This is Southcombe Terrace, Axmouth.
6-13 Southcombe Terrace was designed by the architect Frederick Kett and built by Bert Warren around 1937/8 for the Stedcombe Estate. My parents, Rock and Olive Real, then in their mid twenties, moved into what must have been, their dream home, No. 10, Southcombe Terrace. My parents would have preferred an end terrace house - and could have had one - but the extra 6d per week rent was more than they could afford.
At first my parents rented the house from the estate, but after the death of Miss Stephens, the estate owner, they later had the opportunity to buy it, which they did in 1966 for 1,200.
My sister Anne was born in the house in 1938 and the fir tree, shown in the photograph, was Anne's first Christmas tree, which my parents planted on the verge after Christmas. Dad, a lorry driver, for Bradford's of Seaton, had rescued the little tree just before Christmas, after it had been dug out at Rockbeare Sand Quarry.
Dad went into the Royal Navy, serving, for the most part, on H.M.S. 'Illustrious' for the duration of the war, so he didn't see much of the family at that time. I was born in the house in 1941 and Mum kept Dad's memory alive by showing us his photograph daily. I was primed to say to him when he next came home on leave, "How do you do daddy".
Running down the road to meet him, I performed my 'party piece', whereupon Dad picked me up, put me onto his shouders and carried me home. My brother, Cliff, was born in the house in 1946.
With a large garden to the rear of the property, Dad was able to grow vegetables for the family and to keep - as he did over time - chickens, geese, pigs, pigeons, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and dogs.
We three children lived in the house until we left home to get married. Anne, assisted by Nurse Hawkey, who had seen the three of us into the world, gave birth to her daughter, Vanessa, in the house. My grandfather, Percy Real, died there in 1964.
After our parents had died and after my husband and I had retired, it was with great joy that we moved back into my family home and back to my beloved Axmouth, the village of my birth.
Over the years Anne's Christmas tree had grown beautiful in shape and form and had been used by the villagers to display posters of village events - on a few occasions, the family had put lights on it for Christmas. But with tear-stained faces, in the year 2000, we watched the tree being felled - it had become a danger to the public.
As my parents did in years past, we now welcome all members of our family and friends to our home, where they reminisce about the many happy times they spent here when visiting my parents.
A memory shared byon Jan 25th, 2010.
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