S: Not good enough for Tottenham but snapped up by a Smee
FC: Not good enough for Tottenham, but Smee snapped him up for a bargain
1: The wedding party
2: Patricia Brenda Dennis and Norman | The Marchant family
4: Patricia Doreen Smee, youngest in a family of six, with three brothers with her being the only girl Patricia left school at 14 went to work in an estate agent: Girlingtons and sons, where she learnt short hand. She left there to work in the legal profession as a legal secretary at Radnor Hudson and Bennett where she thought she would be given more opportunity for advancement Patricia didn’t know that working for a solicitor was going to be such the bore, so she bounced to a carbon copy manufactures company called Carbon ire and company Homemaker was to be her career for the next few years, but she did form a company with Kitty Blue It, where she fried bangers for local construction workers. In-between the bangers and eggs 3 children were born, Christine, Geoffrey John. It was these skills learnt raising a family that she procured a job as a family social worker. She finished her working career as Clerk of the Magistrates Court at High Wycombe Bucks
5: Norman Lawrence Marchant left school at 14 obtaining an apprenticeship at Amalgamated press, where he worked from 1942 to 1950. This print press was around the corner from the Oval, but Norman didn’t watch too much cricket, preferring to spend all his Saturdays with his beloved Tottenham Hotspurs Norman did get his spurs with a promotion to LTA Robinson where he worked from 1950 till 1958. Camera operator was he forte, and a move away from London beckoned. What type of cockney cockerel are you Mr. Marchant? During World war 11 Dad was evacuated in December 1939 to 1941 to St Albans with Haughton family and as they were a family of grave- diggers, could this is why he is always looking at the bright side of life. Norman was in the Royal Army from janurary1946 till May 1948, he was promoted to the rank as sergeant, as a Radar Operator. Despite his discipline in the forces, he loved to drink the wicked ale. Norman had a best friend Lobby and they were inseparable, often spending nights in the pub together pissed as farts .It was on one of these nights on a bender that he first saw Patricia Doreen Smee. Norman didn’t have his raider training Manuel on him that night, but when he first set eyes on the Smee though the alcohol fuelled glasses, he knew he had met the girl he would spend the next 60 years with. The Smee was not so sure. What a pissed skinny fart she was heard to say loudly not even attempting to lower her voice
6: Then at the Royal Forest Hall Hotel, Chingford, London SWE17, Duke Ellington was performing and Norman asked Patricia for a dance which was to be the start of over 60 years of a fairy tale romance They were married Third of June 1950 at a registrar’s office in Walthamstow. Celebrations were conducted at the a local pub called the Bakers Arms Honeymoon was at the beautiful Isle of Wight where they stayed at a quaint guest house in Sandown Town in the Isle of Wight | Isle of Wight
8: Patricia the only girl in the family
10: Mum did you always have attitude?
11: Dennis Patricia Norman
12: Mum was always left holding the baby | Mum gave Butlins it's good name
13: On the way to their honeymoon | Sunday afternoon , after a glass of wine | Saturday afternoon after a glass of wine
14: Handsome through the ages
15: Beauty redefined
17: 50th wedding anniversary
19: From Brenda Norman was 11 years old when I was born so I only remember him as a teenager of course. I remember he was always reading and would curl a lock of hair with his finger while he was doing it. He also had a very infectious giggle and if he came to a funny passage we would all be laughing with him. He always brought me my comics every week. To begin with it was Chicks Own and Tiny Tots and later became Girls Crystal and Schoolfriend. I used to take them to school afterwards because of course unlike now there wasn't much about for children in the war and soon afterwards. For our birthday every year I had the Annual of one of those Boy I wish I'd kept them I bet they are worth a lot of money now. Also every week he would sit at the kitchen table and divi up his wages. Always there was amount to be saved at the Post Office. Dad used to tease him and and ask how much he had then. The reply was usually the same. I've got Nye-on whatever. It became Dad's nickname for him. Nye-on. His attempts at DIY were usually a bit fraught. I can recall the hammer flying up the garden one time when Mum asked him to fix a shelf in the shed after Dad had died. I am told he has mellowed through the years!!
