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began to wonder where this road was leading us and wondered if we should give up. Then, in the distance we could see a small village.

Elmstead Market turned out to be a very attractive village about three miles East of Colchester. It had all the shops we would need. The Pantiles was located about a quarter of a mile from the village, it was beautiful detached house built about two years previously. There was even space for a garage.

We introduced ourselves to Phil Berry, the owner who was to become a real friend It did not take us long to realise we had found our dream house. There was a Rayburn Cooker in the kitchen, an item we had both long coveted, also space for a downstairs cloakroom which piping had already been laid. The Waste connection was concealed under a thin concrete screed, as the toilet had not yet been fitted, the rates assessment had not included this second toilet, resulting in a cheaper rateable value.

There was no mains drainage but a septic tank with a pump to remove surplus water into a field at the back of the house. A friendship grew between Phil Berry and ourselves. And we learnt that Pantiles had been especially made for him by the building company he worked for and as he was in charge of the builder’s yard he ensured that only the best materials had been used in its construction.

This soon became clearly true an examination of the roof revealed planed and treated timber had been used everywhere. The brickwork was the best we had ever seen done by a 75 year old master bricklayer

Time had run out we were unable to stay any longer on this first visit, it was getting dark and we still had fifty miles to drive home. Vanessa had been left with Pamela’s parents for the day and we were anxious to get back for her but we were in no doubt, even after this one hurried visit, that this was the right house for us.

Without too much delay we arranged a mortgage and took occupation as soon as the conveyancing was complete. Pamela’s parents were dead against us they were convinced we were making a big mistake . After we did moved they cut off all contact with us for nearly six months. We wrote letters to them but I did not get replies.

So here we were moving into our own first house having used up what little saving we had and taking on a full mortgage so we did not have many spare pennies To help I tried my hand making our first Fridge. We already had a 12” Home made Black and White TV. I also set to work installing the downstairs toilet and drew up plans for a garage and workshop. The house used a Cesspool which required pumping out into the fields behind the house so while I was digging and setting out the rear garden I laid a power cable to the end of the garden fitted up a power point and installed a pump to to cesspool to save the daily hand pumping.

This was the first time the garden had been dug and it was really hard work. We laid out paths and where we were to have our lawn and flower beds within a couple of months we had the makings of a reasonable garden

When Pamela became pregnant for the second time we withheld such news until for months to avoid a re-run of the rumpus we had experienced on the first occasion. Although this time Pamela still experienced morning sickness this was nowhere near as bad as it had been during the first pregnancy.

John was born in May 1956 Pam’s parents could not stay away any longer but once more I had a lecture from Eric, informing me that I had again given Pamela a hard



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