Aileen Molly PARKER 

*29 Aug 1920 - †25 Jun 2010


a) England & Wales, Birth Index, 1916-2005 about Aileen M Parker
Name:«tab»Aileen M Parker
Mother's Maiden Surname:«tab»Swepson
Date of Registration:«tab»Jul-Aug-Sep 1920
Registration district:«tab»Brentford
Inferred County:«tab»Oxfordshire
Volume Number:«tab»3a
Page Number:«tab»472
General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.

From Mum's (Molly's) Diary for 1956:
Molly finished school in July 1936 at Penarth County School.
She worked at the following places:
Coop, Windsor Rd, Penarth - Sept 36 to March 38 *
Avery Scales, High St, Cardiff - 1938 to 1939
Roneo Duplicating Co. Charles St. Cardiff - 1940 to 1941
Navy, Army & Air Force Institution (NAAFI) District Produce Buyer charles St. Cardiff - Jan 1941 to Jan 1946 *
(Joined B. in Chester. Lived in Chester until his demob in Aug 46. Returned to Penarth.
Also worked with B. in Cowbridge office of John Howard in summer 1952 or 53.
* First & last dates are exact. The ones in between are approx.

Lived at 53 Plymouth Road, Penarth. Moved down to flat at 53 on June 13 1948 when Prew's went to Bristol.
Gwen Sparks came to live with us 29th June 1949.

Went to League of Health and Beauty 24-10-50. Started in Penarth 28-3-51, display 28-7-51 Maindy Stadium.

Autobiography of
Aileen Molly Parker

My Dad followed in his father's footsteps and joined the G.W.R. (Great Western Railway) but Grandpa was a Station Master and Dad was in the Motor Transport Department. He drove an omnibus. He was moved around to different areas of England and Wales every three years. Grandpa wore a pillbox shaped hat and a coat that reached just above his knees which was the uniform for the railway.

Once when Mum was shopping, Nan, who was a toddler at the time wandered away from her. Dad, driving a bus, saw his wee daughter walking in the middle of the road. When Mum came out of the shop frantically looking for Nan, she saw her sitting up in the driver's seat with Dad! She was quite happy, but Dad was cross with Mum for not keeping here eye on the toddler! Dad continued with the GWR even when he returned from France after the end of World War I. Consequently Nan and I went to a lot of different schools. Dad was sent to Cardiff in 1930 and stayed there until his last illness in 1944.

I was born in Acton - a suburb of London. Mum was born in Ealing, also a suburb of London. We both loved London and would go there any time we could and visited all the attractions like Madam Tussard's often.

When I was three years old we lived in Penzance. This place was renowned for being a smugglers' (pirate's) haunt. I remember Dad showing us in a large cupboard in the house, he took up a board in the floor and we could see the seawater right there - the pirates could bring boats in there and unload their cargo. There was a small island off the coast of Penzance. We were taken there in a row boat at high tide. I believe it had a monastery built on it. I don't know if one could walk across at low tide. It was called St Michael's Mount. In my baby talk I called it "St. Minkes Mint".

We had the top attic rooms for our bedrooms. Outside one bedroom window was a huge tree. An owl lived in it and he used to hoot after I had gone to bed and I was scared. I would call for Mum and the poor dear would have to climb all the flights of stairs to see what I wanted and to comfort me. So Dad rigged up a communication for me. It was a string that went from my room down through the stairwell and was tied to small tin at the bottom. There pebbles (small stones) in the tin so when I pulled the string they would rattle. It was usually because the owl was hooting!!

When we lived in Penzance, my Granny, Mercy Swepson, lived with us, also Mum's brother, Dick and his wife, Johnny, and their daughter, Joan, who was 1 ½ years older than me. She was Granny's favourite. Dick and Johnny were waiting to emigrate to Canada and Granny went with them. However, she only stayed about six months and for the rest of her life, she lived with us. They settled in Calgary and we met Joan when we emigrated later.

We moved to Worcester when I was about 5. We lived in a huge house next door to a church. To help with expenses, Mum had boarders. One was a young curate. Mum would have to wake him up on a Sunday morning in time to take an early church service. He didn't have time to dress but would put his surplus on over his pyjamas!

Dad's next move was to Wrexham in North Wales. We lived in a small village called Caegygwrle. I can't recall anything significant about that place and I don't think we stayed there long. I do remember that Mum and Nan hated being in Wales, but I don't know why.

Our next stop was Newbury, near Reading in Hampshire. We lived on Boundary Road which was next to the Common. We had some lovely walks across the common. I leaned to ride a bike there. My picture, "The Sear, The Yellow Leaf" is a great favourite of mine because it reminds me so much of Newbury.

When we lived in Newbury there was a crowd of us all living around the same area. One day a boy had a birthday party. On the cake on the table was a small figure of a boy. We had to guess his name. A paper was passed round and we each had to write our guess on it and fold it over. I wrote TIM. When the paper was unfolded, the lady said that no one had guessed correctly. His name was Timothy. I was bold enough to speak up and say that I had written Tim. She had missed it! I don't know what my prize was. Probably the little figure itself! One of the girls, Audry, said "Someone must have told her!"

Next we moved to South Wales. The first address was Gelligaer Street, Cardiff (it is pronounced "Gethlegaer" in Welsh). A little girl came to the door and Mum gave her a sweet biscuit. Of course, she came quite often after that and Mum always gave her one. At last Mum realized it was getting too often, whether from the kid's appetite or whether Mum just couldn't afford to buy biscuits, I don't know. She eventually told the small girl that she had no more sweet biscuits. The kid went away but then she came back and said to Mum, "I like «i»th«/i»our biccies, I do!" I don't know if Mum gave her a 'sour' biscuit? Mum and Dad decided that Penarth, a little town five miles away would be a nicer place to live; so off we went again!