20: It was through Norman that I became interested in football. On occasions he took me over the Avenue to see a game. He was disgusted that I supported Arsenal though. That was because my true interest was cricket which I got from Dad. My hero was Dennis Compton who played for Arsenal at that time as well as his brother Lesley . They also both played for England and Dennis Compton was one of the very few who played both games for England. Norman was very noble and one week took me to Highbury to see a game. I can't remember the outcome but the following week he took me to Spurs and said now you'll see a proper team! Norman gave me a lot of good advice in my teens though I don't suppose he remembers that now. I shall never forget Pat's kindness to me when Mum got remarried. She managed to warn me without breaking her promise to keep it a secret. And afterwards would give me refuge on a Saturday afternoon when Charlieboy came home from the pub paralytic. Norman was usually at the game and we used to have long chats because it wasn't too easy for her either. Well huge thanks to both of them. Love them both heaps.
22: Life before World War 11 was very simple. I was 9 when the war started so Norman had to be 11. Times were very different to what they are today. There was no television in our house so we made our own entertainment. We were encouraged to read and listen to the stories told on the radio and play games like Monopoly or jig saw puzzles. I remember that Norman loved reading. As a young boy, his favourite book was “Just William” and he would sit for hours with his nose in the book giggling away and oblivious of anyone else around him. I can’t remember how many books there were on “Just William” but Norman read them all. We all spent a lot of time at the library. My father was an avid reader and read several books a week. We used to take it in turns to go and pick up books for him and a book for ourselves at the same time. Norman and Denis (my older brother) did a lot together in the early years but when they were separated through different schools, Denis, the outgoing member of the family, soon made lots of friends and, because of the age difference, Norman was excluded. He became a little bit of a loner after that and it wasn’t until he was in his early teens that he made friends with a boy named Lobby. I don’t know if that was his real name but that is what we called him. They were inseparable until Lobby met a girl and preferred her company to Norman’s.
23: Norman always seemed to know what he wanted out of life and loved to travel to different places – not distance places like they do today – but anywhere a bus or train could take him. His goal in life at that time was to have 100 pounds in the bank - a lot of money in those days. We called him “nigh on” because he was always telling us he had “nigh on” 100 pounds saved. To his delight, later on in life while working as an apprentice, he cut his thumb quite badly and was compensated one hundred pounds so his dream came true He was very good to me with the money he saved. He would include me to go with him on little trips or to a show and he would pay for me. I, at the time, was not working. Once he made friends with Lobby, that came to an end. Before the war, I remember we would go on day trips as a family. My father loved museums so we often went into London and spent the day at a museum. Sometimes we would take trips on the River Thames to Richmond and our big summer holiday was usually at Ramsgate. Norman would often get lost on these occasions and we usually found him at the nearest police station. I don’t know if he did this on his own or if my parents had told him to do that. He never seemed very worried when we picked him up but the rest of us were frantic
24: When the war started we were evacuated along with millions of other kids and we were billeted in different houses. I remember the man in the house liked to play games and cards so this suited Norman. He liked to keep busy. In fact, being an enterprising person myself, I had made a connection with a knitting shop to knit gloves for them to sell in the shop, and Norman thought this a great idea and decided to see if he could do it too. A little unusual for a boy, but he did a good job and they kept him going for as long as he wanted. He was always very enterprising and building toward that 100 pounds in the bank. As children, we were always encouraged to go to museums and travel around on our own. During school holidays we were given a small amount of money and the three of us would buy a sixpenny ticket on the London Transport system and we could go anywhere the buses or tubes went. We explored every inch of London and bear in mind, I was about 7 or 8, Norman would be either 9 or 10, and Denis 11 or 12. Something you couldn’t do today – to allow children that young to go off on their own exploring a big city like London. It made us very independent.
25: In summing up my impressions of our childhood, I think we were very happy. We had a close family tie with my father’s family and spent most Sunday evenings at our grandma’s house with all the aunts and uncles. Christmas was Norman always seemed to know what he wanted out of life and loved to travel to different places – not distance places like they do today – but anywhere a bus or train could take him. His goal in life at that time was to have 100 pounds in the bank - a lot of money in those days. We called him “nigh on” because he was always telling us he had “nigh on” 100 pounds saved. To his delight, later on in life while working as an apprentice, he cut his thumb quite badly and was compensated one hundred pounds so his dream came true He was very good to me with the money he saved. He would include me to go with him on little trips or to a show and he would pay for me. I, at the time, was not working. Once he made friends with Lobby, that came to an end. Before the war, I remember we would go on day trips as a family. My father loved museums so we often went into London and spent the day at a museum. Sometimes we would take trips on the River Thames to Richmond and our big summer holiday was usually at Ramsgate. Norman would often get lost on these occasions and we usually found him at the nearest police station. I don’t know if he did this on his own or if my parents had told him to do that. He never seemed very worried when we picked him up but the rest of us were frantic always a big deal.
