My sister Louvain was 6 when I was born in November 1940. I can always remember her ‘bossing me’ about but at the same time can remember her caring side. The colliery houses in Easington Colliery were known to be freezing, particularly upstairs and I can often as a small boy remember creeping into bed with her to get warm. She was great during trips to the park where she pushed me high on the swings.
During the war she went to live with my grandma and grandpa in Chester-Le- Street as the Germans were bombing Easington to try and damage the coal mine. My cousin John was also sent their to live and they were always very close.
As the bombing stopped she returned to Easington and I have fond memories of going tatty (potato) picking to earn a bit of pocket money.
When she started dating Reg I was often sent to the pictures (cinema) to pick up tickets for them while they went out on Reg’s motorbike. On one occasion they caught me drinking underage in the Black Diamond and much to my disgust they ‘spragged’ to my mam.
Initially when they went to Luton it was a bit of a shock but it was always enjoyable when the family arrived to visit at Christmas and Easter. On one occasion they arrived from Luton to find there was a dance at Easington welfare hall. Initially Louvain was in a bit of a panic as she didn’t have a long dress but we bought some material and ran her up a dress on the sewing machine, she was the Belle of the Ball.
Maundy Thursday always lasted forever as we waited for the car arriving from Luton. We can particularly remember the celebration we had for Louvain and Reg’s Silver Wedding one of the last occasions when the whole family including the whole of the Chester le street lot got to together.
In later years we went on a few holidays together a trip to the Edinburgh Tattoo was particularly memorable as we got drenched but were thankfully helped out by the man sitting next to us who had a very convenient bottle of whisky with him, it made the rain a bit more bearable.
We can always remember the wonderful trips to Luton -Jane can remember her first trip into London including a boat trip along the River Thames
Although Louvain is no longer with us we have our memories and she will never be forgotten