November 1994 – Visiting Florida

John FREDRICKSON, Tricia FREDRICKSON (Ne DOOLAN) & John NELSON. Lady Lake, Florida, USA. November 1994.

In November 1994 I made a 2 week trip to Florida, to see a girl called Maria JOHNSON. It was a sort of love story which sadly didn’t work out. I still think of her though.
Arriving in Orlando, our trip started with a visit to the Epcot Centre in Disney World – which lasted the first weekend. Then we travelled up to Maria’s hometown of Gainesville – where I spent the rest of the two weeks.

On the way up, we had arranged to visit my Great Aunt Tricia (born Patricia), the sister of my Grandma Maureen Lucy Rosina HOLYLAND (Ne DOOLAN). Tricia had met a “GI” during the war, John Archer FREDRICKSON, originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was a Sergeant in the US Army Air Corps.
They married in 1945, in Colchester, then took the boat from Southampton on the 30th March 1946, arriving in New York on the 3rd April.

They settled in John’s native Wyoming, where they raised a family, retiring to Florida in 1985. By 1994, when I saw them, they were living in a retirement village in Lady Lake near Ocala. I remember from my visit that they were really pleased to see me. Tricia being a bit fiesty but very talkative and very friendly. John  was quietly friendly. They were both lovely. For me it was great to see them, as both Tricia and her sister Rosemary were much talked about in the family. At the time, apart from my Uncle Michael HOLYLAND who had emigrated to Canada, they were the only relatives we had that were “abroad”. So we just felt really proud of them for being brave to make the move. Of course, now I live in France, I understand a little the difficulties with that…

John and Tricia invited me and Maria to their local “Country Club” for a meal in the retirement village. One thing that struck me that not only did retired people live there, but they also worked there – at the entrance a couple of very senior looking blokes manned the barrier to the village!
The only thing that really sticks in my mind was me and Maria sitting at the table in the restaurant of the “Country Club” feeling a bit uneasy. When the waitress came to serve us with a welcome salad. She didn’t quite understand it when I told her that I didn’t eat it. In fact during my visit, I realised that my accent in English was almost like a foreign language for some during my stay in Florida.

I only recently found out that Tricia passed away, in September 2014 – when researching for my family tree. John left us in February 1998.

Will always keep them in my thoughts.

b. 19th December 1923. Layer de la Haye (Nr Colchester), Essex, England.
d. 22nd September 2014. Lady Lake, Florida, USA.

b. 21st February 1920. Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA.
d. 28th February 1998. Lady Lake, Florida, USA.

Maureen Lucy Rosina HOLYLAND (Ne DOOLAN)
b. 26th October 1925. Layer de la Haye (Nr Colchester), Essex, England.
d. 10th November 2010. Braunstone, Leicester, Leicestershire. England.

1978 – Stephan HOLYLAND married Elizabeth GOULD

L-R: Herald David HOLYLAND, Martin HOLYLAND, Annette NELSON (Ne HOLYLAND), Paul HOLYLAND, Margaret “Peggy” HOLYLAND (Ne Mackley), Victor NELSON & John NELSON.

I have no memory of this wedding or the reception. At the time I think we were living with my Grandparents, Herald David HOLYLAND & Maureen Lucy Rosina HOLYLAND (Ne DOOLAN) at 9 Whitteney Drive, Eyres Monsell, Leicester. We left 46 Netherley Road, Hinckley during the Summer of 1978. The wedding is recorded as being between July and September the same year.
We moved to 11 Woodland Drive, Braunstone early in January 1979.

Thanks to Martin & Felicity HOLYLAND for the photo.

b. 1954 – . Leicester, England.

Elizabeth HOLYLAND (Ne Gould)
b. 1952 – . Preston, Lancashire, England.

Herald David HOLYLAND
b. 22nd December 1925. Leicester, England.
d. 3rd June 1990. Braunstone, Leicester, England.

Maureen Lucy Rosina HOLYLAND
b. 25th October 1925. Layer de la Haye, Essex, England.
d. 10th November 2010. Braunstone, Leicester, England.

b. 1959 – . Leicester, England.

b. 1953 – . Leicester, England.

Peggy HOLYLAND (Ne Mackley)
b. 1st October 1920. Leicester, England.
d. 1997.

b. 14 July 1947. Colchester, Essex, England.
d. 31st January 2014. Braunstone, Leicester, England.

b. 24th July 1945. Enderby, Leicestershire, England.
d. 13th June 1990. Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, England.

