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Written by Stan Simons 1999, reproduced by kind permission of his daughter Diana Glasspool.

The Story of Stan:
Post War Memories

Mary had obtained the cottage at Burton Latimer whilst I was still in the Army and settled in with our eldest Daughter, Diana.

Diana was born on the 20th November 1944, at a nursing home in Leicester. It was a very cold wet Sunday and for a time Mary thought her tummy pains were the result of eating too much Yorkshire pudding for dinner. I went with her to the nursing home and as she sat there, looking all-forlorn, in the corner of a room, a midwife came in. She just took one glance at her and said, "You are going to have a breach baby," and she did. We called this elderly midwife (behind her back) 'Horseface', but she was brilliant. Diana, when born, looked like a miniature Winston Churchill.

The cottage consisted of two upstairs and two downstairs rooms. It had no water supply and we had to share a tap, in the middle of the tiny gardens with all the neighbours, five cottages altogether. The 'privy' was also outside, about ten yards away, but this was only shared with one next door neighbour. Eventually we clubbed together and had water supplied to the house.

There was only one outside door and the trench for the new water supply was right against this door. It happened to be winter with snow, ice and rain so work was pathetically slow, and we had difficulty getting in and out of the house. I regret to say that these cottages have now been pulled down and there is no vestige left of them having ever been there.

Our second daughter, Deborah, was born on the 9th October 1947 in our cottage. The midwife and doctor were called but Debbie popped out before the doctor arrived. He said it was the easiest birth he had ever attended. The midwife had turned up, in her car, but was still talking to someone in the street at the vital moment.

Luckily an elderly friend, Mrs.Wright, was with Mary and knew what to do. The first I knew we had a second daughter was when I received a phone call at the office. I immediately got in my car and rushed home as fast as possible. As soon as I got there Mary said she wanted to move into the second bedroom. We tried to carry her in, but not very successfully, she more or less walked in carrying her newborn baby.

We had a cat named Tito and opposite to where we lived was a farmhouse and farm. Quite often Tito would deposit on our doorstep a dead day old chicken from the farm. We were very worried the farmer would find out but he never did.

Stan Simons with one of his aquaria
Stan the Aquarist
My main hobby, for many years, was keeping and breeding tropical fish. At Burton Latimer I had four tanks, two each side of the fireplace. When we moved to Northampton I built a fish house in the garden, mostly from old panels from buses of United Counties. It had no side windows; all the natural light came from glass in the roof. Our house in Victoria Road was also painted in United Counties green and it is said that when you pressed the bell the house would take off down the street! My compost heap has panels around it with the words 'United Counties' still emblazoned on them.

Together with my brother in law, Jimmy Harris, we formed the Kettering and District Aquarists Society. This became very popular and we held an annual show in Kettering with many tanks on show. People came from all over to compete for the various prizes. These were for the best individual fish and furnished aquariums.

Perhaps this is the time I should mention an unexplainable occurrence that happened to me early in 1955, before UFO's were not a subject of conversation. We were visiting Mary's father who was terminally ill in St. Mary's Hospital, Kettering. I went outside to my car whilst Mary said her goodbyes. Looking up into the sky I saw what could only be described as a flying saucer. It was very large and low in the sky, with lights all round the edge. After a while it moved off silently in a south-eastern direction.

I expected to see the local papers full of it the next day, but nothing. Remember this was 45 years ago and I would have been laughed at if I had disclosed what I had seen. The only person I told was Mary's brother Perce. He was interested in science fiction books, whilst I wasn't.

In 1990 Mary and I had our Golden Wedding. We had quite a large 'do' with about 80 relatives and guests, coming from far and wide. Even from America . We are hoping to replicate this on the 25th March 2000, for our Diamond Wedding. The hall, caterers and bar are already booked. Let's hope we can make it.

Stan and Mary Simons at their Golden Wedding party
Golden Wedding

25th March 1990

Family History Early years Employment Service Career Under Fire Epilogue

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