EARLY LIFE of William James Hunt #10
We set off straight back to our home; on the way we stopped for lunch, and when I was talking to Mam, and asking her what she wanted to eat, she said, "I better not eat anything until we get to your place." When I got her home I said to her, "Mam you must have something to eat." She said to me, "Win had made her eat things that gave her the 'runs.'" I told Mam, "You tell us what you can't eat, and we will not give it to you." I was so disgusted with what Win had done to our Mam! She made her eat the very things that Mam told her would give her the "runs."
We made sure we didn't give her, tomatoes, pork, and a few other things, and so she had no more trouble. Win knew from our young days at Christmas time we always had a Turkey and pork, our Man could not touch Pork as it give her the runs, and I'm sure if I remember that from my very young days, don't tell me she did not know that, I think she wanted to get rid of Mam. There were lots of other things we found out about our Win, we were very close growing up because my other two sisters had left home when we were very young.
Edith and I had a discussion that night and we decided to call in our doctor to see her. He gave her some medicine and we had no trouble again, all the eight months she was with us. She was once again a happy woman, but she did say, she would never go to stay with Win again. I told her not to worry about it. I would make sure she never would go with her again. While she was with us in Halifax I made a "Will" out for her, and I made sure that it was right by her. One thing was, that whoever she stayed with when she passed away, would get everything she had, she was very happy with that and so was I. I did not worry about her money. I had given Mam all my extra money when I worked in the mines. I was the one that should have had all her money, but that's not the way I am.
We kept Mam right up to our next holiday, before taking her to my brother George in our little village. This was where my Mother had spent all her life, in Wales. At first she did not want to leave me, but I told her that she could come back to us any time she wanted. I also told her that in the future she would only come to live with George or I. She was really happy about that. I told Mam that I was sure she would be happy with our George. Then I told her you know all the friends you have in Crynant and George and Miranda would take care of her for sure, and how right I was.
One day while she was with us, I happened to mention to Mam if she kept her insurance book with her, then Mam told me she had to sign for a new insurance book, when she was at Win's home. I asked her what she meant by that, as Mam was in the same insurance firm as I was (Pearl Insurance Company). I told her, "You do not have to pay or need a new book once you turn 80." My Mam said, "That is what her insurance man in London asked her to do." I was surprised, "Okay, my insurance man will be here next week and we will have a word with him." I said.
When he came to me, I asked him, "Has the clause about not paying when you are over 80 been changed?"
"No, they have not, you finish paying after you reach the age of 80," he said. I went on to tell him that while in London Win and the insurance man had got my Mam to sign for a new book. I asked her if she had her new book, as she was in the same company as I was. Mam said, "No, they didn't give me one." I asked my insurance man, why she had to sign, for a new book. He asked my Mam what had happened, and she told him. He said to me that it did not seem right to him, very suspicious. He would get in touch with the London office and get all the details.
He came back two weeks later and told me what had happened. Win and the insurance man had got my Mam to sign a paper to say that Win was to receive the insurance money when Mam died. The head office checked it out, the insurance man got the "sack," and the insurance policy was put back in Mothers name. That was one of the dirty tricks Win played on our Mother, unknown to me at the time, Win had done the same thing with the British Legion funds. I told you about my young brother and his promise to my Dad, well he had taken over the payments of this policy. He was expecting to get the benefit (20 pounds). I did not know about this or I would have changed that at the same time. The results of that will come up later. I could not understand why Win and Arthur were alike, they both wanted everything for themselves, why they were both alike may come up later in my story!
Now we were getting ready to go down to Wales for a two weeks holiday, we had a nice trip down; we always stopped for a meal and got Mam what she could eat. We had a nice meal and Mam enjoyed it believe me. We continued on our travels and it was a very nice sunny day, all the way down to Wales. We got to my brother Georges home in the late afternoon and saw Mam "settled in" before leaving to stay with Nancy (Edith's sister) for our holiday. From time to time we still called to see how Mother was enjoying her stay with George.
We had a good holiday and as usual did a lot of travelling round our favourite places. Once again, we had nice weather. Why do I say that? If you knew the United Kingdom like I did, then you would know, that to have two weeks of sunny weather all at one time…. we were lucky! We did some years have a drought, and have five to six months of sunshine. Mind you, they were very few and far between. The only thing is the weather is so changeable and lots of windy days.
Now we were almost at the end of our holiday, we were travelling round to all our friends to say goodbye. The last day we spent with Mother, she was very pleased with staying with George and Miranda (his wife). I told Mother that if, at any time, she felt like coming up to Edith and I, that she should just let George know and he will get in touch with me. We said goodbyes to all the family as we were leaving next day, back to Nancy (Edith's sister.) for the last night. We always stay with Nancy as it's in between Crynant and Ystradgynlais away from the built up area, and lots of walks for the dogs, and I liked walking to the top of the mountings.