June 1976 – The Cropp family, Stoke Golding, Leicestershire

In the mid 1970’s, my Dad, Victor NELSON befriended his Provident man. He was called Michael CROPP, who everyone called “Mick”. They shared a love for radio controlled and flying model aircraft, making visits to Burbage Common near Hinckley to fly them. Before long we started visiting Mick and his family at 1 Pine Close in Stoke Golding. There we got to know his family and thus started regular visits from about 1976 till we moved to Leicester in the Summer of 1978. We even spent Christmas there one year.
I got to know Mick & Jeans’ daughters, Julie the eldest, Michelle, Sharon & Tanya. In particular I was very close to Sharon, as we were about the same age. On our visits we’d go and play down the “reccy” at the end of Hall Drive.

One story that sticks in my mind, was me and Sharon finding a long coil of wire at the side of Hinckley Road. For some unknown reason, we decided to stretch it across the road, with me one side and her the other. Of course, the inevitable happened and a car came. We tried to lift up the wire as high as we could but it clipped the top of it. The driver wasn’t very pleased – so we ran.
I remember we hid behind a fence at the top of Hall Drive, until the chap turned his car around to come after us. Of course he saw us hiding, so we scarpered towards the reccy – running down the left hand side of the cricket field. There we managed to squeeze into some bushes, through a wrought iron fence, to hide in the corn field beyond. By then the chap had driven into the car park, couldn’t spot us, so gave up.

Scared us to death.

We were a mischievous lot – knock door run and even ringing 999 from a local telephone box to shout obsenities down the handset at the Police… Of course, our parents didn’t know about it – until one evening, Julie decided to throw a clod of earth at the window of a house. We scarpered… and managed to hide down a jitty. Unfortunately the irate bloke that bolted from his house caught Julie. He threatened to call the Police – so we ran for our parents. We came back with them – and tried to convince the bloke and our parents that it was “somebody else”. I *think* they believed us…

They seem like perfectly harmless things now – but I think we were really naughty kids when we got together, back then.

The cine clip above, was taken by my Dad during the long hot drought Summer of 1976. It features the front of the old Police house at Stoke Golding in Pine Close, where the Cropp family lived. A model aircraft built by Mick CROPP is seen flying. Plus some footage of Julie CROPP.
I remember that at the front of their house, Mick CROPP had a Citroën DS – blue with a white roof, and just on the film is the roof of his red Isetta bubble car. I remember it was a rusting heap. The DS was like riding in a spaceship!

We lost touch with the CROPP family in the early 1980’s, but I remember them visiting us when we lived in Braunstone.

The family:
Michael Mick CROPP
Jean CROPP (Ne Day) possibly now Jean ANGRAVE
Julie CROPP – She ended up at The Beeches Childrens Home in Leicester Forest East.
Michelle CROPP
Sharon CROPP – I think she became Sharran AGER who has since passed away.

Summer 1975 – 46 Netherley Road, Hinckley

Over 30 years seperates these two photos… The older of the two (at a guess) was taken in 1975. We lived at 46 Netherley Road until the Summer of 1978. For all I know, we moved there when I was born. That is something I have never been 100% sure of.
My Grandma Mavis NELSON (Ne TIMSON) lived further down the same street, facing the Co-Op store. I have no idea of the number of the house she lived in, just that it was near her neighbours Mrs Foster & Mrs Spence (or Spencer?).
Perhaps my parents lived with her, before moving to 46? I don’t know.

My Grandma probably moved to Hinckley in 1968, as my Grandad Raymond FISHER-NELSON passed away at the end of 1967.

I remember my parents telling me that No.46 was in a “bit of a state” when they moved in. They had to have the heating redone – they had opted for very expensive electric ventilation heaters… I remember them quite well. They knocked the lounge through to the breakfast room – I have vague memories of my other Grandad, Herald (David) HOLYLAND doing it for my parents. He was in the building trade.

Mainly I remember a house that was undecorated with bare redone plastered walls, fireplaces in every room and no carpets. The only rooms that had been decorated were the lounge and the dining room, which had been painted white. A rented colour telly from Rediffusion sat in the corner. An old radio gram stood where the wall between dining room and lounge once was, belting out Tony Blackburns show with his “dog” Arnold. WOOF WOOF. :-)
I have happy memories of the place. Of Mr & Mrs WALKER (George & Margaret) next door and their Grandson Alistair RATHBONE, he lived on Barrie Road.

