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The Story begin when her mother a Lancaster lass, born in 1919 to Bertha and Cyril Cowley at their home Leonard Street but moved later to 84 Threadle Street Higher Openshawe Manchester England. Bertha’s cousin and best friend, a slim but a strong, hardy woman was with Bertha all through her pregnancy and would be there to deliver her baby. It had been a long day and night and on October 14th Bertha in an extreme amount of pain; starts to go into labour; Cyril had been helping by bring in the pails of hot water and bed sheets that had been ripped in half then in quarters. The contractions were coming more frequently; Bertha, very weak  and ready to pass out. Ada, comforting and holding her dear friend hand and gives her a hot toddy while waiting for the doctor to arrive. Ada hoping the doctor would come soon and puts a cold compress with lavender oils on her dear friend’s forehead. Hours had pass Bertha’s pushing and Ada talking her through the painful contractions and Oh My Goodness the baby is coming and Cyril rushed to get the doctors; he was a good and kind man who loved and respected his wife and couldn’t bear for anything to happen to his sweet beloved Bertha. Thank goodness Cyril didn't have to go that far and the doctor arrives in time to delivers a very tiny baby girl and cuts the umbilical cord. Ada gently wraps the very tiny fragile baby in a woolen blankets then placed her in a drawer to keep her warm. BUT WAIT! Ada’s in shock to see there’s another baby the doctors delivering; Bertha exhausted starts hemorrhaging; Ada's concerned  and scared for her poor dear friend’s life who is suffering then the doctor gives her the second baby girl and she wraps another extremely small baby in a woolen blanket and places her in the drawer below. It had been a long and hard delivery; Bertha with tears in her eyes glances over at her baby girls and was grateful and full of gratitude that she had two beautiful twin daughters. The first baby girl to be delivered and was christened; Violet and her second baby girl christened; Lily 



      The twin being premature when a few weeks old were taken to the Duchess of York hospital for sick Children. Violet weighing 4lbs 8 oz and Lily 4bls 6 oz, it was worth all the pain and suffering Bertha went through and a miracle they survived. Being so tiny and underweight most babies didn’t live but Lily and Violet had the divine radiance of Source Energy, they were here to stay and live out their life’s journey; their Destiny……They were born to be. As the twins got stronger after two months they were able to go home. You couldn’t tell Lily and Violet apart, they were definitely a novelty; you didn’t see many identical twins in their day and Bertha always dressed them alike. Lily was the boisterous, precocious and fun-loving one and Violet the more demure, serious and a sickly child who their mother doted on. This did affect Lily in later years knowing her sister got all the attention, and Violet was her mothers favourite as Lily thought. Bertha’s childhood was an unhappy and sad time for her and her sister Lilly-Rose. Their mother was an alcoholic and they went hungry most of the time, would sit outside the tavern waiting for their mother to stagger out with her belly full of ale. Bertha and her sister would pick up orange peels from the ground, huddled together so weak and cold and eat the white pith from inside.  Not knowing, the pith of the orange was full of fibre and vitamin C, this would have helped them from not getting scurvy.  Even though they had a hard life they did have each other and would giggle and pretend they were eating all the foods they loved. “I’m eating bread and dripping, mince pie and rice pudding” Bertha would say; Lilly Rose “I’m eating Toad in the hole, apple pie and gingerbread” Bertha; “Yorkshire pudding, roast beef, butter pudding, cake and jelly. They would go on like this till they had eaten every morsel of pith from inside the orange with a smile from ear to ear.  Having an imagination and each others warmth and love enabled them to get through the tough and lonely times of feeling abandoned. We all need that affection, love and connection from another human being that’s how we survive and are able to grow into the person we are sent here to be. We are so blessed today when you look back and see what our parents and the generations before them went through. We take so many things for granted today and if we are not careful it can be taken away just like that if we not understand what’s going on around us. The government can easily pull the wool over our eyes by putting out propaganda. Then what happens we become slaves to them, like in the Victorian times. 

A Tragedy A Curing 

A few years later brother Frankie was born, an adorable cute baby boy; Bertha’s nickname for him was sunshine. The twins and their little brother who was only 3 years old at the time were playing with cherries and looping them on their ears pretending they were earing's;.  This was terrible Frankie ate the cherries and got very sick.  The doctor was called in; he was shocked to tell Bertha and Cyril that their son looked like he had dysentery, he had seen this is in soldiers coming home from the First World War. Among the cherries Frankie had eaten a blue bottle fly had laid its eggs and he got food poisoning. They didn’t have penicillin back then and Bertha and Cyril, helpless to do anything to save their little baby boy had to watch Frank suffer for days. Bertha sent the twins to stay with her cousin Ada who now lived down the street, she didn’t want them to see their little brother suffering and the stress their parents were going through. Cyril moved Frankie's bed into the parlor next to the kitchen so Bertha could stay with her baby boy all day and cradling him all night long. Cyril stayed by his wife’s side and prayed in silence for his baby boy to stay alive, his heart was breaking trying to hold back his tears and to be stoic for his family; Bertha’s thoughts racing ~ Pleaseeed Dear Lord God don’t let our sunshine die; we want to see him grow up into a fine young man that’s what a mother and father are suppose to do. Looking at little Frankie telling him “we love you, we love you with all our heart” then playing silently “pleaseee dear lord God let our sweet little baby boy live; he mean everything to us pleaseee, pleaseee don’t die”~ Rocking 🙏🏽💕 back and forth and hoping for a metrical. Feeling every tender breathe of his breathing but little Frankie didn’t have a chance, holding him in her arms slowly Bertha could feel him slowly slipping away, as she's starring into his deep blue eyes and that very moment he had passed. Bertha and Cyril broke down sobbing…….OH MY GOD NO, NO, NO Bertha screamed and fell to the floor with their beloved child cradled in her arms. FRANK, FRANK WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH, YOUR OUR BEAUTIFUL SUNSHINE, OH MY GOD YOU CAN’T LEAVE US. Tears streaming down her checks, glances up at her husband Cyril, they couldn’t, couldn't believe their little boy was gone and couldn’t stop staring at Frank’s sweet angelic face he looked like an angel……She took a beep breath and with every once of hope and faith she had left yelled  PLEASEEE, PLEASEEE DEAR LORD GOD DON’T TAKE OUR BABY BOY LET HIM LIVE. They knew it was to late little Frankie was gone and Bertha closed their baby boy's eyes and kissed his forehead and said a prayer. Cyril held Bertha and Frankie tightly in his arms and didn’t want to let them go. Even though Frankie had passed they stayed with their little boy all night long and had to come to the realization  Frankie wasn’t coming back; he was now with his heavenly father in haven and at peace.


