Monday, 16 August 2010

Dorothy Jean Roberton, nee Lodge

This is my mother, Dorothy, or Dolly as she was known by friends and family. She was born in 1926 in Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, the youngest of three children.

Although I knew the English side of my family well, my mother didn't talk about her past as much as my father so the information I have on her personal life is more patchy.

She met my father through her brother, Ken. Ken married Janice McGookin. Janice's parents were good friends of my father. Apparently my parents first met at Ken and Janice's wedding but the only memory my mum had of my dad was when her mother told her, "Dorothy, pull your skirt down. That man is looking at your knees." That man was my father.

My parents met again at a new year's eve party held by Ken and Janice. They got chatting and the rest is, as they say, history. They were engaged a few months later and got married in the summer.

Going through my parents things this year, I came across a batch of love letters between them during the few months between them meeting and getting married. They give a lovely picture of not only the growing relationship, warmth of feeling and wedding preparations but also what was happening in the world at the that time.

At this time there are no available census during my mother's lifetime but from other documentation, I put together these details.

She was confirmed at Kirkstall Church in 1941. From letters to my father, I have her address in Kirkstall in 1963 just before they were married that summer. Later that year, an electricity bill shows that she had moved to a new address in Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland to be with my father. She took her widowed father, Alfred with her. Her mother had died in 1962.

By 1965, she and my father had moved to Coventry. I was born the following year. In 1967 we moved to York. My mother worked part time as a legal secretary, fitting it around bringing me up.

She eventually died in 2007, mainly from old age. We had moved her to be near us in South Yorkshire and she passed away in Barnsley Hospital.

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