It all started with a smack across me backside …

He lived next door to me, Richard. I met him when I was 17 when I started being friends with his two sisters. They invited me into their house. We were all stood up, round the table, and we were leaning over, reading a magazine and all of a sudden I got a slap across me backside! True! I just whizzed round, and this fella was there! I had no idea who he was, and I just slapped his face, and ran like heck next door.

view of the back of a girl with long hairA few minutes later his sister came in and said, ‘He doesn’t know where to put himself!’

I said, ‘Well, Who is he?’ And she said, ‘It’s Dick, my brother.’

‘Well what was that for?’ I said.

Well, I looked very much like her you see – I had long hair, past my shoulders, and we looked alike, from the back. And they were always having tiffs. She’d hit him with a wet tea towel before he went out to work, and that was his way of paying her back, smacking her bottom. Only he didn’t get her, he got me! That was the first time I’d ever seen him.

For a few weeks I didn’t see him at all – he was on the buses at the time so he worked funny hours. Her other brother John used to go to ballroom dancing above Samuels in Dalton Road – The Studio. And we started going out with them – the two lasses, John and Dick. And from then we got to be friends.

two wedding ringsWe were courting two years, we were engaged for two years, then we got married.
He asked me to marry him the first day he went out with me.

He was my first love. And my last. We were married for 48 years, until he died 4 years ago. He was my best pal, he was, and yes, my lover.