That night Lily saw a glowing light

Even though when we pass energy dissipate and leave this world but our soul lives on, our love ones are always with us even though we don’t see them we feel them sometimes. They are there in our dreams (The Devine Source Energy) Now Frankie was their angel and would be with them in spirit. How is that possible for those who are not believers? Lily and Violet didn’t know their baby brother had past on, children were never told if there was a death in the family. They had been staying with Ade and that night when the twins had gone to bed Lily awoke to see her little brother Frankie at the foot of the bed; he looked like an angel with a glowing light so bright all around him then he disappeared as quickly as he came. She woke her sister to tell her what had happened, who was upset with her and wanted to know why she hadn’t woke her sooner. The loss they must have felt and was never mentioned again;  the burden and heaviness in their hearts that they would carry around in their b forever. Frankie was buried at Philips Park Cemetery; Cyril couldn’t understand; if there was a God….. Why on earth would he let this happen? It affected him greatly, devastated and very angry, he was never the same person after his son’s death. Cyril had a hard life his parents owned a successful bakery he had two younger sister's he had started school and one day chiming on the roof to get a ball and his foot slipped and fell and split his head open his mother was frantic and his father suffered with anxiety and ran to get the doctor Cyril taken to the hospital and a miracle he survived to save his life the had to put a metal shut in his scalp. he was 

Experience many phenomena of the unknown

 Lily and Violet would experience many phenomena of the unknown; Violet like her mother Bertha would read tealeaves later in years; was that the reason she called her first born Violet the crown chakra?  Cyril and Lily also had the gift of having psychic abilities. In the 60s Lily was having pain in her right foot so Violet took her to a faith healer in London; while waiting outside her sister said to Lily can you smell that odour before Lily could answer the man came to the door.  As they walked into his home the faith healer said come with me Ladies.  He led them into a small room where stood a table and 3 chairs, light shone through a small crack in the curtain; the place looked dingy and unkempt. Sit in my chair the healer said to Violet and left the room for awhile; Violet smelled this strange odour and asked Lily feeling very strange if she could smell what she smelt but again before she got an answer the faith healer came back in the room. The faith heal said to please sit in my hair Violet placed herself comfortably leant back and shutting her eyes, feeling extremely relaxed and a sense of peacefulness came over her.  She started to slip into a trance, where she saw a hazy tunnel pulling her closer towards a bright shinning white light and could see a foreign eye that looked Indian.  As the light was pulling her closer and closer her heart started to beat fast, then faster this was very disturbing; what on earth was this she was experiencing?  It scared Violet so much she pulled back opening her eyes looking frightened to death, to where the faith healer said why did you do that? You have the capability to go to the other side, which Violet reply “I DON’T WANT TO” This was something she wasn’t comfortable with or interested in even though she had the psychic ability and was clairvoyant she was too fragile to go that far. Perhaps because of her gift of having this intuition and not fully understanding it was causing her illnesses. Most of her life she was on many medications but back then there wasn’t the internet, and books like there are today. She would have made a great living with her psychic and clairvoyant abilities and she was a medium other wise she wouldn’t have been able to see what she saw in the tealeaves. Violet was very smart and could have wrote books, she was also into astrology and would have done very well with the knowledge she had. She did make a small living later reading tealeaves but unfortunately made the wrong decision in the husbands she married. I think the war had a lot to do with this, also Lily being a little bit of a rebel and did what she wanted in spite of upsetting her mother and made a lot of bad choices as well. As you read on you will understand how when we are young and what happens to us as children can affect us later on in life. 



Cyril had lost faith

Lily and Violet liked playing mother and father, Bertha overheard the twins arguing who was going to be daddy. I wanted to be daddy Lily said he looks scary and Lily put her hands on her hips and gave the glare just like her father did. Bertha was so surprised by this and talked to Cyril; “the twins are scared of you” Cyril was saddened to hear this because he didn’t want his daughters to think of him that way. Cyril had piercing blue eyes and I suppose after the tragedy of losing their son Frankie it showed on his face. Being told by Bertha how his children felt he knew he had to be a better father and had to come out of that dark place of sadness. Lily always the one to be laughing and smiling and acting the fool but being told by her mother that she was responsible for looking after her sister, did cause Lily a great deal of anxiety. Like the day she was with her sister and Violet disappeared.  Lily couldn’t find her and had a panic attack, to find out later her sister was safe and sound. One afternoon while playing with her sister; Violet started to cry as usual and always getting the attention from their mother Lily asked “WHAT’S WRONG”?  “I hurt my foot” Violet sobbing, so Lily stamped on her other foot …….”NOW YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT”.  Lily had some jealousy towards her sister Violet because that’s what can happen when a parent gives more attention and love to another sibling. Lily covered her insecurities up by joking and making light of everything and getting in to trouble for it. Lily as a child would bring stray kittens home that had been abandoned so she could take care of them, otherwise the poor little kittens would have perished and died. She would lovingly hold and hug them something she yearned to get from her mother. Lily always wanting to help the defenceless the underdog, she felt a connection towards the stray forgotten kittens, they filled a whole deep in Lily’s heart. When children don’t get the right attention and love, its berried deep in their being; it causes so many problems later in life. They can make the wrong decisions sabotage themselves and not feel worthy and not become the person they have been brought here to be. This is why when you think you want to help someone and they are not open it’s because this is their life’s journey not yours. We can only help ourselves no one can do it for us. When we can accept the love we feel we deserve only then and there will we be open to change and will let the Magnificent Divine Universal Source Energy of Love comes within. Love is not ego, control and fear, which can lead to many addictive behaviours because we need to fulfill avoided that’s deep down in our soul.  Love is acceptance of oneself. Only when one is able to love oneself then we can love without judgment. We come forth on this earth to learn our life lessons.  Why does she know this? Because if we listen and look at what is going on around us we’ll become wiser the longer we are here, it’s telling us we need to listen to the mind body connection. This is what she needed to learn other wise she would keep doing the same things over and over again and getting the same results.

