As I said in the earlier post, it can't have been much of a holiday for my mother, because we stayed in a rented house in Frinton and this would mean there would still be meals to cook and we children would need to be looked after. Also, my mother and father sailed most days and knowing my father, who wasn't the most patient of men, it must have been quite stressful being a crew member for him. I can remember on several occasions being on board one of his yachts on the River Ouse and he wasn't patient, particularly if you hauled on the wrong sheet (rope) or moved at the wrong moment, as you had to if the boat was tacking into the wind, for example. If you didn't move fast enough you were very likely to be hit on the head very hard by the boom, the wooden 'stay' which kept the bottom of the mainsail fixed to the mast and moved about quite freely if not taken under control with whatever rope you happened to have in your hand and if not you'd get a lot of abuse from my father such as 'get out of the way, you idiot!' or words to that effect.
Quite a few family friends would congregate at the beach hut at Frinton. Not just my uncle Michael and his wife Gemma, but also a couple called Tim and Betty Smith. They were a really nice couple, but they would argue with one another and would sit and bicker endlessly. Can't have been much fun for my mother, inviting someone to tea and have to listen to them constantly bickering.
My brother Andrew appeared in 1961. I think after four boys my mother was keen to have a daughter. So it was a bit of a surprise when child number five was yet another boy. The Smiths, on the other hand, had been married for years and no baby appeared, but around a year after Andrew was born their one and only child appeared, called Ian. Funny little kid, bald, not very good looking, to say the least. In fact, possibly the inspiration for Yoda in the 'Star Wars' movies! I shouldn't make such comment, but never mind. Then there were the Boddy family, Ashely and Alison. Again, lovely people, but very noisy. I think Ashley bought my father's first boat, 'Amaranda.' He was another very good sailor. But as I say, whenever this family visited you needed to keep at arms length or wear earplugs as Ashley had/has a very loud laugh and the whole family makes a great deal of noise.
My Great Aunt Liz stayed at the Grand Hotel which is on the seafront at Frinton and quite an imposing building. She was one of my father's Scottish relatives, never married and was ancient even when I was a teenager. She died at the grand old age of 95, in 1965, so almost 50 years ago. She makes me think of Lady Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Ernest." Blind as a bat and just as deaf and with a huge nose, which, thank goodness, I didn't inherit. Imperious, to say the least, and although she wore a hearing aid she never seemed to have it tuned properly so it made that unfortunate whistling noise that hearing aids are prone to. You would find yourself repeating things endlessly if you had a conversation with her, which could make life very difficult. Anyway, she would come down to the beach several afternoons when we were there, but it would mean her being ferried around in cars and taken down to the beach as she couldn't walk far.
Andrew, as I've said, was the youngest of my parent's children. I can't imagine what looking after no less than five children would be like, not just feeding, clothing, birthdays, Christmas and so on. So it's no wonder that my mother needed some sort of help. So Andrew had someone to look after him when he was a baby up until be was around 9-10 I suppose. This lady was Miss Fuller. To this very day I'm not sure of her Christian name. It's odd, but it's true. She had been a seamstress and very good too, and had gone to our neighbour's at Cardington, the Porter's and used to do mending. Somehow or other she was sort of 'head-hunted' by my mother and came to work for us., doing virtually the same thing. I know, it's odd to us today, but people did mend clothes. It's not something that is done now, I should imagine, even with the 'recycling' generation and the need to be 'environmentally friendly.' I imagine this would be a left-over from the days of the Second World War and what followed with Austerity. Anyway, she had one afternoon of mending socks, darning etc and then when Andrew was born she used to take him for walks in his pram. Eventually she came more or less permanently as a sort of nanny, but I don't suppose she would have wanted to be called that. So she came with us when we went on holiday to Frinton. I don't know what the arrangement as regards payment. I suppose she was given something, but I don't know. But I suppose she was getting, in effect, a free holiday. At least it meant my mother got some sort of time to herself as Miss Fuller took virtually complete control of son number five. Things went very well with this arrangement until my grandmother Ferriman came to Frinton. I'm not sure for certain whether she came for a day or two or whether she stayed with us, but she was another body for my mother to look after.
One afternoon there was something of a cat-fight between Miss Fuller and my grandmother. Don't ask me what it was about. It was in front of everyone on the promenade near the beach hut. My grandmother was going on about something like who was looking after my brother, and Miss Fuller, who was an extremely strongwilled lady, put her foot down and said that SHE was looking after him. It was like something out of one of those comedies, almost fists flying, fur and feather. 'He's my grandson and I'm in charge of him!' from granny Ferriman and then 'He's my responsibility' from Miss Fuller (or words to that effect.) I'm not sure how it ended, but it must have been very embarassing for my mother. I think it may have been about who could take him for a walk along the promenade or something equally trivial. I know it must have caused no end of entertainment for all and sundry!