Well, Valerie has the baby. Samantha arrives at Mayday Hospital on 11th July 1967. It all happens before I leave for work. However, as half of the dealing room is on holiday, I can’t get out of going in for the day so I call the ambulance and see Valerie off and then I go to work! I manage to get to Mayday Hospital (Croydon) after the birth with didn’t seem to wrong in thos days. Sam is a lovely little thing but doesn’t seem very keen to eat so feeding is drawn out.
Sam loves her black glove, which we gave here to provide a distraction but it soon became a fixture. It ended up a nasty thing with lots of baby food embedded but it didn’t do her any harm. Roger (my best man) and Marian (Valerie’s sister) are regular visitors. Marian works round the corner from me in Mark Lane so we often travelled back to Norbury together.
As we live in a one bedroom flat, my “smoker’s cough” was an ongoing problem as I often got told off because I coughed when I went to bed at night and being told off just made it worse.
Eventually we decide that we have to try to buy a house but my employers say no to a mortgage unless we have a 10% deposit – no chance! As explained later, I got offered a new job with a 10% house deposit loan. Needless to say, I take it.
I have always been one for hobbies and they kept going through our time in Norbury. I made a Hi-Fi amplifier from a Heathkit kit and some speakers from a plan in a HiFi magazine. I have always been keen on making scale plastic models and, during this time, I make a variety of Renwall military vehicle kits and a Tamiya Gold Leaf Team Lotus car in 1:12th scale – very large.
With my best man, Roger, I got interested in war gaming and Roger and I design a hugely complex war game covering the battle for the Atlantic in WWII. We spend months building the rules and only play it once!
One high spot was shortly after Sam was born, when I was up in the middle of the night making up a bottle. Valerie and I have had 4 children and there was an unwritten rule – I would make up the bottle in the night and Valerie would do the feeding. Remember, much of this time, I was starting work at 8 a.m. and working in a frantic dealing room so being tired wasn’t an option! There I was making a feed for Sam when I suddenly remembered that Apollo 11 was due for a moon walk so I watched the moon landing on TV.