Christine Reason: real life story, the years 1931 to 1935
Continuing my real life story, we had a decent sized garden at South Woodford, and as photos show, the summers of 1931-32 were sufficiently warm enough for me to be sitting out on a rug, with not much on!
Also during those years, we travelled down to Kent to visit friends there on the beach at Hythe and Dymchurch.
The following two summers of 1934 and 1935 we stayed with Aunt Rene and Uncle Arch Ellis, who lived at Rye in Sussex, and we often went to Camber Sands, a bus ride away.
Aunt Rene was the third daughter of my grandparents, and she was born at Burrowbridge, Somerset in 1902 while my grandfather was Minister there.
Arch came from a large family with brothers and sisters older and younger, and his father George Ellis was at one time Mayor of Rye.
Also living at South Woodford before and after my birth were my father’s family.
My grandfather, George Whitehead was a tailor, making uniforms for various organisations.
He was a local preacher, a fierce Protestant and he died in 1919 aged 47 years.
My father was the eldest of the two surviving children, and Aunt Joyce was the youngest being born in May 1908.
She had been very delicate when young, but she lived to 83 years, so did very well!
Some time in 1934, my parents and I moved to Woodford Green, and my father purchased a house there at 47 Parkland Road.
I think that the price paid was £700.
Whether he ever re-couped this amount, I cannot say, as we only lived there for approximately five years to the outbreak of WW2, and we never lived all together in our own house again.
I began my school days at Churchfield’s Primary School in Woodford in September 1935, which at the time of writing this, is still functioning as a school, although much altered and increased in size.
My Aunt Mary was teaching English and Drama to senior pupils in another building at the same school.
I have several memories of my time there, one when I embarrassingly wet my knickers out in the playground, in the middle of a P.E. lesson.
I expect that I was too shy to ask where the lavatories were!
Also I remember that I was so scared in a very bad thunderstorm, that an older girl was asked to take me over to the Senior School to find my Aunt Mary, and I was allowed to stay with her in her classroom until lessons were over.
Owing to my timid nature I was naturally a target for the boys in my class, and one day I was chased home by several of them, and I tripped and fell across spiked chains which were protecting small trees on the estate , and my legs were cut and grazed.
We wore skirts and short socks of course at that time.