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Constance Margaret Walker

Also known as: Connie.


Picture of Constance Margaret Walker.

Our Mum, Constance Margaret Walker (nee Fowler), known to her friends as Connie, was born in North London in 1910, one of nine children, three of whom died in infancy. She has two sisters and three brothers. From the start she seems to have been a feisty young woman, refusing to work in the sherbert factory where she was taken by her mother on leaving school at 14. She walked out after a few days and found herself a job in an office - a great step then for someone in her "station of life"!

She and our Dad had met while still at school and married at 21. Once again they were first in their respective families to dare to buy a house rather than rent one. During the difficult years of the 30's it was the fact that Mum remained in regular employment that kept them going. She left work in 1939 when their first baby daughter (Jennifer) was born, and they moved from Chiswick to what was then a leafy suburb of Harrow in Middlesex.

With the onset of WW2 and Dad's call up to the army, like all women at that time, she was encouraged to go to work. After some shop work, which she hated, she found a post with a local builder's firm which was more suited to her skills and experience.

After the war their second daughter (Susan) was born, and shortly after, Mum encouraged Dad to set up his own plastering business in partnership with an ex-army colelague. Inevitably, she looked after the office side of the company! After a few years, the partnership was dissolved and the business continued until the ealy 1960s when arthritis forced Dad into more sedentary work. Mum had to look for outside work and was fortunate enough to find a post at a local school as their secretary; a role that she loved and where she stayed until a very unwelcome retirement. Having themselves left school at 14, both Mum and Dad had enormous respect for education and what they saw as the well-educated, so she felt very aware of her lack of formal education when accepting the post at the school. However, her naturally quick mind and commonsense, combined with years of experience in the world of work, made her more than a match for her new teaching colleagues, and her apprehension soon disappeared.

Her family, home and garden were the three main loves of her life, although she relished the stimulation of outside work.

She was such an active person, so full of energy that she made you feel tired just watching her! This somehow made the stroke which condemned her to a wheelchair at the age of 84 an even more bitter blow. She and Dad were forced by their joint ill-health to leave their beloved home in 1995 to live in a nursing home, where sadly Dad died within a few weeks. Mum lived on there until her own death at the age of 91.

The photos we have chosen show Mum at about 45 looking very smart for a family wedding; at around 65 in the garden; and lastly at 85 during an outing from the the nursing home where she was living.

Added by: Jenny Grainge on 24 September 2007.



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Picture of Constance Margaret Walker.
Picture of Constance Margaret Walker.
Picture of Constance Margaret Walker.
 

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