Lily would try to get Violet to laugh

St Barnbases School the twins 12 years old. 

Lily at the front on the left  and her sister sent to the back

In class Lily would try to get her sister Violet to laugh, she would say out of the side of her mouth can you say…….. “Shit without moving your lips” Violet’s reply Lily stop it! The teacher would glace over her glasses peering at Lily and point the ruler in her direction and she would get into trouble because of her behaviour and be moved to the front of the class and her twin to the back of the class. It didn’t make any difference Lily had to be the class clown and would spend many of her school days sitting at the front near the teacher.  Lily had a hard time in math because she was left handed and you would get your knuckles rapped because of it.  This caused her to go blank when it came to numbers. Lily never liked anything to do with figures it was a shame she had opportunities later in life that she turned down because of her childhood phobia. I am sure she would have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD if it would have happened today and thank goodness they didn’t label children back then and put them on drugs, like Ritalin thank goodness. Lily survived and did very well under the circumstances, a great communicator and what a comedian she turned out to be. Lily and Violet were in the school play Midsummer nights dream as fairies and Bertha had made them wings for their costume; Lily thought this was fun and would run around making a buzzing noise with her arms outstretched: Violet would say “Lily don’t be daft calm down you are supposed to be a delicate and dainty fairy not buzzing around like a flipping bumble bee”; Lily shrugged her shoulders and carried on acting the fool like she always did. Lily and Violet would babysit Ada’s daughter Olive their mother cousin who lived down the street at 48 Threadle street. Olive was eleven years younger than the twins and got on really well with Lily; Olive loved her sense of humour and happy go lucky ways, she liked the jokes Lily would tell it always made Olive laugh her head off out loud. Violet most of the time being so fragile and sick wasn’t able to babysit because of her ill health. When fourteen years of age Lily and Violet got their first job working in a chocolate and power box factory, they were so small and looked much younger than their years and had to stand on boxes to be able to do their work. This particular day Lily didn’t feel at all well and asked if she could leave work. On her arrival home told her mother she felt sick, her mother’s reply was; “you will be fine, go back to work” Lily couldn’t understand for some reason why her mother couldn’t show her the same compassion and love as she gave to her sister; Lily went back to work feeling not worthy and a terrible emptiness inside. It’s so important to let your children know you care about them. Love can do amazing things to a child’s heart and self esteem.  Bertha putting Violet above Lily’s feelings she didn’t realize that’s what she was doing. She was a loving mother but having her son die in her arm and wasn’t able to save him the guilt she must have felt. Violet being the sick and weak one in her mind I’m sure she didn’t want to loss another child and devoted all her attention on Violet. Lily’s being the strong, boy-stress and independent one and didn’t like being told what to do, did cause conflicts between her and her mother. The conflict between them was because Lily didn’t feel as important as her sister and this came out in her behaviour.  In every family one child gets on better with a particular family member, this dynamic will show up later in their life how they deal and handle situations.🙏🏽💕💕

In the local newspaper

When the twins turned 19 years old an article was written about them in the local Evening Chronicle newspaper. TWINS ALL RIGHT, WELL LOOK AT THEM NOW.

Lily and Violet had an article written about them in the Evening Chronicle. The Evening Chronicle asked the hospital for information of “old patients” who were premature babies or under 5 1b at birth that’s how Violet and Lily came into the news. Violet is now 7st and so is Lily. They are the same colouring, work together making chocolates and powered boxes in a local factory, wearing identical clothes at home and at work and at dancing, and generally displaying that impish spirit of mischief so common in twins. Violet and Lily told a little white lie they said they were 5ft 1, yes with their heals but they were 4.ft 11 with no shoes on.



Lily and Violet had lovely penmanship writing letters to family and friends just like their father; he had a gift of expressive himself by putting his feeling down on paper.  Cyril enjoyed writing and had a great gift of an imagination and wrote a book and tried to get it published but without success. When Cyril was a little boy his parents  James and Elizabeth owned a successful bakery it was very hard work, you had to be up at the crack of dawn. When his father died Cyril at the age of seven now had to be the man of the house. He had three younger sisters Jessie, Katie and Annie and left school to help his mother run the family business. Cyril had a very bad accident he fell of a roof when very young and cracked his head open and had a metal plate places inside.  His mother Elizabeth had glorious long thick wavy dark copper hair, a pretty and petite lady.  His father James Crowley born 2/8/1846 died in a Mendel asylum  👍 many soldiers coming back from after the Boar War being away from their families would go with prostitutes it was a common practice. They contracted Syphilis, a terrible venereal disease to die of, it makes you go insane.  When his father came back from the war he squandered his money, thinking he was a rich nobleman and would throw gold coins out of the moving carriage.  The war might have damaged him in so many ways he most likely suffered PTSD and that can make you go insane or did he go to war? The hospital records say 1901 James missing presumed in to be in Boar War or was he in Bolton? last known address. There were hospital records found James age 34 was admitted- March 26th 1904 

Occupation Labourer Religion- Wesleyan Methodist 


The hospital records said: He was violent & noisy. He believes he is being poisoned. He imaginations that he can see things & that he is dancing on a stage. He is constantly calling for God to hear him. He has been shouting and singing and praying & calling on the Lord.


Previous attacks? 

