Family Memories - with Fay Hampson

My enduring childhood memories of Wrexham are of visiting my lovely grandparents at 6 Chester Road.

I remember them as happy times. My brothers and I frightening ourselves to bits daring each other to go down the dark steps into the cellar and pretending to be ghosts; grandma's sewing room at the top of the house; a gas fire and a Teasmade in my grandparents' bedroom; a shower over the bath; a box of little flags and bells on the breakfast room wall which were supposed to wave and ping to summon help - but never did.

But oh, the garden! Hens, pigeons, fruit and veg, beautiful flowers, greenhouses, secret paths and places to hide. A child's paradise.

However, it also saw anxious times. The photo of my grandparents sitting on a bench was taken in 1944. They had heard after many dreadful weeks that my father, a Mosquito pilot, was alive after being shot down and reported missing in November 1943. This was the first photo they sent to him and it can be seen from the reverse that dad didn't receive it for nearly a year.

In 1944 my aunts Gwen and Joan, both excellent swimmers, posed as bathing belles in the garden of Chester Road.

I like to think this photo of his big sisters was sent to my dad and to Uncle Doug, Gwen's husband, who had been captured in 1940 in the early days of the Second World War. It was a hard time for all as no one knew when the war would end.

But end it did. My dad came home, and I was born in 1946. Here I am with dad and my big brother in the snowy garden of Chester Road in the Winter of 1947/8.

And here are grandma and grandad in 1956 looking very smart posing at the back of the house.

Also in 1956, a great many Hampsons! I have acquired two more brothers (there are two more yet to be born). Auntie Jenny, wearing a hat, was married to dad's brother Wally so that made three Mrs Hampsons in this photo.

There are not so many Hampsons now! Mum and dad had five boys, but there are only two bearing the name in the latest generation.

It could be the family's last hurrah...