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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Happy anniversary to Bert & Daisy (AKA "Nanny & Grandad Payne")

Today would have been my great grandparent's 83rd wedding anniversary and I think that's worthy of a blog post!

Daisy Howard married Albert Norrie Payne on 29 September 1930. Daisy was 19 and Albert (known as "Bert) was only slightly older at 20.

They married at Willesden Register office before setting up home together a stones throw away from the place they were wed and going on to have four daughters, the second eldest of whom was my Nan.

Daisy did a series of factory jobs throughout her life as well as brining up the couples' daughters whilst Bert spent most of his working life "on the railway".

By the time I was born they were in their seventies and were still living in Willesden in a house they had lived in since just after the second world war. They were cosy and warm and spent most of their time at home at this point, although Nanny Payne did like to sometimes venture round to the bingo hall and Grandad Payne would visit the betting shop on a daily basis. In fact, whenever we visited, Nanny Payne's first words to us would inevitably be "He's 'round the corner", meaning he was in William Hill's.

Nanny Payne made a mean victoria sponge, sprinkled with sugar on the top. Grandad Payne cooked too (unusual for a man of his age I guess, but presumably a skill he had learnt during the war years), and his mashed potato was legendary and the nicest I have ever tasted - largely due to the half a block of butter he would use!

As they approached their eighties their health deteriorated meaning Nanny Payne could no longer go to the Granada bingo hall, but Grandad Payne somehow still managed to get to the betting office, even after a big operation that people thought would end his daily betting office trip.

In September 1990 they celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary with an afternoon party at their house in Roundwood Road and a telegram from the Queen (that was proudly displayed for all to see). Then the cancer he thought had gone returned to Grandad Payne and he spent a lot of time in and out of hospital before finally dying in October 1992 at Park Royal Hospital, following another operation. Nanny Payne died just nine months later in the same hospital and whilst a long explanation was given on her death certificate, we all knew what she had really died of - a broken heart.

So, sixty two and a half years after their marriage they were reunited and back together like they belonged. And twenty years later, having found out more about their lives than I could have imagined during their lifetime and having realised how few people know their great-grandparents, I'm more pleased than ever that I knew them.

September 1990 - Brent Chronicle

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