It’s 43 years ago today since I met my first husband. (Can you believe 1977 was 43 years ago!!! They’ll be telling us next it’s 20 years since the Millenium!!)
I was 16 at the time – but less than a week off being 17. I desperately hoped he wouldn’t ask my age until I could say I was 17!!
Behind my parents’ house was a large playing field, with a kiddies’ play park, tennis courts, and a building that was rather grandly known as ‘The Pavillion’. This was all run by a committee – and my Dad was the treasurer.
And his Dad was the auditor. I’d known his Dad for years. And I was at school with his kid sister. But I’d never met him until Bonfire Night 1977. Or rather, Bonfire Day.
Bonfire Night was a big deal – it was one of the main fundraisers for the upkeep of the playing field, and the whole community was involved in setting things up the day before.
On the night the local scouts carried torches in a parade to light the fire, and there was a huge firework display. There were stalls, my Mum always made gingerbread men, or toffee apples, or soup. My Dad was hidden away in a back room of the Pavillion counting the money as it came in (and keeping it safe). It was great fun.
At 21 he was older than the lads I knew from school, and youth club, and so on. And he was tall, good looking – and the reason I’d never met him was that he was in the Merchant Navy, so spent six months at a time at sea – after we got married I sailed with him (Supernumerary at Sea).
This particular year he was home because he was back at college doing his Mate’s Ticket. College was in Liverpool, but he’d come back to Sheffield for the weekend, to visit his parents.
So he’d come down to ‘The Field’ to help build the bonfire before the big display that night. And I’d gone down to help with the catering.
And the rest, dear friends, is history.
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