Uncle Eric – Mum’s younger brother – got married in 1955 when I was just five years old. I can remember it well, partly because it was an opportunity for me to show off my school uniform which was in pristine condition, having been bought ready for the new term at Ryebank. (I’d been there a year already so presumably had outgrown my old uniform or done it so much damage that it wasn’t fit for a wedding and Mum had taken the excuse to outfit me anew, notwithstanding the expense.) GB looked equally smart in his new Quarry Bank uniform while Roger – about whom more in another post – looked far too big to still be wearing a Ryebank blazer, smart though it was.

 The wedding, Mum explained to me beforehand, was to be held in a registry office and then we would all come back to Nana and Grandpa’s house on Queens Drive for a buffet which she and Nana had prepared. I was terrified until the moment we left the Registry Office at which stage I started to relax and enjoy myself. Why was I terrified? Because in her explanation Mum had mentioned that at the Registry Office Uncle Eric and Aunty Doris would sign their names and then the witnesses would sign. It seemed obvious to me that if I was present I would be a witness to the event and therefore would have to sign my name. I could print it easily enough but writing it, in front of other people, was a terrifying prospect. Perhaps my relief at realising I wouldn’t have to do that is one reason why I’m smiling so much on the photograph back in Nana and Grandpa’s garden.