So the war was over and things went back to normal. Hilda and Mary walked to school every day across Wimbledon Common. Hilda was, I think, a bit ambivalent about school. She loved history but was not so keen on Maths and some other subjects and left school at 13. Her childhood was also marked by serious illness, possibly pneumonia, for which she was hospitalised and then sent alone to a convalescent home somewhere on the east coast. She said one of the worst things about this was that the home was at the top of the cliff and the beach was at the bottom and she wasn’t well enough to make the climb. In all she was away from home for several months during which time ‘family Closure’ had occurred and she found it difficult to fit in with home life again.
Hilda’s first job was as a kennel maid. She was passionate about dogs so this would have been something she loved. There is a photo taken at the time apparently for publicity purposes that was made into a postcard, unusually for that time was in colour.
At some point she gave up the kennel maid job and went instead to be a housekeeper for her uncle Rog (pronounced to rhyme with log), one of my grandfather’s many siblings.
Rog was a parker superintendent and lived and worked in three parks while my mother was with him, Kennington park near the Oval cricket ground, Ravenscourt Park and finally Dulwich Park.
The lodge where they lived at Kennington was rather interesting as it had been build as a "model house for families" and originally been erected in Hyde Park as part of the 'Great Exhibition' of 1851 and subsequently moved to Kennington. The Park was clearly popular with pram pushing mothers or nannies.
Even the park keepers got to have fun sometimes! all these pictures were taken by my 17 year old mother in 1930.
It was, of course, at Dulwich Park that she met my Dad at the tennis club. The rest, as they say, was history.