Freda Morse   page 2


When I got married, Mr Stangroom would have made me a nice flat above the little shop, so I could live there and go on managing it but, stupid-like, Oh no! I had to go and look after my husband.

I met Alec at a party—we used to have parties in those days, Christmas time, and all the friends went to each others’ houses. We played games like postman’s knock and musical chairs, and old-fashioned games like Old Mother McCoo:—“Old Mother McCoo is dead, and how did she die? One finger up, and one blind eye!” You’d go right round, ‘One finger up’ and you’d sit with a finger up . . . And then finally it was, “How did she die? One finger up, and one blind eye, and all on the jig.” That was a game. At one party my husband was there, and the man who was giving the party kept pretending that Alec was knocking for me (It was post man’s knock you see) which he wasn’t really, but the man knew he was sweet on me and so he kept me going out of the room with Alec!

That night Alec took me home, and then we started going together, but it was nearly five years before we got married because we couldn’t get a house. Alec’s mother had bought him a Raleigh motor bike for his 21st birthday, and we used to go out a lot on that to Cromer and different places, but when we got married we couldn’t afford to run it, so we bought two bikes and we used to bike up to Holt pictures.

We lived in the bungalow opposite Beach Road. We furnished four rooms in that bungalow; we hadn’t enough money to have the little room furnished so we had that as a store-room.

Alec's mother looking over
the back gate of the Hall


Freda's house opposite the beach road

I used to let: 12/6 a week and 5/- for cooking! We lived in the little room; of course we hadn’t got a bed, had we, because we let both the bedrooms. We had ever such lovely people come. They used to go out on the beach and they would come in for their evening meal, and I used to cook.

One gentleman visitor; all he wanted was blackberry and apple pudding, and he used to go and gather the blackberries for it, himself! We had an old sort of washhouse place and we made it into a kitchen. I don’t know if you’ve seen these old cookers with a door like a copper underneath—you burnt coal or anything, and that heated the oven all round, and I used to cook on that, lovely, beautiful cooking-stove that was.

And then, when we moved, we didn’t take in lodgers any more. We had the soldiers stationed on us, and we had evacuees. One little boy, all he liked was the white of the egg he didn’t like the yolk.


Freda with baby Peter outside the  white bungalow on the coast road  opposite the road
to the beach

We bought a three-piece suite which was twelve pounds something. How my husband got enough money to furnish the bungalow, I don’t know. I think his mother helped him. She was working as cook to the de Crespignys at the Hall, and my husband Alec was gardener there.

When Alec asked for a raise in wages, the Commander said he couldn’t afford it but there was that little cottage at the bottom of Bard Hill. When old Mr Dawson who lived there died, that became empty so the Commander said we could have it and we wouldn’t have to pay 5 shillings a week, we could live there rent-free. 

I didn’t like moving really, because I liked my house.







They had lice. We caught lice! I caught them, Peter caught them, and Alec. They had impetigo, and Peter caught that. They come from East London. They weren’t too bad, we didn’t have them wet the bed like our friends did! The mother and father came over to visit the little boy and, Oh, she’d got him all in flannelette because she thought he’d be cold! They weren’t too bad, but they didn’t know how to eat did they! They didn’t like anything—only fish and chips.
Alec worked on the farm so he didn’t have to go to war. Colonel de Crespigny and his wife, and the Colonel’s brother—“the Commander”, lived at the Hall.
I remember Mrs. de Crespigny’s brother, Commander Stagg, used to come to stay, and also a Miss Stagg came. The Colonel had an Alvis with a boot you could sit in. Once he took us for a ride and we went to visit an abbey and have a picnic.

Going along the Stiffkey road, the Colonel said to my husband, would you like to go sixty miles an hour? And we went at sixty and it was marvellous in the dickey. The de Crespignys were very good to us.

We were very happy in our marriage.

Freda and Alec's Golden Wedding.     
Alec was then blind.              



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