Thursday, 25 April 2013
On a very wet (and snowy) day on 25 April 1981, Christina and I got married. We hadn't rushed into it by any means - we met while we were both students in London back in 1976 (the year of the hot summer and drought). We had a ground floor flat in Southfields, London SW18 right opposite a listed art deco building and a paint factory run by a company called Ault and Wibourg. The flat had one bedroom, a living room and a room at the back which we made into a kitchen. As there was no inside toilet and bathroom, we were lucky enough to get a home improvement grant from the Greater London Council to put in a bathroom in the middle of the flat. We lived there until 1987. We didn't spend a bomb on wedding photographs - a friend of mine was just starting out as a photographer so we asked him to take some colour and black and white. A lot of people remarked how much like my grandfather I looked - once a Jones always a Jones so the saying goes!
My grandparents were married in the St Mary's district of Southampton in June 1914. Thomas Richard Jones was born in Aberystwyth in 1886. He was a Welsh speaker and only learnt English when he joined the merchant navy and moved to Southampton where he met my grandmother, Agnes Gertrude Wilson who came from a large family (many of whom were in domestic service). They actually lived in Bevois Street, Southampton where many families who had members serving as crew lost on RMS Titanic were living. It must have been a worrying time to be serving at sea just after that disaster and just before the outbreak of the 1914-18 war. My grandfather served on the Atlantic convoys during World War 2 in 1940-43 and that also must have been a difficult time for the family with the constant threat of torpedo from German submarines and warships like the infamous Bismarck.