Support cause Excessive drinking mental worries over domestic affairs  

Family history insanity- No Drinking yes Phthisis -no Bodily conditions on admission- good 

Injury on admission- bruising on right arm shin.

Weight on admission 10stone -9 lbs

Diagnoses - Mental terms 



Beauty School.

 Lily and Violet didn’t like working at the chocolate box factory they both had an artistic flair and Violet wanted to be a hairdresser so Bertha thought it would be a good idea to put Violet in Beauty school. But with her poor health couldn’t continue so Lily went to find out she didn’t like it one little bit, she couldn't stand the smells of the perms.  With Lily’s sense of humour she could see the funny side of the hoytie toytie clients hooked up to a machine which involved some torturous heat and chemicals, and it would make her laugh and would tell jokes. Lily wasn’t the most diplomatic person in the world and would say what she though and that didn’t go down very well. Lily not liking to be told what to do; she was a leader not a follower and couldn’t stand anyone who thought they were better than anyone else, so she quit. Lily found a job working in an office as a clerical worker and being efficient and smart always doing a good job and was put in charge because of her organizing skills and getting things done on time.



 Twins nineteen Lily on the left 

George Raft and Carole Lombard


Lily and Violet had a flare for fashion they got a lot of attention dressing the same and being so a like in their looks and appearances but personalities wise couldn’t have been more different. They got their fashion sense from the film stars; Lily’s favourite male star was George Raft, the first movie she saw him in was Scarface. Her favourite movie with George Raft was in (1934) Bolero. She loved this movie because of George Raft sensual slow Tango with Carole Lombard; Lily would image herself being swept off her feet dancing in George Raft’s arms. Oh it made her feel quite faint just thinking about it.  Lily’s was inspired by Barbara Stanwyck her favourite female movie star, she admired some of the roles she played of strong woman like in Annie Oakley, Night Nurse (1932) a women with a heat of gold the first roll Stanwyck played in a Pre Code movies.  Ball of Fire with Gary Cooper, won Stanwyck an Oscar as best actress in 1942; Lily could relate to a lot of the character she played and read stories about her being an orphan and working as a chorus girl in the early 20s, “I just wanted to survive and eat and have a nice coat" Stanwyck said in one of the articles Lily had read. Another movie starring Stanwyck the twins saw was “Banjo on my knee” (1936) they enjoyed this movie a music and Stanwyck dancing with Buddy Ebsen to Swanee, it was a fun movie set in New Orleans. Lily loved the movies it took her to far off places; she could lose herself in the characters that she saw on the big screen who were bigger than life; just like her!  She was quite a character of her own; the movies were a place to forget your troubles. The talking pictures  appeared in 1927, the first one was with Al Johnston “The Jazz Singer”  It was fabulous seeing the great musicals, to be able to hear the voices, the singing and the dancing were spectacular for that time and some of them still are today.  It made them feel happy and alive because Manchester was a dreary place to live and rained most of the time. Lily and Violet couldn’t wait to turn sixteen so they could go ballroom dancing; Lily adored dressing up to look glamorous and going to see the big bands, the music and dancing was her passion ; she just loved life!.     


Chapter 2

                              Emigrating to Canada World War

2 Toronto 1939

Bertha’s cousin Minnie had immigrated to Canada; Mississauga in 1938 there had been 17,244 immigrating that year leaving their country and many people before them during the Great Depression to start a new life; Minnie wanted Bertha to come for a visit hoping she would emigrate with Cyril and the twins. Bertha visited her cousin the following year to see if this was something she would like to do, immigrate with her family. Minnie had written to Bertha and Cyril telling them what a great country Canada was, the air was clean and the great open spaces. 1937 was an important year in the recovery from the Great Depression and now in 1939 Canada was starting to thrive, lots of jobs to be had. Manchester being such a cold wet and dreary place to live because of the industrial factories filled the air with smog. Cyril was working in an asbestos factory and this ruined his health; Bertha knew this wasn’t good for her husband working in such conditions; Cyril became a union man who stood up for the workers. Cyril being an expressive and creative writer would write scripts and speak on behalf of the workers; Bertha would always read Cyril’s writing and had to tone down some of his speeches. While Bertha was enjoying herself thinking what a great place Canada would be, she could see herself; Cyril and the twins living there, it would be wonderful starting a new life in a new country like Canada. You never know what tomorrow will bring life can change within a split second. While in Canada the Second World War broke out, worried to death hoping her family would be safe and alive, came straight back home.  It was a long and frightening rough voyage; crossing the Atlantic Ocean knowing the ship could be torpedoed by the Germans at anytime. It was agonizing for Bertha; not knowing if she would see her family again, she couldn’t wait to be home in Manchester; her heart aching to be in her husband’s arms and to see her twin daughters again. It was unfortunate the war had broken out because Cyril and Bertha never did immigrate to Canada.          



The hardship of the citizens of war Manchester children were evacuated to the relative safety of the countryside and some were sent overseas to Canada and other countries