27: To get to 60 years of marriage is a real achievement. Not a mile stone in life that many reach. When I look at Nan and Grandad, I am not surprised that they are still as happy as the day that they met each other. I guess after all these years they are still best friends and can tell each other anything, including you are an a***hole / w***er!!A lot of people remark that Daren and I have a similar relationship to them, which we consider to be a real compliment. Grandad has had many hobbies over the years, the main one being Tottenham Hotspurs and doesn’t he like to talk about it! Sometimes I wonder who has kicked the ball more Granddad whilst watching on the TV, or all the members of the team, as he does like to put in the imaginary wining goal from his chair! Nan has also had her hobbies; she loves her gardening and will definitely call a spade a spade! We love getting together with them, as they are great company and not only do we all have al laugh together we can all laugh at each other. To sum up I could not wish for greater grandparents they are the greats.
29: Nan and Granddad have always been part of my life. They gave me a toy which I named Ted, which was my comfort toy as a boy, it is still in Nan’s loft. It is very scruffy but it is still very much loved Granddad loved to watch me play football and always supported me. We also use to go and watch Tottenham on a regular basis; he would drive for miles so that he could take me with him. Even though he would never be caught dead in McDonalds he would take me for Big Macs before the game, and then we would buy Mars bars for half time. He did roll his eyes when I changed my allegiance to Manchester united, and then Portsmouth, but still took me to Wembly to see Spurs win the cup. I always said I would drive him to football when I was older; I haven't needed to as granddad is still able to drive or goes by train. I think he is frightened by my driving, but I might be taking him to Europe this year, hopefully this will mitigate for reneging on my promises to drive him to see his beloved Tottenham. Nan and I are good friends, although we always have a bit of banter. If I ever get a garden going she is going to be my gardening adviser It was nice to be able to help them when they had a leak in their drive. Granddad was out there helping with the donkey work, but we sorted it. When I finally get married Nan and granddad I hope will be there to see it, they are a good example of what a marriage should be like
33: Growing up as a Marchant has always been a series of adventures. I remember when Mum was learning to drive, and cowering in the back as she tried to negotiate the horrific hills of Devon. Every Saturday I had chores to do, and Mum was often helping me tidy my room. When I was naughty Dad would throw slippers at us. He would often throw them at us even when we weren’t naughty. Looking back I think it gave us a sense security, and set boundaries for us all. Mum and Dad loved going on Holidays. They would save up and work hard for the extra money and we would venture out on holidays first on the English beaches, and then abroad. We would often eat out as a family with Berni’s steak house a particular favourite Driving up to Tottenham was also another one of my favourite things I would take the ugliest brown box to stand on so that I could see the game. I also remember going shopping with Mum once and getting on a train and ending up half way to Birmingham I really wanted a baby sister and not a baby brother. When Mum came home with John I was really upset and was nasty to her and to my new baby brother, despite all this Mum has always been nothing but an inspiration to me
34: Both Mum and Dad supported my relationship with Pete and helped us during the early years of our marriage. When Clare died and my whole life fell apart, Mum and Dad were there to help Pete and I hold it together, and then when Peter became ill they anticipated everything we ever needed and then some. When Pete eventually died, they were the bedrock of support that helped me hold it together Mum loves to garden and has always help me with anything flower related. Because of the love of dirt, I am not sure why she is always muttering to herself, “he is such a silly old sod” because it is obvious the love she has for him. And despite the constant reference to dirt, Dad reciprocates the love back to her Dad has become a great cook since retirement and mum loves the results, but ofcourse has she has to moan, “But he makes 16 hours of mess for a bit of bacon and egg”. Long gone is the ugly brown box, but Dad still is a long suffering Tottenham fan, and has often taken Phil to games with him. Even though Phil changed his alligence to Portsmouth they are often heard bantering about football Mum has her Tottenham too, but hers is right outside her back door, as she potters around oasis of joy When Jo and Darren married, Dad walked down that isle, very much a father figure giving always his daughter; I have never felt more proud
35: Three children
37: My first memories of my childhood are getting lost when I was about 4 years old with a little girl who was three years old, when we were living at Deeds Grove I remember being found when it was getting dark so I must have been lost for hours.My next memory was after we had moved to Green Hill, when Mum bought me a red bicycle which I had for years and when I bought a new bicycle I refurbished the old one so that John could use it. After I had the bike I loved playing outside and Mum would punish me when I was naughty by keeping me in for a day. I used to make cups of tea for Mum and Dad and if I was a bit slow to get started dad used to throw slippers at us to gee me up. I have fond memories of the Christmas parties that I went to at Harrison which were organised by the Harrison’s social club. One of dads work mate’s would dress up as Father Christmas and hand out presents. They continued this tradition when their grandchildren came alongAnother happy memory is of summer holidays spent at Woolacombe in Devon where Dad loved surfing. I remember flying kites as well as having a go at surfing. Another one of the family traditions was supporting Tottenham Football club and I remember going with dad to the home games with an old box to stand on so that I was able to see the game. We would buy some sweets before the game and have a hot dog at half time.
