Tuesday, 4 March 2008

John Dowd


John Dowd was our next door neighbour at Renville Road and a close friend of Mum's. He introduced her to metaphysics and encouraged her artistic talents, he being an artist himself. The photo is circa 1952.

John Dowd at a much younger age!

John's wife was Nelly. They married a few months before I was born,. He had previously been married to Nelly's sister and Nelly had lived with them. Whilst he and Nelly had no great desire to marry it suited them to carry on living together. But in this respect he was caught between the Devil (almost literally) and the deep blue sea of public opinion. Since living in the same house without being married would have been frowned upon it was considered best to get married. Although ecclesiastical law allowed it, marriage to one's deceased wife's sister had only been legal since 1907 and was still considered improper by many people. (The corresponding Deceased Brother’s Widow’s Act didn’t get passed until 1921!)

Note in the background the height of the television aerial in someone's garden. It had yet to become standard to affix them to chimneys.

When I was tiny Aunty Nelly used to take me places to give Mum a break occasionally. I recall being taken to the Panto by her and being so scared that we left before it was finished. Barry and I are pictured here with Aunty Nelly (probably in 1952) in their back garden and I have a Dinky Toy in my hand.

It was a cream and maroon Hudson Sedan. And yes, they did produce the real car in that colour scheme despite black being the standard colour for almost all cars at that time.

John Dowd's son by his first marriage, Ernie and his wife Dolly had a daughter Olga. Olga was my babysitter.

1 comment:

  1. I find nostalgia a wonderful feeling. It feels like a stroke of reassurance from the past. Nelly looks quite the foreboding image of ladies in those days, very like photo's I have of my Auntie Gertie... she also looked grim, but I remember she was quite a kindly soul.

    Love Granny