Liverpool and Manchester were targets high on Hitler’s hit list because of major ports and industrial centres. The Manchester Blitz December of 1940, four hundred fires were started in Manchester alone, not counting the devastation in Salford. The Blitz was a terrible and fearful time to live through, but you learned to get on with your daily life; it didn’t stop people living. It was a tragedy that all the young men who died for their King and Country. War is wrong, but you have to stand up to the bullies and your enemy if it means you will save your country.  The atrocities that were happening in German and the controlled areas with the Jewish people were horrific.  Could you imagine if Hitler had won the war, how different the world would be today? Who would never want to live under a dictatorship where your rights are taken away because of your religion or the colour of your skin. At the outbreak of the Second World War air raid shelters were built to protect the citizens from the bombings. Bertha was now home with her family but she had to face the nightmare; was she and her family going to survive?  Night-time was the time to fear, all the windows were blacked out and families when home would hide under the staircase huddled together listening in anticipation, praying and hoping that their homes wouldn’t be hit.  Some families would sing to try to drown out the loud shrill of the sirens and the bombings. The Buzz bombs they were the most frightening Lily would say if you heard a buzzing noise then silence……. that felt like a life time, you knew the bombs were near that’s the time you prayed the most. A few seconds later the loud blast, houses, families being blown up and the ground trembling beneath your feet. If it wasn’t your home then you knew your prayers had been answered for at least another day. Families would run into the streets, the chaos, hearing the sirens from the ambulances and the fire-trucks racing to the bombed out buildings. Babies crying, people screaming, the blaze of the roaring fires filled the sky with thick black smoke, rubble and the debris falling and settling all around.  The tragedy of seeing other families being wiped out can you imagine what they went through? Their generation was a lot tougher and more resilient. Britain had to be thankful that Winston Churchill was the Prime minister of Great Britain; he was strong in his convictions to fight the enemy.  Churchill was quite a character, at a cocktail party he was a little tipsy and a matron said; "Winston if you were my husband I would poison your tea” His reply: “Madam, if you were my wife I would drink it”



Vera Lynn was the Forces’ sweetheart

Vera Lynn her signature song the British people fell in love with: THERE WILL BE BLUE BIRDS OVER THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER and WE’LL MEET AGAIN DON’T WHERE DON’T KNOW WHEN. You’d hear her beautiful voice on the radio. She went to Europe to cheer up the soldiers, sailors and airmen, to keep theirmorale high. Her first radio broadcast was in 1935 with the Joe Loss Orchestra; Phil Moss the great trumpet player, who led the famous Joe Loss Orchestra after the war. He became the king of The Ritz where Lily and Violet at sixteen started going Ballroom dancing. The halls were packed, the blare of the Phil Moss trumpet and the upright bass, trombones and saxophones filled the ballroom with his big band sound. They would play the last dance (Dance in the Dark) the lights would dim and couples would kiss and cuddle and some would end up going steady and marrying.  Lily and Violet had a lots of fun with the guys they met at the Ritz and Plaza, they would swop dance partners without the guys knowing. Once Violet wasn’t feeling well and had a date with a young gentleman so Lily said; I will go? She had a great time, the guy had no idea he was with Lily and the next date Violet showed up. It must have been great and amusing having a twin sister. Now the war had started people would gather and socialize in the pubs the smoked filled rooms and the sing a longs standing around the piano and the booze flowing taking their worries away for a shot time singing to all the song; MY OLD MAN A DUST MAN… PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES IN YOUR OLD KIT BAG AND SMILE SMILE SMILE… IT’S A LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY IT’S A LONG WAY TO GO……….. ROLL OUT THE BARREL WE’LL HAVE A BARREL OF FUN………. BLESS THEM ALL THE LONG AND THE SHORT AND THE TALL……..


Ferguson Pailin aircraft factory in Openshaw, Manchester. 


1940 ration books were introduced to Britain, food was scarce; all the citizens were given books with coupons that entitled them to purchase certain foods.  Blue ration books were given to children between the age of five and sixteen years of age this entitled them to get fruits and meat, with a full pint of milk. Green books were given to children under five and pregnant women were allowed first choice of fruits and a double ration of eggs also a pint of milk. The Pale Cream and Buff colour ration books were given to everyone else allowing them the basics and there were point coupons these could be used for a variety of foods. Lily and Violet were now working at Ferguson Pailin aircraft factory making parts for airplanes. The water tower were seen as landmark for German bombers and partially dismantled; the remnant of the tower was used as a gun emplacement till after the war. King George V1 and his wife Queen Elizabeth visited the factory and later the Duke of Kent. Their Cousin Olive’s boyfriend Burt was fourteen when he stated working at Ferguson Pailin as an apprentice joiner. Olive the twins cousin meet Bert when sixteen years of age and Bert twenty one, they married in 1953 are still together living in Manchester; Olive 81 and Bert 86 (2012). Violet now had met Albert Lancaster who worked at the aircraft factory setting up the machines, they married soon after they meet. Everyone was living like it was their last day; you never knew what tomorrow would bring. Would you see your loved ones, neighbours or friends? After one of the Manchester Blitz that hit some of the houses that were destroyed near Bertha and Cyril’s home. The next day; Lily saw their neighbour who lived a couple of doors down she was shocked to see her black hair had turned completely white overnight. The stress of the war took its toll; many of its citizens perished in the Manchester Blitz, you never knew if you would live to tell the tale.

Ritz and Plaza

Olive was now old enough to go ballroom dancing with Lily and her girlfriend Flo; she had become Lily’s friend while working at Ferguson factory. In the blackout they would dance by candle light at The Ritz or Plaza; being young they wanted to have fun they were not worrying and dance the night away and not thinking about the danger just be in the moment. Lily smoked like most people in their day but her sister Violet didn’t, she was never interested because of her poor health.  In the 30s ,40s and 50s they were told by doctors smoking was good for you, it helped with stress and if you watched old movies everyone smoked. Lily wasn’t keen on the American GIs she found them very cocky and abrasive, trying to come on to the girls and impress them by giving them gifts of nylons and cigarettes. Lily was aloof with them and wasn’t having any of that; she also didn’t like the way they danced the jitter bug throwing the girls over their heads through their legs and side to side. Even though she was a daredevil didn’t think dancing like that was very ladylike and didn’t feel comfortable dancing with men that way.  Lily stood 4ft 11 in her stocking feet; petite with beautiful dazzling hazel eyes, a personality and smile that would light up any room. Her sense of humour and fun loving way lived everyday to the fullest; she wasn’t going to live in fear, she was going to live to tell the tale and had that positive care free attitude. When Lily went dancing by herself always having to carry your gas mask where ever you went, which Lily hated, it wasn’t glamorous and it certainly didn’t go with her outfits. Going home from the Ritz on Whitworth st west or the Plaza on Oxford st, if she heard the blare of the sirens would hide in the doorways and never went into the air raid shelter.  Then run home where her mother would be waiting worried sick;  “where the on heck have you been young lady  and would threaten Lily by saying I am going to buy you a pair of sunglasses to cover those eyes of yours. Lily would always with a smart answer where's her mother’s remark would be “you cheeky little bugger”. Her mother lost her patience many a time with Lily because she always did what she wanted;  Lily learnt when not to say anything and using her personality, her smarts and that winning smile of hers getting out of situations with her mother.                                     



