Violet May Dorothy Barham had already given birth to two boys, Reggie and Jimmy, and she very much wanted her third child to be a girl. Instead, she got Ted. “When I was a baby my mother dressed me in girl’s clothes, perhaps to pretend that she had a daughter,” recalls Ted with a chuckle.
However, Violet came to terms with having another son and young Ted remembers being dressed as a boy when he shared the sidecar of his dad’s motorbike with his elder brothers.
Ted had two grandmothers, Granny Barham and Granny Wigham, but his grandfathers had passed away before he was born. These grannies made a fuss of him and bought him sandals, socks, and teddies. He has fond memories of visiting each of them.
Ted travelled by himself on the bus to visit Granny Barham who lived near Eaton Park in Norwich. He remembers that this grandparent owned a pram with a false bottom that she removed to store food. Indeed, there were occasions when she was transporting babies and vegetables at the same time! She was a good cook, and Ted loved the puddings that she made for him, and the seven pence she gave him for his bus fare home. Granny Wigham lived in Wicklewood, and Ted used to ride his bike to see her. Tea and sponge cakes were always waiting on the table. And after feeding him, they would go for walks in the countryside.
Ted had relatively less contact with his aunts and uncles as they had mostly moved out of Wymondham; he would see them at Christmas and Easter. His Aunt Roselee lived closer and would sometimes help his family out with shopping and laundry.
Sadly, today most of Ted’s relatives have either moved away or passed away. Ted’s mother, Violet, died at the age of only 42, and one of his cousins was killed in a traffic accident in the USA. Fortunately, he does have one cousin, Gwennie Jones, who still lives in Wymondham.
Ted considers himself to be blessed for having had a long life with good health, which he enjoys as much now as when he was a youngster.