By Ian, based on conversations with Maurice in the Hospice
Those two men Maurice and Dudley were very arrogant men like most of their period. Dudley succeeded in school and was always held up throughout their schooling as a shining example to follow. Dudley was good at games and shone at sports. Maurice hated school and could not wait to leave he was made to feel that he let down the example set by his elder brother, his interests were football and music. When I talked with him about his childrens schooling he said he was always at odds with Lilian she loved school and felt cheated that she had not had a proper schooling she was self taught in a cultured but poor environment. In later life after the children left home she went back to studying and took and passed O levels, Maurice hated this. Maurice always said he rescued Lilian from poverty and fed and clothed her Lilians recollections were different. They met through their music Maurice had the money for instruments and the means to travel to gigs, they played in local hotels. He made much of her bare feet, now we know that GMB's influence and that she encouraged the young children at little Ideen to go barefoot.
When I asked about him he said he was away from Torquay for seven years I could not see how this had happened and asked him more, he said he had had enough of the shop and went off to create a career and a life for himself something which he had done for himself. He said he went to Bristol and trained as an aircraft engineer. He said he did it well before the war to establish himself in a "reserved occupation"so that he would not be called up when war was declared, he came to Torquay at some weekends. The shop was not making much money but enough to pay for his lifestyle. His father bought him a house which at the outbreak of war was occupied by his father Lilian, Thora ,GMB and then four children, Thora was sent to Torquay to escape the bombing of the naval base at Plymouth. Maurice became a government inspector at various aircraft factories including Supermarine at Southampton.He was very proud of learning trignometry as an adult. He had a difficult time as there was massive corruption in the dispersed industries, standards were impossible to maintain and a lot of work had to be rejected. This led to violence from a rejected sub contractors an accusation of being a communist threats of legal action and the sack, he returned to the shop which was now doing well making and supplying uniforms to all the service people of the many nations stationed there in the preparations for D Day. When I became an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve he altered my uniform and altered all the issue garments to fit.
GATT met and held a Conference in Torquay he made lots of money selling British tailoring to the delegates. He had a collection of wealthy clients and used to measure and take garments for fitting to their homes. Tailoring became old fashioned with the late fifties and sixties rise in off the peg garments he was reduced to alterations to bought in clothes and the shop became less profitable. He sold the orchard to keep going went to the shop for an hour a day and left the staff to do the day to day running. He sold his shares and when he was offered the lease did not take it up and retired. He had thought Spencer would take it over or one of the girls would marry a local lad who would take it over he mentioned several but it did not happen.
Lilian angry at the way Spencer was treated with his schooling swore that he was capable of something better than a shop keeper in a small town. Their childrens education was a continual fight between them.
When I asked about Thalia he said he paid for her early schooling but did not believe in education and wanted her to leave school and follow a womans trade ie secretary or shopwork.
Lilian used to have screaming rows at him when he could not think of her going to university.
Her siblings blamed Thalia for the family fights, the bossy elder sister, my sisters said the same about me. What was was social change the raising of expectations with the free schooling for all to sixteen, free for those that qualified to continue to degree and post graduate level. Maurice hated school and could not wait to get his children free of the clutches of school who taught different values which were at odds with his own.
Lilian and my mother had left school at twelve both families mine a lighthouse keeper and hers with Pop Bird moved regularly lived in remote houses with long walks to school both talked about setting out in a group of children and never arriving at school, a habit caught by ours when they had a ten mile journey by train with the alternative of walking the whole way along the beach and sand dunes and later a twenty mile journey to school by bus. My father went to Secondary School and later as an apprentice to the Dockyard School, Maurice left school at fourteen and helped in hotels shops and was bought an existing business by his father. Both were absent for the war years both saw their children infrequently. Were both brought up in an extended family with grandparents uncles and aunts but no father. That is why we are different to our younger siblings who were late and post war children with full time fathers. We both had attention from many adults. We had grandparents who enjoyed us and nurtured we probably grew up faster. I spent time with aunts and uncles and their children living in their homes, if I asked if I could go to stay I could, so I experienced several forms of family life.
........................Watch the video of the Funeral Wake on the Downloads tab ........................