This was our last goodbye as next morning we set off back to Halifax. We were lucky once again we had a good ride all the way home, and a nice day until we got to Manchester, as usual, we got some rain the rest of our journey. Now we settled down to do a little work in the garden over the weekend and then, we started back to work on the Monday. When I travel I always said my prayers and asked our Lord God to watch over us and give us a safe journey and this is how the Lord God looks after me.
A few weeks after returning from our holiday I wrote to our Win. I was very annoyed with her, I really went to town with her, and I told her straight that the way she had treated her Mother she ought to be ashamed of herself. I did not understand why she did not even take her Mother to see the doctor before calling her "a dirty old woman." She and I grew up together as all the rest of the family were a lot older; I never thought that she would turn out that way. Since I sent her that letter, she's not been in touch with me. I'm sure not a bit upset about her and will still keep in touch with her, I do not fall out with anyone. Yes, I do tell them straight but I will always forgive them, as that is the way God wants me to be I hope .Win will keep in touch and just say she is sorry for the bad things she has done and lets get back to our normal friendship. I got all information from my oldest sister Lil as we have always kept in touch, Lil eventually passed away 1982. I always stay with Irene (Lillian's daughter, and my niece.) when I visit the U.K.
Now no one knows whether our Win is still in circulation, I have tried ringing her to ask her why but she puts the phone down. I think about her many times, if our Win will not contact me then that will be the end of our relationship I guess, still I never fall out with anyone, I will tell them straight, but if they come back to me I will always forgive them. I still love all my family, I will try and keep
in touch with Valerie and Royston (her daughter and son) but I guess that's if she will let them keep in touch with us.
I have to go back now to when Keith left us to go to Canada. We had been looking around at the places where they were starting to build new homes the south side of Halifax. It was the best side to live. We found a place in the little town of Elland, just three and a half miles from Halifax; they were building in that area. We went into the office. After a talk with the agent, we decided straight away which one we liked best when finished, it was the one with the biggest garden. We had a lot of extras done to our windows, and so on. It cost us two thousand five hundred pounds, and with the extras, it cost three thousand pounds altogether. They were finished and we were ready to move in six months later. We never regretted making that move. It took us no time to sell our place in Skircoat Green, and again, by the grace of God, we made a good profit.
We were still working at the same place in Halifax, when we moved into our new rancher in Elland. What a good move we did. We enjoyed every day we spent there. We had very good neighbours, Rita and Eric. They had one little girl when we first moved in there. Rita was on her own a lot, as Eric was working away and only came home at weekends. Kimberly was four years old at that time, and Rita was already expecting another baby. A little girl was born a few months later, and they gave her the name of Tracey. In the mean time we got to know Kimberly very well, as she was always with us wherever we went. Later, we even took her on holiday to Wales with us. She was five when her little sister was born, we really enjoyed having her with us.
When Tracey was about three years old, she came everywhere with us during the week; we loved those two little girls. The enjoyment we had over the whole eight years that we lived there with the company of the children is unbelievable and we were very sorry to leave, but we had good reason to go that will come up later. When we were building a fishpond in our garden, Kimberly was always there to help Edith and I, we gave her a hammer and a few nails to knock into wood, she loved doing that and she loved doing lots of other things.
When it was our July holidays, we worked the first week in the garden, and then went away for the second week, taking Kimberly with us. Tracey was a little too young at that time. I could go on and on about the things we did, believe me. We loved every minute of the time we had with them, and the fun we got at Christmas time, and all through the years. It was just like having daughters. God seems to understand the desire of our hearts. We so wanted our own daughters, but it was not possible. I do believe God gave us these girls to cherish. We didn't have Keith with us anymore. Our good Lord knew we loved all little children, and throughout the years I still miss having children around me. I would like to place some photos of our beautiful back garden in this book, but Beverley moved away, and she was the one that knew how to do it, still she may come back to live in Keremeos later.
We sold that Semi in 1971 (we had lived there eight years) because we were getting near my time to retire and we wanted to get some money behind us. We still keep in touch with the girls and when we visit home, we always try and see them. Thank you girls; you gave us a wonderful time those eight years, some of the best years of our life. It's wonderful how God keeps bringing people into our life as others "pass out of it," bringing joy and happiness all around. We will never forget all those years in Elland. It was the best place we had up till that time, we did not want to move but we had made our minds up to retire either in Wales or Canada. We wanted to get as much money as we could to be able to buy a home of our own and decide where to go.
