12 Blakes Road, Thornbury, Gloucestershire BS35 2JB
1970 – Thornbury was then a small Gloucestershire market town, but it was growing as we got there. We can hardly recognise it today, the sprawl of Bristol has certainly expanded it hugely.
Thornbury had another great Round Table, and even a 40+ follow-on group called Thornbury Round Table Old Boys or THROBs. One of the members worked for BP and we did a remarkable money-raising every Friday night through the summers. A BP service station on the A38 (the M5 was not complete) that normally closed at night allowed us to take it over from 8pm to 8am paying us 1d per gallon we pumped, and we could do our own refreshments and snacks. Great fund-raiser and great for team spirit too. Anyone heading to the South West came past us. We’d get waves of Brummies, then Mancunians and awarded a prize to our first Jock who usually turned up about 1am.
Our second child, Matt, was born in Thornbury. No drinking this time because I had to look after the first child!
We did our first loft conversion here, but moved before we used it. Unsurprisingly this became something that we did in several of our subsequent homes.
I spent an inordinate time travelling with some six months’ driving 86 miles each way to Birmingham every day, followed by the best part of a year in a hotel in London while we tried to move there.
Despite that it was a great social time, lots of dinner parties, canasta sessions, Round Table functions, croquet afternoons, plus of course we were close enough to our families to attend any family functions and get-togethers.
When we moved on it was a tough time for house sales, it was the time when chains seemed to become a real issue. We thought we had it made as we were buying from a couple who had split up and so were the head of our chain. The purchaser of our property was the incoming Table Chairman, who was selling to the Vice Chairman’s brother who was marrying and was therefore the other end of the chain – and we were all having our conveyancing done by the current Chairman – but it crashed and burned when the VC’s brother decided not to marry his fiancée!
But we eventually managed to complete on our home in Byfleet, Surrey.