39: Chris and John | The only time John did not want his face on camera
40: Clare and Peter Taken early from us , but never forgotten Dance dance where ever you may be, I danced in the morning when the world was young I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth At Bethlehem I had my birth Dance, dance, wherever you may be I am the lord of the dance, said he And I lead you all, wherever you may be And I lead you all in the dance, said he I danced for the scribes and the Pharisees They wouldn't dance, they wouldn't follow me I danced for the fishermen James and John They came with me so the dance went on Dance, dance, wherever you may be I am the lord of the dance, said he And I lead you all, wherever you may be And I lead you all in the dance, said he I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame The holy people said it was a shame They ripped, they stripped, they hung me high Left me there on the cross to die Dance, dance, wherever you may be
42: Peter and family
43: Peter and family
46: Great Grandchildren
49: John's memories
50: I wonder if the bacon ever asked the egg what is was like to be together for 60 years Did the egg even ask if she wanted to be together with piggy for that long? Or did milk ever ask the Cornflakes if she could pour herself all over him? Patricia and Norman are more like peanut butter, and Oreos, not meant to be together But somehow it works No brevity, just old sentimental longevity First memories of snowflakes falling, praying for snow Walking by Terriers middle school That is where you are going to be a big boy I heard mummy say Peeking in through the window, were 5 year olds this ever big? Enjoying the lunches with such abandonment I was soon to learn that wasn’t the case Mummy don’t leave me, clinging with all my might But I soon learnt of a cheer “All my men” They followed There was always Saturdays to look forward to Even though the ugliest brown box ever peering over Daddies head to see Martin Chivers Score with a rocket Not sure what I longed for more, that rocket, or the promise of a hot dog at half time
51: Dad didn’t seem to say too much, but he didn’t have to, love knows its own lingo Dad never kicked a ball Except in the armchair Where he was either scoring at Wembley or killing Indians as a cowboy The lingo on these foreign shores, is alas another story OH how loudly I screamed, where is my half time treat, the elusive hot dog Not this French bread, with a fancy name The scouts beaconed with a strange man, that thy Sis dragged round, Scouts remain, but the weirdo left the same way he came A new boyfriend.What a moustache! Where was the race car any way? Wow he was to stay a while He stayed, and Mother met her match, but least life was not a bore A page boy outfit, wine and dancing Father uttered a few rare words That morning radio, was so loud, ranting by Tony Benn, and a strange looking Michael Foot guy, But the morning toast, and a cuppa was a treat
52: Mother made a mess in Green Hill, once a week I wondered why brown stuff was over the sink. But one day grey was in, brown mess stuff was out. Mum you look as hot now As you ever did sporting that brunette look Mum always had the ideas Down to the train station we moved We had to move the whole forest to move into the Hollies But 4 bedrooms and an on suite All these Spanish holidays has given ideas above your station Where is the bidet anyway? Canada soon came knocking She was cool; she just didn’t like my Martin Chivers appreciation cheering Another day that Dad uttered a few choice words Dad you really should speak more often I think you have a talent for this type of thing An innocent taken, so cruelly, so young. To be repeated to one not so young, but just as innocent Bret’s owe you a debt of gratitude The rest of the Marchants ponder with owe As an example of what love can bring
53: Worship no one except the goodness of your heart Dependable, reliable, steadfast like a rock. Full of wisdom to bring us all over the tidal wave of grief Humble to the extreme, how we can ever repay you Today is a small attempt for us all to show our appreciation and love We come as many, and we can always try to emulate your gift But we can never repay what a Marchant and a Smee has given to us over over sixty years.
55: Chris and John | Geoff and John
56: Peter and the Bret family | Chris and John | Dad and John | Dad on sledge | Dad boating | Mum and John | john learning to surf | Mum and Chris streets of San Francisco
57: Mum in Jail | Mum and John | Mum | Mum and Dad | The family | Dad skiing | Dad and John | John
58: Geoff and john | Family boating | Geoff and Dad | DAD | Dad and Geoff | Mum and John
59: Mum and Dad in Holland