The piece of writing you are about to read is original and true. It is presented in the form of a Biography of three of my Grandparents my Dads parents (Granny Rita & Granddad) and Mums Mum (Nanny).
My Dads Mums maiden was Mason it was given to her by her Fathers Father who was an Irish man. Her matrimonial name is Maynard her forename is Maynard I have always called her Granny Rita. Rita Mason was born in Bridgetown Barbados in January 1942. As a child, she was taught to be polite, friendly, good and helpful, this is most probably the truth as this is how she is today.
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Rita Mason left Barbados for England in 1959 aged 19. She took a course as a trainee nurse and realized that it wasn’t the job for her so she gave up the course. She then got a job as a home machinist and made skirts and dresses for various factories. Eventually in 1972 when my dad was about 12, she stopped making clothes as a profession and got a City ; Guilds degree in Baking and Decorating Cakes and other delicatessens by this time she had my Uncle George her second child.
My Dads parents knew each other from before they left Barbados. They got Married in 1961 after my Dad was born in 1960 George was born three years later 2 years later my Auntie Margo was born. Not too long after they got married they set up shop in Walthamstow everything was alright for the few years but the business failed due to lack of experience and or knowledge. They soon got back on their feet and bought a spot in Walthamstow market near Walthamstow Central Station selling summer clothes during the warm months and winter clothes, jackets and coats during the colder months.
They’ve been working on the market for over 16 years now and the business was going well till about late 2000 when the consumers started to drift from the market. They had another son Ricardo who was born in 1983 who was two young to experience the shop like me he has only stories and pictures to show him what it was like. The Maynard’s lived in Chingford North East London bordering the London Borough of Walthamforest and the east coast region of Essex.
George Maynard was born in Bridgetown Barbados May 1942, unlike Granny Rita while he worked as a supermarket clerk for 5 months in Barbados. He left his Native Barbados in 1961 with my Rita Mason (Granny Rita before marriage). On arrival in England, he went to trade school and got a degree in the sale of Merchandise and a traders licence. He then bought a spot in Petticoat lane Market. He worked there for about 3 years. After selling the spot in the market, he put a down payment on a shop front that was for sale and started to trade from it the shop was situated within close proximity to London Liverpool St. Station. He then found himself redundant, as the stock was not selling in an inner city shop he sold the shop for ï¿½65k and bought a new van and a spot in Walthamstow Market he also bought a spot in petticoat lane for Sunday trading.
By this time as I mentioned previously they had already had all there kids. They kept petticoat lane until 1993. The summer of 1992 was a bad time for us as my Uncle George was Shot dead in gang related attack he was killed round the corner from his parents home where it was thought he was running to.
Coping with the death of my Uncle was hard for all of the family but Auntie Margo and Granny Rita found it harder to accept. I think that it was a lot easier for me as I had only known him for 5 years were, as they had known him for a lifetime. The reason it was so hard to over come was because he was shot nine times, while trying to escape to his parents house he was shot while jumping from a first floor balcony in a block of flats, after being shot once while he was running from his killers. He was shot once in the leg, twice in the buttock and then four times in back it was said at the time by coroners that he might of survived if he didn’t get shot so many times. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the time the Ambulance and Police had arrived.
My Grandparents were informed of what had happened by my mum who was told by Nan who was told by one of her church friends who had seen the incident on a News Bulletin. Thru out my Uncles final days a flock of seven white doves were seen flying around the estate several times on the morning of my Uncles last day which was Friday 15th May 1992 two of them landed one at the back and one at the front of house. The block that he was shot in had walls stained with blood as people had often been murdered in them before. There were originally six of these 16 storey blocks that towered over Chingford hall Estate. They were all eventually pulled down after most of the local residents had signed a petition to have them blown down, as they were associated with drugs, violence and murder.
The estate was left felling quiet and empty but it had become a safer place to live in for adults and children new facilities were put in like a Youth Club and a Park. The demolition of the blocks led to the gangsters that used to live on the estate being driven out and then the construction 2500 new houses and flats. The sad thing about the incident was that my Uncle had to die for the council to realize what was going on in the estate, which was well known by Police also just hours before my uncle was looking after and playing with his Daughter Lekiesha aged one at the time. She looks just like him. In a spear time as a family we all go down to the cemetery and tend to my uncles grave my granddad keeps a little corner in the Garden for him which my uncle kept for himself.
My Nan’s life before coming to England is similar to Granny Rita’s, apart from the fact that she was born in Clarendon, St. Anns Bay, Jamaica August 1942. My Nan didn’t marry and still has her birth name Winifred Rose Brown. From what I’ve heard about my Nan as a child, she was boisterous and was climbing trees and hills. In Jamaica, my Nan was lived in St Anns Bay, which, is situated very close to Montego Bay Jamaica’s second most popular region after Kingston and Spanish Town the Kingston being today’s Capital Spanish town was the islands capital during the Spanish rule over 500 yrs ago.
She was educated in a Jamaican school by her Uncles, Aunts and older Cousins who taught at the school, so when she got in trouble in school she got more trouble at home as my Great Grand Parents would believe the teachers so my Nan never lied about getting in trouble as it didn’t make any sense. My Nan often worked my Great Grand parents land with her Brother’s and Sisters. My Nan moved to London in 1960 aged 18 she lived in Sigdon Rd Stoke Newington bringing her oldest children with her, boys, Jimmy and Tony (not twins) so that they could get a better quality of life. My Great Grand parents were already here my Nan and her boys arrived.
My Nan went on a baking course and passed. She started making cakes as a profession but as she had small children, she quit baking professionally and took up child minding. By now, she had had her first set of twins my mum (Sharon) and her twin Sandra. My Nan, My Great Grandparents, My Mum, My Uncles Jimmy and Tony and My Auntie Sandra moved to Evering Rd Stoke Newington. Where she had her second set of twins a boy and a girl Tracey and Keith some years later she had my uncle Stephen and then two years later she had her last set of twin’s boys Brian and Barry.
The house was getting a bit crowded so my Nan moved out to Well St Hackney taking her younger Children with her the oldest two Jimmy and Tony stayed with their Grandparents. When they went back to Jamaica in 1972 Jimmy ; Tony decided to go with them Tony cam back for good 2yrs later Jimmy comes over whenever he can find the time. My Nan still bakes cakes and child minds although she a 60 yr old diabetic she is still strong and healthy and makes annual trips home to her Native Jamaica. She still bakes and child minds but not as much as she used to. She also doesn’t take in as much children as she used to. My Nan has 18 Grand Children in Total, in the UK 14 living 1 dead at birth, 2 in Jamaica and 1 in the US. My Nan has 9 children 8 live over here in the UK Jimmy lives in Jamaica. My Nan makes sure that the family in Jamaica stays well looked after and cared for.
My Nan’s Dad sadly passed away at 23:00 Jamaica Time / 4.00GMT (24hr) on Saturday 22nd November 2002. He was very sick and in his early 90’s
The reason I chose these three of My Grandparents was because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t I be here today. In addition, out of 6 my Grand Parents alive today these three are the closest to me and have helped me in many ways as well as because of what they’ve done in their lives.
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