At the start of the Second World War, my grandparents ran a fishmonger and greengrocers shop in Birkenhead. My Grandfather was also a fireman which meant he was not constricted into the army because being a fireman was a reserved occupation. Because my grandfather and grandmother were both at home during the war years they didn’t want their daughter, Beryl, evacuated to Wales as part of operation Pied Piper. This was despite Birkenhead being bombed heavily by the Germans because it was home to Camell Lairds and other industry contributing towards the war effort.
When I was a youngster in the 1960s I spent a great of time with my Grandfather. We used to go shopping together in Liverpool and, when my Grandmother was out of the way working in a Thornton’s shop, we would get up to all kinds of mischief. I was always sworn to secrecy of course but being the age that I was, I couldn’t keep a secret to save my life. During one of our expeditions over to Liverpool he lost me in a tailor’s doorway and the memory of that day still haunts me even after all these years.
I was having a little rummage through a box of old photographs the other day when I came across this negative. It shows a man and a woman standing proudly behind a pram containing a young child. The man, upon first inspection, seemed to be holding a dog. Just who these people were I had no idea, but it caught my imagination and I was determined to find out as much as I could.