Leeand Lynne knew their best friend hated her name Winifred and so renamed her Lesley. They were due to date some lads who had just been de-mobbed. It was BromleyKent April 7th 1947. Lesley was a little disappointed that the ‘Alan Ladd’ look alike hadn’t been her date, but over the course of the evening, Jim decided he would be walking her home, as he didn’t live too far from where Lesley lived with her Mum, Dad, two younger brother’s and sister at Brook Lane, Bromley. Jim, lived at the Goodsyard Cottages, with his mum, who ran a tea shop at the at Chislehurst Caves, which had been used as the local air raid shelter, younger sister Betty and step dad, who was a train announcer at Waterloo Station. It was only a three mile walk home.
Jim had served his time driving Tanks visiting Burma, Singapore and Sumatra with the Royal Armoured Corps, Duke of Wellington Regiment. After being de-mobbed took a job on the land, while Lesley was working at DorothyPerkings in Bromley High Street. By 1948 they were engaged and by August 1950 they were married at St AndrewsChurchBurnt AshLaneBromley. Lesley, still called Win by her London family, remembers she was a little sad that she’d spent all her clothing coupons on her bridesmaids dresses and had to borrow her wedding dress but her day was made when she arrived at the church to hear wedding bells see the church filled with flowers and hear the organ playing, a little surprise arranged by her parents.
Across from her parents home in Brook Lane was a Tudor House with large gardens,a place Lesley had dreamed about living and soon after they were married Jim showed her the keys to May Cottage, where he secretly obtained the job as gardener. In 1953 their daughter, Lyn was born, but sadly the Tudor house, cottage and garden were demolished to make way for London’s ever growing population and turned into flats. Keen for a new life Jim and Les thought of Australia but settled for a while on a farm near Cliffe where in 1958 their son Mikewas born. Self taught, Jim was fast becoming a very knowledgeable fruit and veg expertand found himself in charge of the many gypsy groups who would turn up for the summer to harvest the hops and summer fruit. But the call for a new life was still in the air but instead of Australia, in 1961 Jim acquired a job in change of the fruit section at Efford Experimental Agriculture Station. And they moved to Hampshire. Here they made many friends, being founders of The New Forest Dahlia and Chrysanthemum Society and later after moving to Hordle, The Hordle Flower Club, were Lesley was secretary and is now still Vice President.Jim, who was a Bee steward for many years at the New Forest Show, also worked for a while delivering Boats for Rogers Boat Builders but returned to gardening until his retirement as gardener to The Showerings at Sowley. Lesley loves her computer and was able to trace Jim's long lost older brothers and sisters separated before the war. Jim still tends his garden at Hordle entering and judging local shows. They now have four granddaughters, Emma, Maria, Lisa and Amber and a great grand son Mason, who was born last year on September 29thOverlake Hospital, Bellevue. Seatle, USA.