I was born in Manor park Hospital on the15th July 1949.
When I was 23 years of age, I met the love of my life Julie. I moved out of my parents’ home to my sister’s when we first got married. We then moved into our first home, a two- bedroom bungalow in South Crescent near Southend Airport. We had the best years together and are blessed to share it with two children, Charlotte and Luke, our proudest achievements.
I have such lovely memories of driving down the beach to Southend with Julie, Charlotte and Luke, laughing together and singing along to Frank Sinatra. I was devoted to Julie who was happy go lucky and used to say “Enjoy every day while you can”. Charlotte and Luke are the same as her –hardworking, friendly and outgoing.
When Julie worked at KFC I used to help her when they were busy. I just wanted to be with her as we had lots of fun and laughter together. Julie told me to always be happy and so we were. Julie used to say all the time – ‘always be happy’ and we were.
I once worked as a milkman, a difficult job getting people to pay their bill! I had a few jobs but the one I loved the most was working with Tesco in Hornchurch, Canvey Island and Southend. I was a Produce Manager for about 27 years and I managed a team of four staff. I liked working for Tesco, they are a good company and I was very happy there.
Then in 2000 my world as I knew it ended. Julie sadly died and I was devastated. Its been twenty years and I still miss her very much. I have a bench outside my house in her memory.
In 2007 I was then diagnosed at Queens Hospital Neurology Unit in London with early onset cortical dementia. This Dementia has affected my speech, risk of falls, dizziness, eyesight and so on. I lost my confidence and I did not go out anymore and was very lonely.
My two fantastic children, whom I love very much, and I am so very proud of are very supportive of me. They do not live so near to me and then I was told about Peaceful Place. I have been coming to Peaceful Place for about six or seven years now and again my world changed.
I met others living with Dementia. They also had lost their confidence and we look after each other. I love getting on the bus, sitting chatting, singing, playing games, laughing and helping out in the kitchen. I have made great friends and the one bad side is they are not all West Ham supporters! For all you West Ham supporters I can tell you that I was 1 of the 100,000 people who saw West Ham live winning the European cup on the 19th May 1965
I would tell anyone who is diagnosed with dementia to come into Peaceful Place and have a chat with us especially if you are a West Ham supporter!