My father came from a long line of Welsh coal miners, while Mum’s family were all dressmakers and tailors in Somerset. Both my parents had commenced apprenticeships which were cut short due to the outbreak of WW2. Neither resumed after it was over. Although Dad found employment money was short. We couldn’t afford a car so used buses, pushbikes, or walked. We were rich in the things that mattered, love, care, understanding.
Mum gave up employment to care for me, so my early memories involve her reading books to me or sitting at the table with me while I drew pictures. I also recall the little boy next door who had a tricycle, he would let me ride on the back while he peddled and steered. I remember as I grew and started looking at clothes in fashion magazines, Mum began making patterns and creating those things I had dreamed of wearing.
We had no TV or computers in those days, so we played outside in the good weather. I was a bit of a tomboy and so gave my parents a few headaches. I often climbed trees, and fell out again, or went tearing down hills on homemade Billy carts. I recall going for a walk one day and seeing a horse in a nearby paddock. Before anyone could stop me, I was through the fence and patting the horse. Sometime later Dad took me to the farm where he worked. The owner had a large Clydesdale horse called Pinocchio. All the farm kids were piled on the horse’s back, you could get 6 in a row, of course we were all small. I recall walking across fields to school and stopping to pet all the farm animals.
My big adventure was when my parents moved to Australia. We travelled to London to get on a plane. I was excited and looking forward to exploring. I didn’t understand the tears at the airport, or why my grandparents and aunts were so distressed.
On arrival we were housed in a migrant camp for a week until our sponsors, Bunning Sawmills, made arrangements to take us to our new home. A timber mill house with backyard dunny and wood burning cooker. Boy, was that a shock to Mum.
I could go on for hours with our adventures but will cut it short for now.
Suffice to say, a lot of fun was had, lots of adventures and a very happy childhood.