Please note, if you've already read this or don't want to read it, there are LINKS to the sections at the bottom of the page.
I was sitting down, one day, trying to piece together my father's history, from what little documentation he had left after his death in 1980, and trying to remember all the family anecdotes he had told me and to which I hadn't really paid attention. At the time, I was still working on my grandfather's story and though, in his case, he had, at least, left a great deal of information, one way and another, there were still holes in his story with no way, now, of filling them.
If only my father had kept a diary or written down some of the things he told me, I might have been able to create some sort of picture of him as a person, and of his life, but it was too late, he never had.
In the hope that one of my descendents, might take after me, love family history, and want to know more, I made the decision that I would do what my father had failed to do - I'd write down what I could remember of my childhood. leaving out, of course, all those embarrasing bits that I didn't want others to know about! Well, it's understandable, after all!
The opportunity came when we went on holiday to the Greek Island of Kefallonia - an island we had been to many times before, and loved. This holiday, however, was very different; Greece was no longer the Greece that we had known. Everywhere had a sad, run-down look about it, and prices were much more expensive than back home. Even the weather shared that sadness - the sun shone, well, at least we had one very hot day, and a few other nice days but the rest of the time it was cold, very windy and it rained.
So, I spent quite a bit of my time, just sitting around the hotel pool, writing down anecdotes of my life, as I recalled them, and never went in the pool - not after hearing the agonised cries of those who did. Poor souls, I believe some of them recovered but others were never seen again.
My story starts with me being born, before the second world war, in Feltham, in Middlesex, as a young baby, which is, as far as I know, the usual process - by which I mean being born as a baby, not being born before the second world war which, as far as I am aware, is not, in any way, a usual process. My family were living, at the time, at 55, Southcote Avenue, so that's where I was born, which I thought was rather a good arrangement - at least I was among people I knew. Actually, though I didn't admit it for many years, I was a nervous baby and refused to be born anywhere else other than, just so I could be near my mother.
At the age of nine, I moved to Shropshire, taking them with me and, for about a year, we stayed with my grandparents in Madeley, before moving down the hill to Ironbridge, from where I went to Coalbrookdale High School.
So, I've split my story up into four sections - one on Feltham, one on Madeley, one on Ironbridge, and the last on Coalbrookdale, which is where the links will take you - you must admit, that's clever!