From dancing to Walney … and marriage

The Public Hall, Barrow
Public Hall, Cornwallis Street (Courtesy of Bill Clark)

I used to go dancing at The Public Hall and the Rink.

I first met my husband on a blind date – my friend took a fancy to his friend, and that’s how I met him. It was a Saturday, after going down the Rink, when we were walking home. And Bill and I went to walk over Walney on the Sunday.

It wasn’t windy, it was nice. We went right round the sand dunes, but I fell! I had my high shoes on, you know! Fell right down I did.

He helped me up. And that was that. I was sixteen. We were courting for four and a half years, and I turned round and we were married 58 years.

We didn’t get married in a church – we went to the registry office. You know where the Furness Building Society is, as you go around the corner it used to be up there. It was just a room. It was only him and I, and Jack and Margaret, the four of us were there.

I wore a suit, a blue suit, and shoes with ties round the ankle.

When we got married, we went to live with my mother in law. She was nice, a good woman. I never fell out with her. She wasn’t the sort of lady you would fall out with. We moved out when I had my first child.

I had left school at 14 and worked at a music shop, but I came out of there because all I did was dust and make tea, I got fed up with that. I went into the bakehouse, next to the Peacock. It’s all knocked down now. And then when I got married I stopped work, until my youngest daughter was 14. When bill took redundancy from the railways, we ended up taking on an outdoor licence, and running it for 15 years.

Did I ever give any of my children advice about love or relationships? No, not really. Just let them get on with it. But there was one thing – when their dad said to them they had to be in by nine o’clock and they complained!