I went to Gladstone School when we lived in Cardiff. In the form I was in, we took the exam for entrance in to High School. The higher a person's mark, she had all books paid for but lower marks just got an entrance and we had to pay for all our books. One girl in our class, Mary Flagg, got the highest marks. She was very clever. Most of us just got an entrance.

Before we left school for the summer holidays, there was not much to do so the teachers gave us odd things to do to keep us amused and entertained. One thing we were to do was to write down six questions we would like answered. Clever girls like Mary wrote about things in the world and the universe. The rest of us wondered what the new school would be like I was stuck for Question 6. Then I wrote, "Why do red headed people have a quick temper?" Our teacher was obviously amused by this because she brought another teacher in and she pointed to me! I never got an answer, of course! But I have reined my quick temper in over the years, I'm thankful to say!

When we moved to Penarth, I only had had only one year in Cathays High which was a new school with a good gym, cooking area and art classroom. In Penarth, I went to Penarth County High which was so old - not at all nice. I had to take chemistry and hated it! My friend, Betty, and I didn't take the finals.

13 Station Road was where I first saw Bruce. He was friendly with the boy who lived next door to us. We had a dog who was and awful fighter. One day I came home from school and there was a fight going on. I went in to the house and filled a pail of cold water and went outside intending to throw the water over the dogs to shock them and to stop them fighting. I did so but unfortunately the dogs moved just at that moment so the water fell on the pavement. This was bad enough but the two boys, Roy and Bruce, were there egging the dogs on! So I felt very embarrassed. The made no attempt to stop the dogs, of course, it would not have been a sensible thing to try to do. The dogs finished the fight - ours had a torn ear as usual! I can still remember Bruce (Bill as he was called then) - he had short pants on, the usual thing for school boys to wear until in their teens.

Next move was to 42 Cornerswell Road. Mum still took in boarders. At #38 lived Jean Hallet (later Mrs. Phil Lusty) and we became good friends.

Nan had a job in a local kennel. One evening she brought home a spaniel-type dog. It was dark outside and Mum, Dad and I looked up to see a black and white furry doggy face looking through the kitchen window. Nan was holding him up so that he could look in. He looked as if he was smiling at us and we could tell that his tail was wagging hard!! Sport became a loved member of our family, especially of Dad's as we had recently lost the Airedale.

"LASSWADE" in Forrest Road in Lower Penarth was our next home in 1936. This was a most attractive house. When we moved in, it was so overgrown with flowers that they had to be cut back for the movers to bring the furniture up the front walk. I left school as we were living there. Nan and Tom were married from there on 12 August 1939. It was adjacent to the Cliffs-right at the end of the road.

There was a local bus service from there in to Cardiff. The trains passed going around the coast to Badoxton and Barry. Nan and I could use either to get in to work in Cardiff. Dad used the train because being employed by the railway, he travelled free. This was a gorgeous spot - we all loved it. But the war started in September 1939 and all local train services were stopped which meant that Dad had to walk from the town. He had been using a cane for walking for some time so we decided it would be better to live in town. There were only the three of us then with Nan and Tom living in Bristol. So we moved to 18 Plymouth Road and a flat at the top of a large house.

I travelled in to Cardiff mostly by train. There was a carriage full of us who usually went together. I had a school friend who lived opposite and we used to go for walks along the Promenade early in the morning in summer. I was still noticing that boy who had been with Roy when the dogs were fighting and would see him quite often when on the train rides.

One morning when Eileen and I were out on one of these early morning walks, we saw a girl coming towards us with a young man. It was obvious they were sister and brother. We had known her from school so we said, "Hallo". The young man was the same one that had been with Roy when the dogs were fighting. As Eileen and I walked on, I said, "So, that's who he is!" Eileen looked at me and laughed and said, "You've had your eye on him, have you?!!" Indeed I had!!!

Wartime meant black out curtains and going to the lowest part of the house when we heard the air raid siren sound. The first time we had a siren alarm that enemy aircraft were overhead we were living at the top of this tall house, so we went downstairs to sit with the others in the house until the "all clear" siren sounded. I grabbed my knitting bag and our cat - not my purse or anything valuable - these were my priorities!

Now we acknowledged each other. I saw in the local newspaper that he was captain of the local rugby team. My Dad was always interested in rugby, so one Saturday he suggested that we got to the recreation field and watch a game. However, "Bill" was not playing as he had injured his knee. During the game he was sitting in the stands quite near us. That evening there was a ring at our doorbell. Mum went down to answer it. When she came back upstairs, she said to me, "It's him!!" She was as pleased as I was. He asked me out and Bill and I walked along the cliffs. Later he kissed me and that was the beginning of the 62 years (and more) of our wonderful love affair. We were engaged on January 16, 1942 and married a year later on January 13, 1943.
Written by Aileen Molly Vodden during a visit to daughter, Linda's home in Newmarket, Ontario in 1993.



1) England & Wales, Marriage Index, 1916-2005 about Lionel B Vodden
Name:«tab»Lionel B Vodden
Spouse Surname:«tab»Parker
Date of Registration:«tab»Jan-Feb-Mar 1943
Registration district:«tab»East Glamorgan
Inferred County:«tab»Glamorganshire
Volume Number:«tab»11a
Page Number:«tab»1367
Spouse: Aileen Molly Parker
Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright.