I was born in Southport, Lancashire, in Northern England and moved south with mum and dad. When I was 5 mum fell out of love with my dad, a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy. If anybody recognises him, I would appreciate information as he has been presumed dead for years and I have no history. I believe he was married before mum to a woman in the Netherlands, and I may have other siblings.
Mum got together with my stepfather, a man she met in The Peter Boat pub in Leigh-on- Sea, Essex one evening whilst out with her mum, my nana. His mum gave them a caravan and their life together began.
Although travel had featured largely in my young life, as my stepfather was also an engineer, trained by the Merchant Navy, we travelled with our caravan to wherever “dad” was working..
We lived on Holmbush Farm in Sussex, just outside of Brighton for about a year, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Macclesfield in Cheshire and Amington in Staffordshire, where my younger sister was born. I was no stranger to moving home, but one day, “dad” came home and said “Have you heard of Trinidad?” I hadn’t but looked it up on the world globe I had received as a present one Christmas to help with my geography lessons. It was on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of South America.
When I told my schoolmates and the teachers, they were just as mystified as to where I was going but promised to keep in touch with blue airmail letters (no instant internet back then, the letters took a minimum of 5 days to receive and were very welcome). The teachers organised 6 months homework for me, so that I wouldn’t lose touch with the British curriculum.
“Dad” was to work on an oil refinery in Pointe-à-Pierre just north of San Fernando in Trinidad.