Marie Stanaway

My name is Marie Alice Stanaway and I live in Tipton and I have lived here for 37 years.  I'm 7th generation Scottish, so I am a Scot, I just happen to live in Tipton. But I love living in Tipton, I have got brilliant neighbours, brilliant friends. 

This is a photo of me and my mum. I don't know whether she's trying to make me smile or what she's doing there. She's talking to me.  My father was killed in the Second World War so my mum was my best friend and that was it. There's only ever been me and my mum.  

My mum's name was Susan. She came from Dundee and my dad came from St Andrews. He was in the RAF.  I never questioned her about my dad.  She would have answered anything I wanted to know but I never asked. Obviously she was very much in love with him and that was it. There's never been another man in her life.

I think it's lovely a lovely photo. I can't believe it's me, let's put it that way. A lot has happened in my life since then. I must have been about 2 1/2 here.  It was before we came down here from Scotland.  A lot of people when they see older pictures of my mum well they think she looks like the queen.

This one has been hand-tinted and was taken about the same time as the first one. I've got another one at home of me with the curly hair like that. 
This is a studio photo of my mom who is in the middle, with her granny. We knew her as Granny Sadler. My mom, is probably about 4, so it's taken in 1918 in Dundee. The other children are her cousins. Her grandmother brought her up as her parents had died by then.

I was very much grandad's little girl. He paid for me to go to boarding school because obviously mum had to work so I needed looking after. 

I went to boarding school in Solihull. I was there from the age of 4 1/2 until I went to Pitmans College. I was there for a big part of my life.  I was a rebel, there's no getting away from it. I was always in trouble, you know climbing trees, all the things that girly-girls just don't do.  But they did make me head girl. My mum asked why, and the headmistress said it's because we'd rather have her on our side than the other side!

This is me and mom, we were going away for my 60th and my mom's 90th. It's a pity my daughter is not on there because she was 30 in the same year. We had a smashing party for all of us.
This is mom in her 80s taken in a studio in Birmingham.

I used to see mum at weekends. Obviously going to boarding school was the safest place for me to be.  And she didn't want to grandad to have the responsibility of looking after me.

I lived with mum for a big part of my life until I got married and moved out.  Mom went to live with grandad when granny Ross died and then when grandad died, mum came to live with me and she lived with me until she died which was about 11 years.  She was 96 when she died.

This is group photo taken in 1930 of my mom’s family - that’s my mom’s grandmother at the front and her aunt Lizzy at the back on the right.
Marie's grandad Alec Ross taken when he was in his 70s

The photo on right is of grandad Alec Ross and he died when he was 98.  He was a groundsman and worked for the gas board. He was brilliant, his motto was ‘if it's worth thinking darling, then say it’.

He's always been my grandad - I've always known him as my grandad. Granny Ross and my mum's mum were sisters, but mum's mum and dad got killed in one of the first car accidents.  So they brought mum up, and she's always referred to them as her parents.  Therefore he has always been my grandad. 

This is a beautiful photo of my mom’s aunt Lizzy and Dave taken probably in studio in Grantown just after the first war. It’s a genuine photo, if that makes sense, It’s got this special quality.
This is Alice and George, and I was named after Alice, who again is mom’s aunt.

Grandad taught me that if you go out to work and you earn a wage, you are working class.  It doesn't matter what your hierarchy is, if you get paid for doing a job, you are working class and he instilled that in me. He said you're not middle class- you weren't born with a silver spoon in your mouth - you are working class. I've always maintained that and I've brought the kids up exactly the same.
I loved him to bits. Very often if I do something stupid I think ‘oh grandad would be laughing if he was here now!'

This is a photo of the wedding of grandad's brother's daughter in Grantown on Spey, probably in the very early 1950s. There is something about this photo I really love, it's a gentle photograph. They all look happy, it's not long after the war.

It was colourised in Aston in Birmingham so it must have been done after my mother moved down here.

I'm the one with the hat!  I haven't got a clue who the little girl is though. We used to go away with mum's friends and it's obviously their daughter. It's been such a long time, but that's me in the hat, and it’s taken by my mum. I think it’s Weymouth, probably in the 50s.

My mum was definitely a traveller. I was about 9 when she walked into my grandad's and said would they please look after me for the summer holiday as she as her friends were going to Hong Kong - and that was in the 60s!

This is me and my ex-husband when I worked at Accles & Pollock in Oldbury. I worked for Stan Pearce who was the sports and social club manager.

Life was good when this photo was taken. It's taken at a work's social do before we had the kids. My ex-husband’s name was Roger and he was from Warley by the church with the white cross. He is on the far left, and I am second from the left. 

Well, I had a good life. I've never been out of work. I don't regret anything, a lot of people say - ‘if I had known this I wouldn’t have done such and such…’ But I don't say that because I've got 2 gorgeous kids and 2 gorgeous grandkids.  I do think we are all dealt certain cards and it's how you proceed with them.

I had a good job, I was able to support the kids when I was on my own. I was a medical staffing officer at Dudley. I really loved my job, absolutely adored my job. Even now when I go to the hospital the doctors who were all my juniors, some of them are now consultants, well I look at them I think-  'oh struth, I knew you when you walked out of medical school and now you are a consultant'. It's feels like a lifetime ago. 

I've really enjoyed my life, I can't say otherwise.  I've had a brilliant life, a lot of people haven't. I suppose I've been indulged.

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