We were trying to save our money to immigrate to Canada just as soon as I retired. Keith was still in our thoughts and prayers and we were looking forward to being closer to him, and near our grand children or back to Wales. Edith and I had a lot to be thankful for; how our good Lord God guided us through those years! I got a good job in Halifax, at Mackintosh and meeting Rita and the girls. We often talked about what might have happened if we had immigrated to Australia instead of coming to Halifax, but we didn't have any regrets about the decision to stay, that we made at that time. I must say though, I did do well in my working life too. I had some of the best workers. They were a good set of boys and girls, and they worked hard for me. I always looked after them, and they didn't need the Union to back them up. I was very fair with them when it came to making a decision on any matter, they knew it was the right one. I appreciated having a good bunch working for me, and they knew they had a good boss.
A lot of them are still working there, and if they can make it when I have a trip over to Halifax, we have a few nights out in the pub, together. They tell me, many a time, "It's not the same since you left!" I'd done my best to get them to give the firm their best, as I always had done too. We all pulled together and got the work turned out every day. Sometimes, I would give them "extra" breaks if the work were caught up. My best years with the firm, was when I went abroad, to get our products started up. We had a month or two in Zambia, Sweden, and Germany. It was great.
I would just like to mention about the way Sweden stopped drinking and driving. The punishment that was given by the judge was anything from five weekends or more working on the road, they would be picked up from their work place and taken straight to the place where they had to work, they would be taken back to their homes late on Sunday night. It could be more weekends depending on the amount over the limit. Believe me, and when they entertained us at night we were taken out to a show it would be by them ordering a taxi.
We had been back at work about three months now, and the work was going very well. Edith and I were still very busy in the garden. Then, one day we got a call from my brother George to let me know that our Mam had to be taken into hospital, very sick. He wanted to know if we could come down as soon as possible. I had to see my Manager the next day, and ask him if it would be okay for me to go down to Wales, the manager said I could leave straight away, so we set off the next day. We had another nice day for travelling stopped at our usual "Little Chef" for dinner. Now it was time to set off to our home village in Wales. When we arrived at my brother's home, he gave me the news that they had told him she had Cancer of the bladder. We could stay with her all day. She was in the "special" ward.
They did not expect her to live more than a week or two, that's why we were all sent for. Anyway, that's what was in the Doctor's report. We made up a rotation for visiting. I took the 6:00 am to 2:00pm, my oldest sister Lil relieved me at 2:00pm to 10:00pm, then Win and Maud came on at 10:00pm to 6:am. Then I would come to relieve them. This went on for two or three days. Then on the third morning, nobody was there. I asked the nurse if they had seen my sisters during the night. She told me they had been there, but only for an hour, and she hadn't seen them since.
When Lil came at 2:00pm to relieve me, I told her what had happened. I decided that I would go up to Maud's son's (Colin) house where they were staying, and find out why they didn't stay any longer when I got there and asked them, why they did not stop longer, their excuse was that our Mam kept asking them "When is Bill coming," that was all we heard. I said "that was the reason you left her on her own," "Yes," they both said, "if you thought we were staying to listen to that all night from her, no-way." Well, I lost my temper with our Win and Maud for leaving her there on her own all that night. I said, "Why didn't you phone, you both knew where we were staying."
"Our Mam only wants you, we are going home tomorrow."
I said to both of them, "You could have stayed and asked the nurse to let you phone me, I would have stayed with her, it just goes to show how much you both loved your Mother."
After I lost my temper, and tore into them I told Win, that she had no business calling Mam a "dirty old woman," when Win was clearly to blame for making her Mother eat things that she knew gave her the runs. We had to take her to Halifax, and if she had looked after her properly, and stopped making her eat the food that she knew would give her the runs, there would not have been any reason for her to call her a dirty old woman. I knew later why she wanted to get ride of Mam after she got her to sign with the instance man for a new book. My sisters were angry that I had put the matter straight to them both. Well as I said before, I will tell them straight, but I'm always ready to have them realize what they had done and things which they may be sorry for.
They both went back to London the next day. But Mam got better! They found out it was not Cancer, but an abscess. Edith and I went back to work after Mam came out of the Hospital, and went back to live with George and Miranda. I had a talk to Mam the last day before returning to Halifax, I asked her if she was happy staying with George, she told me that she was quite happy with them. I again told her if she wanted a change to let George know. I would come down to take her back with us and then when she was ready we would take her back to George, I promised that she would never go back to stay with the others again.
It was about nine months later, when we got a call from our George to let us know again that our Mam was still there with him, when they had to call the doctor in as Mam was very sick, she was now unconscious, and the doctor said to him our Mother had now gone into a coma from a blood colt. She had Cerebral Haemorrhage.
