Wedding bells and babies

Christina Sinclair and Percy Stroud married on 23rd December 1925 in Kilmacolm Public Hall in the centre of the village. They spent their honeymoon in Ayr. For a short time, they rented a room before moving into a tenement flat in Greenock only a few minutes away from George Square where Percy’s parents lived. Working days were long in the Torpedo Factory – 8am till 6pm, Monday to Friday, plus Saturday morning. Percy’s wage was about £2 10/- (£2.50). However, the job was permanent (unless you misbehaved seriously) so they had security in a way that many of their peers lacked.

The Depression caused great hardship and jobs were hard to find. Percy had saved £25, which today would be worth more than £1,000. However, his sister Edie had emigrated to South Africa and, shortly before Chris and Percy’s wedding, news came that her husband had died. She had three small children and a young baby and it was decided that the family would share the cost of bringing them home. So Percy’s savings were swallowed up. Saturday nights would be spent at George Square for a meal and a chinwag! Greenock had dance halls and cinemas and the coast was nearby. However, Chris’s dancing days were curtailed before long, when she found she was “expecting”.

After an uneventful expectancy (I was probably in my teens before I heard the other word for it) I gave them a bit of trouble and the midwife sent Percy running off to bring the Doctor. I arrived on 21st October 1926, not only to my Mummy and Daddy but to a large collection of Aunties, Uncles and cousins. For several years “Wee Chrissie” was the youngest grandchild on both sides and I believe I was handed round like a parcel, so great was the competition to have me on their knees! My birthday was on Trafalgar Day, which in these days was recognised.

Some of my earliest memories are of standing at the close watching for Daddy coming home, under the eye of Auntie Lil who lived on the ground floor, and of going with Mum on top of the tramcar on occasional Friday evenings to meet him coming out of work. We would walk along the Esplanade and watch the ships sailing back and forward, for the Clyde was a busy river then. Sometimes we would go into the café for ice-cream. Saturdays were for George Square and it was always a jolly, talkative and good-natured gathering. But I hope to write about the Stroud family in more detail in the future.

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