George Alfred Davies

George was born 3rd June 1903 in Worcester, England. Raised by his mother, he worked with his family, the O’Shea’s, as a Flower and Fruit Hawker. They were very well known in Worcester. He was known to travel around the country with the Romany Gypsies. His uncle Peter O’Shea, married a Gypsy girl and lived with her community. George met my grandmother when living in Walsall with his first wife, Dorothy Gormley. He and my grandmother, Nellie, never married. On my father’s birth certificate, George is a General Hawker, but he also made a living begging and doing odd jobs such as drain cleaning. George died in Worcester on 16th June 1947, aged 44, of Pulminary Tuberculosis.

Nellie Danks

Nellie was born 16th July 1893 in Walsall. Nellie was working in the Buckle works as a Presser when she met her first husband. They married in 1912 and had seven children. Nellie was recently widowed when she met George. They travelled together to Lancaster where my father was born in 1934. Sadly, Nellie died 4th July 1937 in Lancaster when my father was two years old.

Reginald Heppell

Reg, as he was more commonly known, was born 11th January 1903 at Smith’s Yard in Marygate, York. As a young man he worked as a labourer, he was the eldest of six brothers. Reg migrated to Canada in the early 1920’s, to join his Uncle who had moved there with his Canadian wife some years earlier, but, with family commitments to his orphaned younger brothers, he decided to return to England. He found employment as a Coal Merchant and during the course of his work, delivering coal to her family business, he met my grandmother, Lily England, whose family had a corner shop near Nunnery Lane, York. Reg and Lily married on 12th November 1930 and made their home in Albert Street. After the war, Reg and Lily became the proprietors of a corner shop in Rawcliffe Drive, York, where Reg was well known as a kind and helpful man, who would go above and beyond to ensure his customers were looked after. Reg died in 1959, just a year after my parents married.

Lily England

Lily was born on 1st April 1906 in The Groves, York. Lily was working in her parent’s shop when she met Reg Heppell. They married 12th November 1930 and had four children, Joan, Pat, Brian and Barbara. Lily was widowed in 1959. Lily moved in with us a few years later, and remained with us until she died in 1974.