Jim and Annabel

I asked Annabel to write something about their early days intending to ‘blend it in’. Instead I’m making it a separate entry ‘in her own words’.

Jim and I had a lovely honeymoon in Paris visiting all the tourist places, Notre Dame, Sacré Coeur, Versailles and a lot more including of course, a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower where we saw the whole of Paris spread out beneath us. In the evenings we enjoyed night clubs and the spectacular shows at the Moulin Rouge. The weather was lovely and I remember when we stepped out of the plane at Orly the heat hit us and there was a strong smell in the air of perfume and French cigarettes.

Julie aged 1

Julie aged 1

On our return, we stayed at George Square for a short time until we found a furnished flat in Nelson Street to rent. It was owned by a lady who had lived in a large house on the Esplanade and had gone to live in America. She had bought the flat to have a house in Greenock and it was filled with beautiful furniture. Most of this, we piled into the set-in bed space in the kitchen. We used the lovely Morris dining suite, the large sofa and chairs suite and the bedroom furniture. There was still space for some of the smaller pieces of our own. We lived happily there for about a year until at last, after phoning a factor’s office each morning, an unfurnished flat became available for rent. This was an attic in Belville Street and we were dismayed when we saw what a bad state of repair it was in. However, after three months hard work by Jim, his Dad and my Dad, during which we moved back to stay at George Square, it was transformed into our beautiful little home. We had happy times there with lots of parties but the biggest event was the arrival of our first baby, Julie Anabel, born on 14th March 1960.

Two years later, we moved two floors down to a bigger flat. Again, it had to be completely renovated before we could move in but we were very happy there until 1964. The area was then scheduled for re-development and the tenements were to be demolished. We were given a new Council house, semi-detached with a garden, at Fancy Farm. Tracy Jane was born a month after we moved, on 16th August 1964, at home.

It was lovely to have a garden to be able to leave her in her pram, instead of having several flights of stairs to pull the pram up and down each time we went out, as when Julie was a baby. Jim worked hard to make a real garden from the mess of builder’s rubble that was there when we moved in. In 1967 we decided we wanted to be able to choose where we lived and I went back to work in the Bank to help save to buy our own home which we did in 1970. Again, it needed to be completely renovated and even after we moved into the house it was a few years before we could do everything we wanted. We have had lots of happy times here over the years with many parties and guests to stay.

Annabel has moved ahead of where I am in the blog but I will catch up before long!


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