My mother’s sister Alice, her husband Stan and their son Peter, my cousin. This photograph was probably taken by one of those beach photographers that one used to find in British seaside resorts in the 1950s. I can see that Alice is not too enamoured by the prospect of having it taken, she never really liked having her picture taken much. She and my mum were so close that she would lick the chocolate off my mum’s caramels as she did n’t like it. She did like the caramel which Alice left for her. In many ways they were alike and in others quite unlike each other. Stan was the archetypical working class man, a fitter at a large glass factory in St Helens, he kept their fleet of trucks on the road. St Helens is sometimes known as Glasstown as it was the home of Pilkington Glass. My Grandfather worked there, my Aunty Mabel worked there, but Stan worked for United Glass, another massive glass company in the town. The two of them made their home in the town in a small house which they never moved from, and it was there that they brought up my cousin Peter. They were devoted to him, working hard to give him every advantage they could, which he repaid in full.
In many respects he was brother number three to me, a year older than my older brother. He was a good humoured and friendly boy and man, who cared deeply about his family, both his parents and later his wife and children, then grandchildren.
Our times together were really in the 50s and the 60s, and then we sort of drifted apart. We kept in touch, but it was a bit of a tenuous link as Peter stayed for a while in the North and I went South. We met only, it seemed at funerals, the most recent my father’s around 4 years ago, when Peter and his wife Cathie came to pay their respects to my Dad. A show of respect that I shall always remember
Peter has just died. He suffered from a form of Alzheimers. A cruel disease that was cruel to him. Neither my brother or I can go to his funeral due to the Coronavirus rules, so we cannot voice our thoughts to his family as he did for us when one of ours left this earth.
I would not normally post or write publicly about these things but I need to tell people what a great bloke he was. How he was an important part of my growing up. That I’m sorry that I did not see him more in later years. That I mourn his passing.