Noel first met Lucy when he was 12, she would have been 13 and they were both at school. They both lived in a market town in Staffordshire on the edge of Cannock Chase. It was another 3 years, when Noel was 16 and went to pump air into the local church organ, that he met Lucy again. She was the church organist. He asked her to take a walk along the canal with him but, initially, she declined. Her parents were strict and always wanted her home by a certain time. Eventually, she agreed but she told her parents that she was visiting neighbours. As they walked along the canal, a man greeted Lucy as they walked and after they passed, Lucy confided in Noel that she thought she would be in trouble, as he was the neighbour she was supposed to have been visiting. Later, when Noel and Lucy were officially "an item" (or what ever you would call it in 1930's Britain), the neighbours wife commented on the couple. The husband mentioned that he had seen them along the canal some months previously.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"You would have gone straight round and told her parents!"
They married in 1942 and had five children - David, Christine (my mother), Elizabeth, Noel and Philip. From them came eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
Last year, one evening Lucy said to Noel "I have always loved you." They had been married for 73 years. Lucy died last August and Noel passed just over a week ago.
And a chapter of our family's lives closed. More chapters will be written.