D Day June 6th 1944


Lily before the war ends meets Eric Lyons a very charming man who was like one of the leading men in the movies Lily was smitten; he could charm the birds off the trees, lots of confidence and charisma and swept Lily off her feet. Eric asked Lily to marry him she didn’t believe him, “give over, stop it” with her cheeky mischievous smile but he persisted.  He made her feel like a woman and awakened something inside of her, she felt like one of the leading ladies from one of Stanwyck’s movies; they wed in the summer of 1944. Their wedding was a big event in everyway, lots of cousins, aunts, uncles and friends came to celebrate their big day. Lily; beautiful in her long white lace gown and a vale that touched the ground she looked like a porcelain doll and was over the moon to be getting married.  Always wanted children and looking forward to having a family, she was going to give all the love to them that she never was able to get from her mother and not be a worrier; Lily was a maverick nonconformist was born before her time. At last the War had ends in Europe VE Day 1945 May 8th  2 days of public holiday, crowds flocked to the capital, people swarmed the city of London. It was like no other day a holiday atmosphere, people filled the streets cheering, hugging, climbing and sitting on top of cars and monuments, the streets of London were covered with more than a million people. The emotions were high then silence came over the city, tears for the ones who perished and the soldiers that were not coming home never to see their loved ones again. Then the atmosphere changed to cheers of happiness, the war was coming to an end and the soldiers who didn’t die were coming home safe and sound..  The people were there to see the King and Churchill make his speech; anticipation of Churchill’s formal declaration of peace in Europe; The nation tunes in to hear the broadcast by Churchill, their Great War leader who spoke to the nation at 3 o’clock. Hostilities will end at midnight tonight this is your victory every man woman has done your bit long live the course of freedom God save the King. The king’s people stood with pride singing the national Anthem” GOD SAVE OUR KING”  People swarmed outside Buckingham Palace to see King George and his wife Queen Elizabeth, they waved to the crown. The roar, the cheers bellowed through the streets, the war had finally ended! Shouts of WE WON THROUGH, WE WON THROUGH at last Europe was free from Hitler and the Nazis. Winston Churchill surely the finest leader ever produced drives to Parliament for the formal announcement the War was over. Churchill the bulldog leader came out on to the balcony the crowd wanted to hear Churchill their leader and he was one of the reasons why Britain won the war. After Churchill speech the crown is asked THREE CHEERS FOR VICTORY,” HIP, HIP, HOORAY HIP, HIP, HOORAY HIP, HIP, HOORAY” the crowd couldn’t contain their emotions, flags waving, people singing.  Night came and Piccadilly Circus was the center of it all, people partying, dancing in the streets till dawn. Lily had gone to celebrate with her friends everyone was joyfully singing “HIGH, HIGH, YIPPY, YIPPY, HIGH” and KNEES UP MOTHER BROWN laughing, elated the War had come to an end …..It was victory at last they had won!, The war was over and no more bombing, killing or fear; people could live their lives again, mothers and wife’s knowing their son’s and husband wouldn’t be going away to fight and people could live in peace.  As the soldiers come home from active service now the street parties where forgotten. Despite victory in Europe people where disillusioned there wasn’t very much food, no housing, millions without work six painful years of war took its toll on Britain. The Second World War cost the lives of 50 million people.

Lily Had Made The biggest Mistake


Now Lily was married Eric had brought a house on Threadle Street across the way from Lily’s parents place. Being naïve Lily had no idea Eric was a bad boy, a gambler and a womanizer and didn’t find out till they were married, it’s so true you don’t know someone till you live with them and even then you sometimes don't really know them. Lily got pregnant soon after the marriage and had a miscarriage; it was devastating and a very sad time for her. She was so delated and happy she was pregnant always and it completely tore Lily apart, being so upset with her situation and seeing changes in Eric she stayed with her parents till she felt better. Knowing she had to go back to her husband and in those day as her mother would say you made your bed so you have to lie in it, and that’s what Lily had to do. The miscarriage was a blessing in disguise; Eric was mentally abusive towards Lily always putting her down. He would bring a young lady home telling Lily she was just a friend; Lily wanting to see the best in people and wanted to believe him, finding out later he was having an affair with this young lady Belle. Eric was a mother’s boy but treated his mother terribly, but in her eyes Eric could do no wrong. She worshiped the ground her son walked on, he was very spoiled; Lily couldn’t live with a man who lied and raped her when she tried to leave him and was so thankful she didn’t get pregnant at that time even though it was devastating perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. In her day you never divorced Lily being strong willed wasn’t going to put up with a man who was mentally and physically abusive and an adulterer, eventually she did leave Eric. She went back home to live with her parents, it was a difficult time for Lily with her mother differences and being a worrier and her liking her freedom and independence. She got on well with her dad he liked her out going nature and saw the best in her. She did move out to stay with a friend of her mothers but it didn’t work out that well because like her mother; Bertha’s friend tried to control her and said she couldn't go out dancing being a married woman; Lily wasn’t having any of that, she had left him and this was her life and as usually Lily did what she wanted. She went to the Ritz that evening with her friend Flo and had a fabulous time. People in her day would walk on the other side of the street if you left your husband and a divorcee it was a terrible stigma   You were looked upon as being a hussy a tainted woman you were shunned by society and treated as an outcast; Lily would walk with her head held up high and knew she had nothing to be ashamed of. She heard through the grate vine that Eric’s mother wanted to see her, she decided she would visit Mrs Lyons Sunday afternoon; Lily was puzzled that Eric’s mother wanted to see her so what else could she do but visit her but put her mind at rest. Lily dressed in her Sunday best knocked at the door and standing on the door step, slowly the door opened and Mrs Lyons stood picking through the crack of the door her eyes filled with tears looking tried and old, didn’t invite Lily in, to find out how Eric had took all her furniture, and didn’t even leave her a bed to sleep on to be able to pay off a gambling debt. He had no feelings or respect towards his mother. She told Lily she realized that her son wasn’t the son she thought he was and just wanted to reach out to Lily to let her know she understood why Lily left her son and supported her in her decision to divorce him. “You can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his mother”. 


