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A Shout From The Attic: Pulling Up Socks

...At the end of the evening, Sam told him to pull his socks up. Father was the baby of the family and not given to taking advice. He replied with an unconvincing grin that his socks were up. They were not...

Ronnie Bray recalls another encounter with his father. For more chapters of Ronnie's autobiography please click on A Shout From The Attic in the menu on this page.

The next time I saw my father I was married to Esmé. We had not been married long and discovered that he was squatting in an old stone terrace cottage at Scammonden, high on the Pennines above Huddersfield. We visited him in his home near the chapel and found him just as he had always been - cold, poor, and with little prospect of improvement. We arranged to meet him at the Upper Royal George, a nearby hostelry, a couple of weeks later.

We drove up in the interesting old Ford car we bought from Sovereign Garage at Shepley for twenty pounds: a month’s wages for Esmé who worked as a bookkeeper for Otto Tilscher, rug maker at Shore Head in Huddersfield. Dad was in the company of one of his brothers, my Uncle Sam.

Father enjoyed supping his ale and playing the piano. He was such a jolly and accommodating fellow that Esmé said she did not know why my mother had divorced him. At the end of the evening, Sam told him to pull his socks up. Father was the baby of the family and not given to taking advice. He replied with an unconvincing grin that his socks were up. They were not. He had a habit of telling folks what they wanted to hear. We all went off into the night.

On the way home, Esmé said she couldn’t understand why my mother had divorced him because he seemed such a nice and jolly man. I tried to explain to her that he was seldom so sociable or affable.



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