The other photo, was taken on a visit to Hinckley in August 2007. I remember it well, as my son was only 3 months old. We managed to meet up with old childhood friend Anne PARKER, who lived up Ashby Road.

The cars…
That in front of the 1975 photo was my Dad’s blue Ford Cortina Mk1 DCT 886C, it was the first car I remember him having. In the more recent photo, is our 2000 Ford Focus. I suppose we’re a bit of a Ford family!

19th October 1970 – Maureen HOLYLAND & John NELSON

This still taken from a cine film by Vic NELSON, shows a picture of Maureen HOLYLAND (Ne DOOLAN) and a 4 month old me. The footage only lasts for 3 or 4 seconds on the film – so a good opportunity to capture this moment as a “photo”. The occasion was the wedding of Michael HOLYLAND & Jill HOMER at Saint Hughes church, Sturdee Road, Eyres Monsell in Leicester. Does anyone know who the lad is on the left?

b. 26th October 1925
d. 10th November 2010.

b. March 1952.

b. September 1952.

1969? – An unidentified wedding, possibly in the Leicester area. Was it yours?

Going through the cine films inherited from my Dad, I came across one where I didn’t recognise anyone, well, apart from one person who I think is my Aunt Jean NELSON. Which makes me think that this film was taken by my Dad’s brother Michael NELSON.
This film was possibly from the late 60’s.

As both my Dad and his brother were living in the Hinckley area at the time – I presume this footage was shot either in the town or perhaps in Nuneaton.

Does anyone recognise any of the guests? – Or the location? A Mercedes wedding car, seen at the beginning of the film, carries a Leicestershire reg.

Thanks in advance for your input.

1965 – 67 – The Prefabs, 5 Stanhope / Swinford Avenue, Glen Parva, Leicester.

With a great deal of help from a couple of groups on Facebook, I have found out a few things about this area of Leicester. My Dad, Vic NELSON and family, Raymond Fisher NELSON, Mavis NELSON (Ne TIMSON), Alan NELSON & Michael NELSON lived here until the late 60’s. The prefabs in Glen Parva were on these roads: Hillsborough Road, Stanhope / Swinford Avenue, Grange Drive, Henray Avenue and part of Stuart Road.

Prefabs in Glen Parva. (Click to enlarge).

My Grandad Raymond worked in the aircraft industry – I was told by my Dad, at Armstrong Whitworth then later on at Auster Aircraft in Rearsby. However I have been since informed that these prefabs were built for Power Jets Ltd in Lutterworth – so there could well be a connection. I don’t know when this small estate was first built. As far as I know, my Grandad passed away in December 1967 – after this my Dad’s family moved out. The prefabs were eventually demolished in 1976/7.

As I lived with my other Grandparents, Herald David HOLYLAND & Maureen HOLYLAND (Ne DOOLAN) on the nearby Eyres Monsell Estate, for 6 months in 1978, I remember the new Rupert Estate being built on the site of these prefabs. My Uncle Karl HOLYLAND, had a paper round from the newsagents on Ambleside Drive – which took in Scotswood Crescent. So we had to cross the building site between Ambleside Drive and Hillsborough Road.

The video clip with this article shows Raymond Fisher NELSON & Mavis NELSON arriving in their Austin Cambridge from Hillsborough Road via the “junction box roundabout”, to pull into their driveway at 5 Swinford Avenue. You can see my Uncle Michael NELSON with a cine camera and my Mum Annette NELSON (Ne HOLYLAND) going to open the gate. The photo is of a Ford Cortina Mk 1 DCT 886C, this car belonged to my Dad, Victor Reginald NELSON. I don’t know which year he bought it, but C reg means it was new in 1966. I’m also not convinced that the photo was taken in Swinford Avenue, due to the lack of hedges in the photo, but was perhaps taken in Hillsborough Road.

