Where did your parents first meet?

Recommended Posts

Following on from Deepdene's post about his parents having first met at the Palais, I just wondered where YOUR parents first met....

My mum and dad met at a dance held in a North Notts village hall around 1920.   They saw each other regularly after that but didn't get married until 1933.  My maternal grandmother was ill for years and my mum ended up being her primary carer.   Apparently grandma asked my mum not to leave her to get married, so my mum waited... and waited ....and waited.  

I wonder if anyone would do the same these days.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

My parents met at The Victoria Ballroom in Nottingham in February 1947.  Mum had arranged to meet a friend from the office but she didn't turn up, which left mum on her own. Dad used to tease her about making up the story of meeting her friend, saying she was on the prowl for a man.


Dad was very good looking with dark, wavy hair. Mum made the mistake of asking him whether he'd had it permed and he took umbrage! However, they had a dance and mum was surprised to find that he was an excellent dancer, as was mum.  Dad claimed to have danced with Bette Davis during his time in the Royal Navy during world war two.


Mum and dad arranged to meet again and he was invited to her 21st birthday party at the end of April, 1947. One of her 'friends' took a shine to him and tried to steal him but dad wasn't interested.


Mum's mother was already very ill and when she died of ovarian cancer in December, 1947, mum and her father were left on their own. Neither of them knew how to boil an egg! Dad, however, was very skilled in the kitchen and turned up every Sunday to cook lunch. His Yorkshire pudding was something to behold! Mum never did learn how to cook and I'm no better.


In June 1949, mum and dad were married, having their reception at The Palais.


They were married until dad's passing in 2006.


Women were attracted to my father like moths to a flame. He was very handsome and had something about him that seemed to draw females. My mother always said she knew she could trust him. He wasn't a ladies' man and if they made a nuisance of themselves, he was quite capable of sending them away with a flea in their ear. Dad didn't do compliments. In fact, as with his own mother, he possessed a sharp tongue and could be insulting at times. His family never showed affection toward each other and their way of letting you know they liked you was to insult you in a joking sort of way.


Many people didn't like my father because they took him too seriously. I don't think he ever took anything seriously and was blessed with an ability to see the funny side of everything.  Sometimes, you needed the hide of a rhino to live with him but he was a very good father to me. In fact, better parents I could not have found.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Being a very inquisitive person, I once asked my paternal grandmother, Kate Sparrow, how she met my grandfather, Ted.  She was a widow by the time we had this conversation and slightly less feisty than in her earlier years but one still had to tread carefully, otherwise there might be a tongue lashing!


I must have caught her in an expansive mood because she told me all about it.


Kate was born in Radford but by 1911 her family had moved to Beeston and were living in a large villa in Humber Road.  Ted Sparrow eventually  lived with them there. Kate was 17 at this time.  She explained to me that she and her older sister had been to a dance where she met Ted (Edwin, to give him his Sunday name). Kate rather liked him but there was a problem: he was already engaged to another girl. Ted was three years older than Kate.


Kate decided Ted was the man for her and persuaded him to break his engagement.  


The Great War in 1914 saw Ted join The Royal Artillery. Prior to this, he had lived in Albion Street, Beeston with a couple who unofficially adopted him after his mother died in 1893 and his father emigrated to Canada, leaving Ted in the orphanage on Imperial Road, Beeston.  By the end of The Great War, his adopted parents were dead and he was homeless, so he moved in with the Hudsons. My great grandfather, John Samuel Hudson, took Ted under his wing and taught him the lace trade.


Kate and Ted married in June 1919 at Beeston Parish Church. They had four children but the marriage was tempestuous. Ted had an eye for the ladies and Kate was well aware of his infidelities. Although they stayed together, it was a very rocky marriage at times.


That day I asked her for her memories, she finally turned to me and said: "It was a mistake! I should have let him marry the girl he was already engaged to! He was a swine, your grandfather!"


Sounds a bit harsh and both my father and his younger sister, who is still with us at nearly 92, confirmed the awful rows that broke out between their parents when they were children. However, my father believed that much of it was Kate deliberately terrifying Ted. Half Beeston was scared stiff of Kate and she was well known for intervening in domestic violence incidents between neighbours. This consisted of giving the wife a cup of tea and a biscuit while Kate took her trusty carving knife round to see the male perpetrator.  She would return ten minutes later and calmly state: "You can go home now. He won't touch you!" with a wicked grin on her face.


My father recalled the times Kate threw the carving knife at Ted, usually persuading him to run out of the house.


Not a marriage made in heaven, exactly!

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I often wonder what she did, Phil. As did my father.


I still have the knife and I wish it could talk.  Kate was a formidable female and during my family history research into my father's side, a number of people who grew up in Beeston and knew Kate, told me how she could put the fear of God into people.  Since my grandparents kept a shop, she probably wasn't very good for business!


Kate didn't take prisoners. Anyone who had been knocking their wife about or had been cruel to animals could expect a visit from Kate...and they made sure they never had a second. My father himself witnessed the thrashing Ted received at Kate's hands with a horse whip after he had treated one of his horses in an unkind way.  She loved animals and wasn't keen on people.  I'm just a chip off the old block, aren't I?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mum and dad met in the shipyard at Barrow in Furness. He was in one part and mum in another but kept going to where mum was working. The foreman was dads uncle and didnt like dad keep going out to seek mum. One day as dad passed him he told him that if he kept this meeting up he would land himself in trouble, he also told mum a similar thing but mum replied with the retort I well knew " time will tell then won't it". Dad worshipped mum and spoilt her to death , mum didnt grow up in an affectionate family but she showed her affection in other ways.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to refer post that i posted ln topic LACARNO 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a slip of paper in my purse that was written to my mum from my dad. Its a quote from the  film Carve her name with pride.


The love that I have


The life that I have, is all that I have,

And the life that I have is yours.

The love that I have of the life that I have,

Is yours and yours and yours.


A sleep I shall have , a rest I shall have,

Yet death will be but a pause,

For the peace of my years in the long green grass

Will be yours and yours and yours.


  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 7 months later...

My dad was a corporal in the Devonshire regiment,  but before he joined up , he met my mum in a Lyons tea room , where my mum worked !

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.