I've joined this group to try to learn a little bit about my Dad and his family. His name was Charles William Frederick Cook, and he was born in Battersea on March 22, 1933. His dad's name was also Charlie (he spent his childhood at 35 Latchmere Grove, and apparently died in 1950); his mum, who died in 1974, was Lizzie. My dad and his family lived at 4 Reform St (and I have a photo of him taken there in 1951 when he was eighteen - very handsome young chap he was too) from 1933 to the late 50s, when he moved to Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire and got married to my Mum (Yvonne). Later, after my sister and I came along in the early 60s, we all moved to Edmonton in north London.
Apparently he went to an open-air school (along with a lot of deaf children - he was proficient in sign-language for the rest of his life) and left at 14, and started as an apprentice to a plumbing firm. By the time I came along in 1961 he was self-employed (as he was until the end of his life). He had seven sisters (including three half-sisters and two step-sisters) . One of his sisters died of TB. His full-sister was Joyce Cook, I remember her working as a petrol pump attendant in the sixties, and I think she worked at Harrod's as well, but that must have been later, possibly the seventies.
My Dad had a Norton motorcycle (I have a photo of him sitting on the bike, I think that's in Reform St), but that was before my time. My Mum tells stories of him stripping the bike and putting it all back together - often in the living-room of our front room in Waltham Cross.
He used to drink in the Latchmere and the Prince Of Wales (now the Lost Angel) - I remember going there with him in the mid-seventies.
My Dad died on November 19, 1986. He was only 53. Four days earlier, on the 15th, he'd attended my wedding. A photo I took of him at the reception is the last photo ever taken of him.
I really really hope some of this information will ring a bell with someone. If you knew my Dad, or any of his family, I'd love to hear from you.
As you'll no doubt appreciate, there are very few people still alive who I can ask about my Dad's past. My Mum knows very little about his family (she's forgotten more than I ever knew). My own childhood memories are increasingly vague - I wish I'd taken an interest when I was younger, but there you go - there are a million things much more interesting than family history when you're 14. I think all my Dad's sisters are dead now. Their offspring - my cousins - are distant strangers. But not for long if I've got anything to do with it.
Any help anyone can offer will be very much appreciated.
-- there are a few old photos of Charlie and Charlie Snr on my Flickr photostream - please have a quick shufty if you think any of this story rings a bell.
- Gary Cook (Gaz) - Enfield, north London.
|Posted by - Gary |
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