    Lily had put up walls and it did change her attitude towards life and men. Lily kept her boyfriends at bay she didn’t want them knowing she had been married, men had a different attitude to wards a separated and devoiced woman they thought being a divorcée you would want sex. When Lily and her friend Flo went ballroom dancing together, when asked to dance Lily would introduce herself as Heather. She thought it sounded romantic and feminine, definitely different than Lily but still a name of a flower. Lily liking that name and if she ever had a little girl that’s what she would call her. Her friend Flo called herself Fay they thought it was great being someone else when they went out together. One boyfriend Lily really like was Walter; He had a brother Wally who would boast that he could tell if a woman had been married. It’s a shame she didn’t marry Walter, he was a thoughtful man very good to her, a Jewish gentleman and a tailor by trade. Lily got on well with Jewish men and had quite a few Jewish friends, her great personality and sense of style marrying a gentleman like Walter I think she would have had a happy and fulfilled life. I could see her running a fashion house, Walter making the clothes; and Lily being a great host, what a beautiful life she would have had……There’s her imagination running away with her.  Lily putting up walls wasn’t going to let any man get close to her and tell her what to do. By now her friend Flo had gone to London to live and wanted Lily to come there, she knew how hard it was for Lily living in Manchester waiting for her divorce to go  through. As soon as Lily was divorce she left Manchester straight away, she couldn’t wait to go to London where no one knew of her and start a new life.  Flo had found her a job at Euston train station. Lily thinking she was going to be a clerical worker in the office, but when she got to London found out it was working as a waitress which she wasn’t to happy about. On her arrival at Euston station she was dressed to the nines a navy tailored suit with a pleat down the front of the skirt,  white blouse,  navy and black chapeau that sat slightly on an angle on her head, black gloves and platform rounded pumps and purse to match. Stepping off the train on to the platform with suitcases in hand to find her friend Flo. She had to find herself a place to live and Flo was supposed to meet her. As she was standing for awhile and looking in her purse for her packet of cigarette waiting patiently and getting a little concerned; where was her friend? A porter came up to her and said in a deep Scottish voice like Sean Connery the actor in 007 can I help you madam; Lily all flustered and looks up to see this tall dark handsome man standing there and told him her predicament. “You haven’t got a place to live come with me, I will take you to where my digs are there is a place there were you can stay”. What a relief for Lily and he introduced himself as George, Lily was grateful that this nice gentleman had found her a place and it was where he lived. She wasn’t pleased with her friend Flo not showing up but at least now she did have somewhere to stay.



Chapter 3



 Now In London

Lily found it hard working as a waitress standing on her feet all day.  She learnt to smile and just got on with it, after all she did have a job, a place to live and was thankful for that. Everyone loved Lily that adorable smile and personality of hers and out going nature. George would come into the cafeteria at breakfast and lunchtime sits at the same table at the same time with his newspaper everyday. He would always order the same breakfast and lunch with a cup of tea and biscuits afterwards. Lily looked forward to seeing this tall dark handsome porter who she was attracted to and was smitten by his looks; after all he did look like Clark Gable the famous film star.  She looked forward to seeing George and serving him, even though they lived at the same digs she never hardly saw him. He was up early he seemed to be on a schedule he would have his wash and save polish his shoes and out the door. She wanted to know more about this dark handsome stranger and their he was everyday and she would ask him “what would you like today George?” Smiling and fluttering her eyelashes at him. Knowing he always ordered the same thing but thinking perhaps this day he would order something different.  George glanced up from his newspaper; yes it was the same order. Lily giggled; she had never met a man like him before.


The next time Lily saw George she asked him if he would like to go for a walk, Lily did most of the talking she loved to chatter. Lily had this infectious way about her and she did do the chasing. They started to go to the movies; the first movie George and Lily saw was Key Largo with John Huston, Edward G Robinson, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. George just kept on intriguing Lily; who was this young, aloof and unresponsive gentleman called George? She wanted to know more about George and wanted to take him to meet her parents. She felt she wasn’t getting any younger and there was something about George she liked.  He was different from any man she had meet and not making advances towards her, she felt he was a gentleman felt comfortable and safe, this made her want to get to know him even more. 


     Lily had made arrangements to meet George in front of Euston Station arches they were going to visit her parents it was her day off and George was finishing his shift 10 am.  It was a beautiful sunny  spring day, Lily all dressed up in a pretty printed frock with a white peter pan collar, sleeves to the elbows and buttoned down the front a belt that nip in her 18 inch waist and flared to below her knees; Grey coat and gloves and her black platform pump and as always her purse to match. George looking quiet dapper in one of his hand made dark grey flannel suits. They boarded the train, the whistle blew and the Locomotive steam train left Euston Station right at 12 noon they arrived at Piccadilly Manchester station an overcast and rainy day, like most days in Manchester.  Being an industrial town, factories dominating the landscape and smoke filled the sky. Lily and George didn’t have to wait too long for the tram to take them to Wythenshawe and then on to Higher Openshaw; Lily bubbly and happy to be able to take George to meet her parents. Lily wanted children so badly especially a little boy with red hair and freckles, she’d dreamed of having a family and she was ready to marry again. Lily was twenty-eight, in the 40s and 50s that was quite old for woman in her day. George awkward in his demeanour an introverted man, that’s what attracted Lily to George he was the opposite to her first husband; she felt she could bring George out of himself.  Lily’s kind hearted ways always wanted to help the person who was different or wasn’t popular and looking out for the underdog. 


