Big sis, little sis

My sister Rachel and I were born a little over two years apart. I was born at mum and dads then home in Luton and Rachel was born in hospital in Chester.  Despite being two years older, it did often feel like Rachel came into the world running (there was just so much to learn about), whereas, I took things much slower – mum thought she was going to have me a week or so before she did but it seems I had a think about things and decided to wait a while longer … to this day i am a dotting your i’s crossing your t’s kinda of a gal.

I remember Rachel getting into a fair few scrapes – using her teeth to get out of her cot; a visit to accident an emergency when she ran head first into Stuart McClleland in the school playground (coming off worst with a black eye); coming home from infant school with her cream waistcoat covered in paint; then there was the time she took a liking to my Pluto toy and tried to eat him, managing to bite through the plastic.  Needless to say Pluto didn’t recover.  She was really much too young to know what she had done but somehow has never been allowed to forget what she did.

My childhood seems to have been less eventful, I was much happier in a corner with my head in a book, although I had my moments too. I remember pulling the legs off a plastic spider when Rachel annoyed me one time and throwing her Darth Vader toy out of the window to see if he could fly.

Despite our differences though, she is always the person I have the most fun with and I have very happy memories of the many things we have done together.

Love ya loads little sis.

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Albert and Louisa

Albert and Louisa were my great grandparents on my fathers side of the family.

Albert Edward William Clarke served with the Northamptonhire Constabulary from 1 December 1899 until he retired on 6 October 1931.  On joining the force he was described as a native of Welton, Northamptonshire and during his service he served at various stations in the county. On retirement he held the rank of Sergeant and was described as having an exemplary character.

The pulpit inside of St Martins Church, Welton was carved by a number of local people, including Albert. It was dedicated on St Michael and All Angels Day 1899. The vicar at the was Rev Edward Liddell.  A plaque appears on the wall next to the pulpit that reads ‘To the Glory and for the Love of Their Church’.


The photo above is a postcard sent by Albert on 7 June 1911 to Mrs A E Clarke, Police Station, Pottersbury, Stony, Stratford, Bucks.  On the back it reads: ‘Dear Lou Hope you are all well pleased to say I am alright, not quite as busy as on Monday. I do not know yet if it will be Sunday or Monday we shall leave here with love to you all. Ted’

Louisa Jane was the daughter of William Thomas Shortland and Elizabeth Jelley and she had one brother, Ernest Henry. When Elizabeth died, William re-married Alis, who had a daughter called Maud. William and Alis, later had a child together called Bess.  The photo below shows the four children  (Ernest is pictured at the back, with his hand on Louisa’s shoulder) and William and Alis.




Ernest lived to be 91 and Bess died a spinster, leaving thousands of pounds for charities in Northamptonshire. Before marrying, Louisa was in service, looking after three children in a family called Armitage. Albert and Louisa had six children – Dorothy Margaret, Edward Alexander, Cecily Mary (known as Molly), Kitty Alexandra and my grandmother Delia Eileen.


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