After Dad died Mother took over part of the bookkeeping and did the Banking etc and trips to the Bank Manager, especially in the early days because our bank account was frozen, Dad having died in testate. She also travelled to Derby Vehicle Licence Office collecting road fund and driving licences, especially on a Friday so as customers would be able to have their vehicles for the weekend, she also often picked up spare parts from ‘Ingles of Derby’ who were then the BSA main dealers. She would travel by train to Derby and at that time she could visit her sister who lived on Oxford St., (now part of Derbyshire Royal Infirmary). When in their wisdom the Licence Authority moved to Matlock she made several trips by train there, then caught a bus to the top of a hill in Matlock to Smedleys Hydro which had been taken over by Derbyshire County Council. The County still have their meetings there but of course the Licence Authority has been transferred to Swansea.
Mum would check the bought ledger and make cheques out at the end of the month, for years we paid everyone at the end of the month following date of dispatch obtaining 2.5% discount, motor cycles which were paid within 14 days obtained a further 3.75% settlement discount. Paying people on time allowed us access to many short supply items. The shop was altered (we had bought the two properties next door knocking them in to an “N” shape building. Mother was then able to have a self contained flat up a separate staircase at the rear.
I personally owe a great debt to my Mother as having been born with clubfeet she was the one who carried me on her back to the station and so to hospital. In hindsight I can see I was spoilt to the detriment of my younger brother Ernie. He was two years younger than me and as my youngest brother was born 18 months after Ernie, he obviously being in the middle missed out on a lot of love as I was taking a lot of my Mothers time. When I was in hospital my Mother did not miss a visit, often coming by pedal cycle to Coleshill and Bretby. Both Alan and Ernie were left at home and, as Dad was full time in the shop, they had to make their own enjoyment. ( I will be honest this is the first time I have put these thoughts in to words and it makes me feel very humble)
Meanwhile Jean, Carol and I were living at the rear of the College Street premises with Ernie and Doreen and their three children Alan, Yvonne and Jeanette next door. There was always an undercurrent of jealousy, especially over money, one family thinking they were having the worst of the bargain. I had many an argument over my going abroad but our Tamworth Road business was doing twice as much as College Street. Ernie in the 1950’s did have a few trips to Eire where he and Bill Henshaw were treated as Internationals and rode at College Park (Trinity College), Ernie never missed a midweek International Football match of which there were many. He was also a Manchester United fan and travelled to their games, his young son Alan going along with him.
Family holidays were had each year mostly in the Bournemouth area, Keith my brother-in-law and his family were stopping nearby so we could get together for beach football and cricket. In the evenings we went to the Bournemouth Symphony Hall Concerts held, if weather permitted, outside. The skating extravagances were also top rate as were the swimming galas. The years slipped by, I would not say that Jean and I were the best of partners she having a vile temper, still we got along. I do not suppose I was the best person to get along with, never on time for meals etc.