To continue my real life story 1961, in February, my Father, who had been very ill with a duodenal ulcer, had survived an experimental operation to by-pass part of his duodenum, sadly died less than a year later, aged 65 years.
Peter grew up on the small-holding, and became friends with Paul Austin, whose parents were also on the L.S.A.
He was eighteen months older than Peter and so was not in the same form at school.
After leaving Lawford Primary School, both Paul and he attended Manningtree Secondary School.
During 1969, Roy became increasingly frustrated with the central marketing of our produce, which mainly went up to Covent Garden with the occasional order from Marks & Spencer who only wanted the best grade of course, which then depleted the price of the rest.
We decided to look around locally for properties with a small acreage of land which could be used as a Nursery.
This proved quite difficult, as those Nurseries we viewed were obviously very run-down with a poor standard of housing.
We prayed about this, and one day when we had a run out in the car, we came down the A12 from the Ipswich direction and turned into Harts Lane, Ardleigh.
It seemed so peaceful and “right” somehow.
There were one or two bungalows which we drove past, and then Roy saw a lady in the garden of the second bungalow.
So he stopped the car, and went to ask her if she knew of any land for sale nearby. “Yes” she replied, “The plot next door here went up to Auction, and did not reach the reserve price”!
Roy then obtained the name of the Auctioneer from Mrs. Sparkes (that was her name) and subsequently he offered a price to the landowner for the 7 acres, which was accepted.
This was in 1970, and over the next 18 months, Roy was running two Nurseries, as we paid for half an acre block of glasshouses to be erected on the site.
Then we had to apply to the Parish Council and District Council for permission to build a dwelling.
This was rejected several times, the L.S.A. heard about it, and gave us notice to leave the smallholding, so we could have been proud owners of our own land, but nowhere to live!
Eventually, the planners agreed, and we then negotiated a price with a local builder.