Connie Taylor
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Bob and Connie Taylor in the garden, New Cross, 2002

Growing up

One day my Dad took us out for a walk in the woods, and I lost my sandal on purpose 'cause Winnie had a new pair of sandals and I didn't. That's the sort of little devil I was. It was done to get attention, but it didn't really work.

Winnie used to have all the new clothes, because everything was on ration, you used to have coupons, and Winnie used to have to have the new clothes, and I always called myself Second Hand Rose 'cause I always used to have Winnie's left-offs. I used to be pleased when my feet got bigger than Winnie's, I didn't have to have her left-off shoes then."

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Connie and sister Winnie in the back garden, Oxley Street SE1, 1937

Family life

"My mother-in-law and father-in-law used to live upstairs and I only had two rooms and a kitchenette, I shared with them. My husband and I used to sleep in the front room with our youngest son, and my daughter and son used to sleep together in the other room. They was getting old enough, my daughter was 17 and my son was nearly 19 and was still sleeping in the same room together. It was a private landlord.

The place was ever so wet and damp, with my youngest son he had asthma, and my daughter was epileptic, I was fighting to get out of my place. My mother-in-law got rehoused. We couldn't use the upstairs because it was so damp, worse than downstairs. I couldn't make my bed 'til night time because of the dampness through the walls, my mattress used to be soaking wet with green mildew. This was 1961, '62 we was put on the council."

Getting married

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The blessing at St Anne's Church, Bermondsey. Wedding of Bob and Connie Taylor, 1983

"We had a Registry Office wedding first. My mum was dead against having a Registry Office marriage.

Winnie was a church-goer, my older sister, and she spoke to the vicar of her church St. Anne's, and he said yes, he'd do a blessing for us. We went to see him, and when we met him, we realised that he used to be Bob's chaplain!

We got to the Registry Office, it was absolutely packed out, all friends and family, over 200 people, and even the vicar turned up there! When we come out of the Registry Office the vicar came up to us, and he said how do you feel? And both Bob and I both said, it was just getting a dog's licence. So he said; "You're not going back home, you're coming with me". So my oldest son drove us to the church.

We had the bells going, the organ going, the choir, and we didn't know! Oh! It was lovely! We had over 300 people there."

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