I left my father here, newly demobbed. His destiny was decided by his father.
My mother was planning her own future.
Jane had, after leaving school, trained as a secretary. The war had ruined her plans to go to university and she looked for a new job. She became secretary to the manager of the R1v1era Hotel in Bowle@ze Cove, Weym0uth. It was not long before he left and then word came that the son of the owner was going to take over as the new Managing Director.
She saw a man in his mid-thirties. Of medium height, with straight black hair which he combed straight back off his face. He wore his demob suit, which was too big for his thin frame. He had dark brown eyes and a pale face. He saw a young, slender woman with curly, dark brown hair and hazel eyes.
They got on well together. Malcolm had no experience at all of business or of hotel work. He knew what to expect of hotels from a guest’s point of view, but that was all. Furthermore, immediately after the war, there was still rationing and price restrictions and no one had taken family holidays for the past seven years.
Jane had a boyfriend, whose name was Ted and who was a local photographer. He had his own business and her father liked him very much. They enjoyed a glass of beer and a chat together and he looked forward, one day, to Ted joining the family as his son-in-law. Jane did not have the same feelings for Ted as he did for her, however. She liked him and they had interests in common, particularly walking and cycling, but she had no thoughts of their relationship going any further. But it was while Ted was on holiday that Malcolm asked Jane out for the evening. I can’t remember what I was told they did for the evening – the cinema, perhaps? – but they got on very well together and soon were going out every night.
A couple of weeks later, when they were kissing passionately in the car, Malcolm broke off. “I can’t put up with this any longer!” he said.
Later that night, Jane had to explain to her father that she was going to marry her boss, as soon as he had obtained the special licence. A day or so later, she had to tell Ted. That wasn’t easy. They were both pretty shocked and upset.
Malcolm phoned his parents to tell them. His father was just out of hospital after an operation and he was unable to travel. His mother was not fit to travel alone, but it was agreed that Malcolm and Jane would travel up to Suffolk immediately after the wedding. They took a couple of staff members to the Registry Office as witnesses and off they set as man and wife.
It is, by the way, a coincidence, that I’m writing this for my 500th post. It’s worked out quite well though.