     Thinking marriage would change George like most women think, they can change a man once they marry them? They arrived at Lily’s parent’s home just at tea time. Bertha and Cyril came to the front door “George this is my mom and dad” Cyril shook George’s hand and lead them to the sitting room. George lanky and 6 ft, tall, stood in the door way lifted his hand up and ran his it across the top of the door brought his hand down with dust on it and showed it to Bertha; she was in complete shocked that anyone would do such a thing, especially meeting someone for the first time. Lily could see the funny side of everything and seeing her mother’s expression on her face was priceless; Bertha was not impressed. Lily was always showing her mother she would do what she wanted and even to her own detriment. Sitting in the living room having tea, sandwiches and scones all of a sudden George disappears. Lily was telling her parent how George had found her a place to live and that she liked George; that didn’t go down well with her mother. After a while Bertha says where is he? They got up to look for him and there they found George sound asleep in Bertha and Cyril’s bed. Lily’s mother said that’s not normal and as we know as women Lily made excuses.  When Lily and George left to go back to London Bertha went straight over to her Olive’s parents place to talk to o her mother Ada. She was mad! “I DON’T LIKE THAT YOUNG MAN LILY BROUGHT HOME, HE IS AN IRISHMAN STRAIGHT FROM THE BOG! She definitely was not impressed with George at tall and did not like his behaviour and couldn’t understand her daughter choosing a man like that.  Her mother was quite perplexed but Lily was quite determined she was going to marry George!!!!!!! 



Who was George? Born in Scotland


  George born in Glasgow Dunbartonshire who enjoyed greatly listening to music, playing football and was always the goalie when playing with the kids in the street. He had the best toys and a shinny new bicycle and the other boys in the neighbourhood their parents couldn’t afford something like that. When asking if they could ride his bike; George being a little antropunia 👍 asked for a penny a ride and with that money it in enable him to be able go to the pictures. George being  a lover of the movies and the first film he saw was (The Jazz Singer) in 1927 this was the premiere of the talking pictures. Al Jolson the star of the movie; an American white entertainer and dressed up in black face. Today it would be considered very inappropriate and blasphemy to do such a thing, but that was the 20s a different era in history. You cannot change the past, it’s unfeasible it’s already been lived out the way it was suppose to be, even if you try to a race, you can't  but you can learn from it. That’s why it is so important that schools teach history the way it was because as the saying goes; if you don’t learn from the past you are doomed to repeat it again. George adored Al Johnstone and mesmerized when first seeing him on the big screen and singing Mammy. His mother had a gramophone with a great collection of records that he enjoyed listening to and some with the Highland bagpipes. He loved the sound of them, well he was after all he was a  Scotsman and very proud of where he came from. A lot of times he never went to school played truant and I think that’s why he got into trouble and beaten with a strap, his father wanted him to follow in his footsteps and George wasn’t interested he wanted to play football and be the goalie, he was very stubborn that’s why and walked to the beat of his own drum.


        He was from good stock but unfortunately wasn’t loved or nurtured, brought up by Victorian parents. His father, an engineer, worked in the oil fields teaching the Saudis how to drill for oil. He was also one of the first engineers to drill in the Leduc oil fields in Alberta, Canada. A ladies’ man Fred as they called him was smitten by his daughter in law’s beauty and kindness. He traveled the world and was never home and had a mistress in London. On the rear occasions when he was with his family because of little George’s behaviour he use to be beaten by his father with a strap, he was terrified of him. He had two older sister’s and the oldest one would hit him too with a strap because he wouldn’t listen and had a temper. Lily was told when meeting them the first time they would have to call the police on George because he would go ballistic and couldn’t control him.  His mother was a different type of woman, a dour Scott with a sour puss and not a likeable or happy person, a suffragette who walked for women’s rights. The reason she didn’t want to move out of the neighbourhood she was a money lender and she made money from the interest when they had pay her back. Apparently she would walk with a rolled up umbrella and if anyone got in her way would pock them with it. She sounds wonderful and the first time Lily meeting her mother and his sister’s that was an experience she will never for get that’s coming up later.


 George always dressed impeccably and had his suits custom made for him. Unfortunately, when coming to London and living with his uncle Sid to find out later he was really his brother, they went missing and now he wasn’t able to afford to have his suits made anymore. George closed off, reserved and a quiet man, left home at sixteen when his mother told him he couldn’t see the young girl he was going out with because she wasn’t the same religion as them. That pissed George off and that’s when he left to go to London; he had enough of his family no love, attention or structure and anyway he was using to doing things his way. He was left most of the time on his own to do as he pleased and that suited well and not having any guidance or really a mother and father there most of the time, he was a loner. George being the last child and thinks he was a mistake his oldest sister was ten years apart and his other sister seven Lily had been told by his older sister their mother would takes these pills to keep her slim, she got from the medicine man.  They were black in colour and one day she burn one open and parocites 👍 came crawling out MY GOD THATS WAS SHOCKING!  This was before little George was born and did this do anything to her son when carry him in her womb?She must have been taking them and did she stop. Who knows!!!!













had a mystic about him and had a look of Clark Gable. The film star in the thirties and forties, he played the main character Rhett Butler in (Gone with The Wind) in 1939. Lily when seeing that movie enjoyed watching Hattie McDaniel who played Mammy; the housemaid and she won an Academy Award playing that character. The first black woman for best supporting actress. It was terrible back then, how she was treated being black. Having to sit separate from the rest of the cast and other nominees. She went up to receive her Academy Award then had to go to wear she had been seated by herself.





In 1949 they were married, Lily, a Lancaster lass, and brought up in Whynshawe, Manchester. She was a beauty, glamorous and loved fashion and quite a character. Little did she know back then the stress and unhappiness it would bring when marrying this tall dark handsome man. Lily always wanted to be married and have children and a family of her very own, then this different type of man came along. A mysterious, Scotsman, he was like no other man she had never met before and at the time this used her well. 

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