In 1963 I met Mandy Fry, a girl who lived with her parents and sisters in their family farm in Bramdean. Mandy was lodging during the week with my Aunt while she was attending Eastleigh College and that’s how we met when visiting one day.
In October 1966 Mandy and I bought a plot of land in Malcolm Road. We had plans for a house drawn up. Although passed by the local authority, we still had to take the drawings to Scammel & Smith, the local estate agents, to have the drawings approved by them for the Hiltingbury Estates before we could start building.
With the help of my brother John, my father and Mandy, I spent all my spare time, evenings and weekends, for the next 11 months building our house just getting it finished a week before Mandy and I got married on 2nd September 1967 at St. John the Baptist Church in Alresford.
Our honeymoon was one week in Guernsey. Although we had a lovely new house things were a bit tight at first with my take home pay only £16 a week. Mandy earned £8 a week working in a local shop and our mortgage was £22 a month with interest rates over 10%.
During the next few years we managed to get the house fully furnished and I built a garage all before our first daughter Clare was born, 6th May 1971. Our second daughter, Lisa was born on Mandy’s birthday, 27th July 1974. Our daughter Clare is married to Carl and along with their dog live in West End. Our other daughter Lisa is married to Stephen and they have two sons, Joshua and Peter and live in Chandler’s Ford.
Although I retired from full time paid work I now enjoy being able to do jobs for my family and friends especially the two extensions and other work on Lisa’s bungalow. When not working I like walking usually 3 to 6 miles a day mainly around Chandler’s Ford. Mandy and I also enjoy walking down by the coast in the Highcliff, Christchurch and Heingestbury Head area.
I feel so blessed with my life
I feel so blessed with my life, growing up, living and working in Chandler’s Ford where my family have been for over 130 years. For meeting and marrying Mandy and for setting up home together in the house we built 53 years ago and for our wonderful family, Clare and Carl, Lisa and Stephen and their special sons Joshua and Peter.
For all the connections I have with Chandler’s Ford I hope to end my life here ………But not just yet!