy in the pram to see the present Queen Mother come to open it.

I went back to my normal weight before I left hospital; two weeks was the usual stay.  They wouldn’t let you up out of bed till it was almost time to go home.  They showed you how to bath the baby and care for it.  World War II had started in September 1939 and pregnant women were advised to be evacuated to the country in Northumberland.  I went with my sister, who already had a baby girl, named Joyce, to Howick, but we didn’t like it so we sent a telegram to our husbands to come and bring us back.

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