My Dad used to tell me a few stories about his childhood in the prefabs. The only one that sticks in my mind is “the morning the wall fell on him”… One morning he was laying in bed. Apparently in the prefabs, when they redecorated they just lay wallpaper on wallpaper – resulting in several layers of paper on the walls (it probably provided insulation too!). Well, as there was no ceiling and no loft, it was all papered inside up to the roof. As my Dad lay there, the paper from the roof and wall suddenly detached and the “wall fell on him”…

Apparently a one Sue Townsend lived in a prefab on Hillsborough Road, just round the corner from Swinford Avenue…

Victor Reginald NELSON
b. 24th July 1945 – Enderby, Leicestershire.
d. 13th June 1990 – Glenfield, Leicester, Leicestershire.

Annette Olive Maud NELSON
b. 14th July 1947 – Colchester, Essex.
d. 31st January 2014 – Braunstone, Leicester, Leicestershire.

b. 7 December 1941 – Enderby, Leicestershire.
d. 27 November 2008 – Grantham, Lincolnshire.

Michael NELSON
b. 22nd April 1944 – Enderby, Leicestershire.

b. September 1916 – Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
d. December 1967 – Leicester, Leicestershire.

b. 4th April 1916 – 4 Chapel Street, Enderby, Leicestershire.
d. September 1971 – Hinckley, Leicestershire.

1965 – Annette Olive Maud HOLYLAND & Victor Reginald NELSON meet

My parents Annette and Vic met in 1965, when my Mum was 18 and my Dad 20. There are a couple of stories about how they met.
One was that my Dad was a friend of my Mum’s sister, Yvonnes’ boyfriend of the time. The other… My Uncle Paul (HOLYLAND) reckons that they met at the Palais on Belgrave Gate in Leicester city centre – then a well known nightclub/dance hall.

My Dad was probably working as an Engineers Patternmaker at the time, in Hinckley or Nuneaton.

This photo was taken at 8 Ford Rise, my maternal Grandparents house, on the Eyres Monsell, Leicester.

Annette Olive Maud NELSON (Ne HOLYLAND)
b. 14th July 1947 – Colchester, Essex.
d. 31st January 2014 – Braunstone, Leicester, Leicestershire.

Victor Reginald NELSON
b. 24th July 1945 – Enderby, Leicestershire.
d. 13th June 1990 – Glenfield, Leicester, Leicestershire.

March 1940 – The wedding of Mavis TIMSON & Raymond FISHER-NELSON

Two of the very few photos I have of my Dad’s parents. These are at the wedding of Raymond FISHER-NELSON & Mavis TIMSON in March 1940. From what I know, Raymond was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire in September 1916. Mavis was born at 4 Chapel Street, Enderby, Leicestershire on the 4th April 1919.
At the time, the family story was that Raymond was ground crew at Braunstone Aerodrome on the outskirts of Leicester during World War 2. He could well have been at Desford Aerodrome too.

In the second photo, I don’t know who the bridesmaids are. Can you help? I am assuming that the picture was taken at St John Baptist Church, Enderby, Leicestershire.

b. 4th April 1919 – 4 Chapel Street, Enderby, Leicestershire.
d. September 1971 – Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Raymond FISHER-NELSON (family name became NELSON)
b. September 1916 – Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
d. December 1967 – Leicester, Leicestershire.

1935 – Olive Maud DOOLAN (Ne FISHER)

Olive Maud FISHER, married Henry “Harry” Charles DOOLAN in Colchester on the 14th October 1922. She was born in the then village of Layer de la Haye, near Colchester in July 1898. I am guessing this photo was taken in 1922 as well.

My Mum, Annette Olive Maud NELSON (Ne HOLYLAND), was named after her Grandma, Olive Maud. Strangely the FISHER name figures on both sides of my family. As well as Olive Maud on my maternal side, another Great Grandmother on my paternal side was called Edith Ada FISHER (her maiden name). The two Great Grandmothers are not related (thankfully).

Apart from the above, I don’t know anything else about this photo. It was found in February 2014 when I was clearing out my Mum’s bungalow, after she passed away suddenly.

b. July 1898 Layer de la Haye, Colchester, Essex.
d. December 1946 Layer de la Haye or Colchester, Essex.

Henry “Harry” Charles DOOLAN
b. 17th May 1899 Colchester, Essex.
d. 31st March 1948 Essex County Hospital, Lexden Road; Colchester, Essex.

Annette Olive Maud NELSON (Ne HOLYLAND)
b. 14th July 1947 Layer de la Haye, Colchester, Essex.
d. 31st January 2014 Braunstone, Leicester, Leicestershire.

b. March 1888 Loughborough, Leicestershire.
d. December 1962 Leicester, Leicestershire


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