Sue Jones

My name is Sue Jones this is a photo of my parents May and Cyril Duffield.

They met when she was 9 and he would have been about 11. He used to turn her skipping rope in the street. And they started courting when she was about 14. And they got married when she was 20.  They had 72 years of married life together before he passed away 3 years ago.

My mum was born in 1926 so she is 93 now, and my dad was born in 1924 and died just short of his 91st birthday.

My mum is in good shape, she has dementia, and she is a bit wobbly on her feet, but you expect that 93. They had 2 children, me and my sister but my sister passed away five years ago.

My parents had quite a hard life. Mum looked after her own mum and dad in Geneva Road Tipton and then they eventually took over the tenancy of the house, and they always lived in Tipton.

Dad always worked in the foundry, he was what is know as the ‘Cupola Man’ which meant he lined the insides of the big furnaces. It was quite a hard job. People worked hard in those days, the conditions that people worked in would not be accepted these days. He came home covered in coal and brick dust, and his lungs weren’t very good.

Mum didn't work when we were growing up, but she worked during the war in Palethorpes which was a major food company in Tipton that made sausages and pies.

My mum is a very caring person. She looked after her own mum and dad and all her brothers and sisters because she came from a very big family. There were 10 daughters and 2 sons and they all lived in a 3 bedroom house so it was a bit chaotic. Most of them lived until their 80s and I think that must be due to the diet that had during the war -they didn’t have treats, they didn’t have sugar and sweets.

In the wedding photo my dad is in a sailors uniform during the war and he was on the Malta convoys that took the food there when it was under siege. Most of the ships got destroyed but his ship got through. And after the war the people of Malta give them the freedom of the city.

They got married in 1946. I think the photo is wonderful, I can remember my dad with his curly hair. Photos in those days were taken in black and white and the studio coloured them, and they gave her pink roses and she always hated that because she had yellow roses and they coloured them pink. So every year on their anniversary dad always gave her yellow roses.

Mom has got 6 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren, and I regularly get all the photos out and show them because they need to know where they come from and where they belong. Home is always where you feel best, so it’s good to know you come from an area and belong there. None of them have strayed very far.

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