I had arrived home from school, had my tea and finished my homework, when much to my surprise Dad said that he would take me and my little brother, John, to the Savoy Cinema in Lundwood.  It wasn’t going to the Savoy, which was such a surprise, it was the fact that there was school on the following morning.  Going to the pictures was strictly limited to Friday’s, when I did not have to get up for school, John was only three years old at the time.  Even so, we always had to be in bed for eight o’clock, thus my surprise, at this unexpected treat, all I remember about the film is that it was about Cowboys and Indians, probably a Roy Rogers film.  I was even more surprised when we stayed inside the cinema and watched the film again, strange, I thought.


When we arrived back home, brother John decided that he was having too good a time that night and seriously objected being undressed for bed.  Hey up thought I, here comes Paddy to pay us a visit, I could not understand why my mum was standing, leaning on the sink (I realised why, many years later).  I heard dad say to John, come on be a good boy and we might have our new baby in the morning, what a change, his little arms shot up, so that he could be undressed. We did not have to chase him round the room so that we could catch him and wash him, for me the evening was turning into something like a dream.  Alice in Wonderland sprung into my mind, all this was unreal, first of all going to the pictures on a week night, watching it twice, then the promise of our new baby in the morning.  Within half an hour we were in bed, in those days I had to share with John, but that was ok, most children of my age slept six in a bed, three at the top and three at the bottom. ( I hope that none of ‘em had sweaty feet).  Little John fell asleep instantly, it took me a long time, when I eventually did fall asleep, I was soon woken by the sound of hushed voices, someone going up and down the stairs all the time, I was scared stiff, so me, being me, I started to cry.  I lay there for what seemed like hours, when suddenly I heard a baby cry, she had arrived the little sister who we had longed for, I did not know then, of course that we had a sister, but I certainly knew that we had a new “something”.  At about seven o’clock, dad put his head round the bedroom door and with a big beam on his face, he said, “come and see what we have”. 



I shot out of bed, ran into my mum and dad’s room, and there was my mum holding the most beautiful baby, I had ever seen, I adored her from that second.

She was absolutely perfect, not wrinkled, not crying, just a beautiful contented little girl, who we called Elizabeth.

A few minutes later, in flew this whirling dervish who was my little brother, he scrambled onto the bed and put his arms round Elizabeth, saying, “can I hold her mam”?  It was a wonderful experience, and mum to her credit had not made a sound, whilst giving birth, so that she would not disturb us.

All too soon it was time for me to go and meet my friend Pam to go to school, Pam often recalls that morning when I went running up Lang Avenue, towards her, waving my beret in the air, yelling “I have got a baby sister”.

Gormless me, still thought that the famous stork had been, it was a long time, before I learned the facts of life.  It had been an eventful week for me, starting a new school and having a baby sister, she was born on the 5 September 1950.

Elizabeth aged 3 months.

Elizabeth aged 11 years old, this is her  last school photograph taken at Wilthorpe Junior School.

Elizabeth, my littlest bridesmaid - 10th September 1960

New Year's Eve - 2008