Edith and I again made the trip to Crynant. We stayed there, even though Mam was unconscious. I went straight up to her bedroom and held her hand while I talked to her to let her know I was there; I still held her hand for quite a while, I don't think she knew anything. Mam was still warm and laid there just as if she was sleeping. I went down to talk to George and he told me the doctor had just left when we got there. He told them that she was not suffering, just sleeping, yet may not see the morning. We stayed at her home with George until 10 p.m. then went to stay with Gee (Edith's mother) for the night.
I went up to her bedroom to see her before we left to sleep at Edith's Mother 's home for the night, it was close to George. If Mam passed on they would come to tell us no matter what time it happened. We both seemed to wake up at the sound we heard of running footsteps on the side walk, it was 6am and we seemed to know that they were coming to our door; we got straight up when the loud knock came on our front door, it was Veronica (my brother George's daughter) running down the road. We got up to let her in and she told us that Grandma had just passed away. We got dressed and went straight down to her home with her, and we stayed there the whole day until 9 p.m. Then we left to go up to stay with Nancy for the night.
I had to phone my boss up in Halifax once more and explained to him I would have to stop for one more week, he told me to take as long as I needed to. We had the funeral for Mam during the week following. The funeral was held in the same little Church that we had my Dad's funeral in, Saint Margaret Church of England. That's the Church they went to and brought us up to believe in God and Jesus Christ, and now the Lord knew it was time to take her to his wonderful garden, and one day we will all meet up in heaven. We had Mother buried with my Dad in the same grave. Mam was 82 years of age when she died. She was born in London on March 7th 1885, and she died on May 14th 1967. My Mam and Dad were both Londoners, both came from a large family, but I know nothing about their family, and heard nothing. They never talked about their families.
Maud and Win did not come down to see her, nor did they come to her funeral when Mam eventually passed away. Tubby, Maud's friend did come to Mother's funeral by himself. I had a long talk with him about why they would not come to the funeral. He said "I told them straight that I was leaving first thing the next day, with or without them." He was a very nice person, and I did appreciate him coming I told him. We all liked him very much, and he was too good for our Maud. Win still does not talk to me, although, as the years have passed, I now still hold no grudge against her, life is full of good and bad times. God knows, and got me through all my up's and downs.
When Tubby got home at the end of the war he went straight to our Maud to give her the message he had from Cyril; he wanted her to know that he still loved her. He must have liked Maud as he stayed with her, as he was not married. When we first met him one holiday we had in London, I soon found out how nice a person he was, and we were all glad that he stayed in our family. That was the time he told me all about the Japanese Prisoners of war camp they were in, and how Cyril died. "When you fell ill they would not give you any treatment and that was why he passed away, I held him in my arms until his end came." Cyril and Tubby had been very-close friends, for all the years they were young. They were both very lice boys believe me! We liked Cyril as we had met him a few times during the time he was married to Maud.
Maud died around three years after her Mother died. But as far as I know, our Win is still around (writing in 2005). I lost touch with Tubby after Maud died, and as far as I knew after that every one in Wales lost touch with him. He did not seem to keep in touch with any of us, I really wish he had kept in touch with us. I kept in touch with our Lil until she died a few years ago. Now you know why I do not talk about my family. The only one I communicate with is Irene, my sister Lil's daughter. Who I stay with every time I go on holiday to the U.K. I was so glad when her and Michael came to live near us, when he finish with the service after serving with the Royal Navy for a long period; they were born in London. I still have them and all their family in my life.
TO THE ONE WHO BEARS THE SWEETEST NAME AND ADDS LUSTER TO THE SAME, WHO SHARES MY JOYS, WHO CHEERS ME WHEN SAD, THE GREATEST FRIEND I EVER HAD.
MY LIFE WITH HER WAS FULL OF FUN, NOW THERE'S NO OTHER CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF MY DEAR MOTHER.
THANK YOU MOTHER FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE, OVER ALL THOSE YEARS I HAD YOU, AND GOD FOR GIVING YOU A LONG LIFE.
THE SADEST DAY OF MY LIFE, THE DAY YOU LEFT ME TO STAY WTTH GOD. I WANT YOU TO KNOW GOD HAS GUIDED ME THROUGH MY WONDERFUL LIFE SINCE WE PARTED.
I THANK GOD EVERY NIGHT FOR HIS CARE HE GAVE ME FREELY, AND THE LOVE YOU GAVE ME IN MY YOUNG DAYS. I THANK YOU, AND OUR GOOD LORD GOD FOR THIS WONDERFUL LIFE I HAVE RECEIVED.
WILLIAM JAMES HUNT
To be continued