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Cyril Maidment interview: Family life

Coming back to Wimbledon, when did you get married?

I met Mary on 7 November 1951 and we became engaged after about three years. We were struggling like everyone else to get a deposit on the house and we thought why not get married while I was doing my national service as we could get more funds for the house. [So for half of my national service we got some marriage allowance, which was very good.] Mary was living in Lambton Road and we had a little room in a nice house at 67 Lambton Road. We got married at a grand wedding in the Sacred Heart Church which was interesting because until then I had been a Protestant in a low Church of England at Christ Church in Colliers Wood. In those days they were quite strict and you couldn’t have a proper nuptial mass unless you were both Catholic so I had a bit of a scramble to fill in all the necessary paperwork and became a Catholic. That enabled us to have a beautiful nuptial mass that year. It was in 1957 in the middle of my national service. On behalf of my national service we got some ratings’ pay which was very good and made a difference. Within two years – it was a different world then – we had got enough money for a deposit. We saw – or Mary saw - this house in the winter of 1958/59 and we moved into this house in March 1959 and we have been here ever since.   

Do you have children?

Yes. We have a boy and a girl and a boy. They were all born in the 1960s. Gerald, the first [was] born on 28 February and missed being a leap year baby by 20 minutes. All born in Nelson Hospital. Helena turned up two years later which was as close as we could get it on 14 February. She was a Valentines baby and then that was enough. But surprise, surprise we had another addition in 1969, Michael was born 24 April.

Do they still live in Wimbledon?

Not quite. Gerald went to Canada for 15 years and then about ten years ago he decided he would come back and look after us. He lived here for a year and then he bought a house in Loughborough Junction so we are 20 minutes from him in the railway on our Sutton line. Mickey has got a house in Carshalton with his partner and Helena has a house in a continuation of London Road in Morden. She has produced two lovely granddaughters who are 12 and ten. The 12 year old will soon be 13 and they are lovely girls. For an 80th birthday treat I took them to the Festival Hall for a concert on a Sunday afternoon. It was very special. We try to do things for them and do lots of school runs.