Monday, 26 December 2016

80th Anniversary

Today, 26 December 2016 is the 80th Wedding Anniversary of my grandparents, Joe and Sadie Quinnin. My grandad's name was really Albert Victor, but he became known as Joe in his youth. The reason for this is subject to family lore and myth.

They married at Tynemouth Registry Office when my grandad was 27, and my grandma just 20-years-old. Their witnesses were my grandma's sister, Florence, and my grandad's brother-in-law, Bill Weightman, who had married his sister only a year before. 

My grandparents were utterly devoted to each other, their love for each other was undying. Together they had twelve children! 

In 1972, my grandad suddenly became ill. Crippled with stomach pains and other ailments, he was taken into hospital. There, on 3 August 1972, he wrote my grandma a letter. I now have the letter, which I treasure. It is written on pale blue hospital paper and is kept in a faded yellowing envelope. It reads:

Dear Sadie,
Just a line or two, to let you know I am doing fine in here. Well Sadie I went to sleep at 8-30 this morning and they woke me up at 11-20 to wash me. They gave me a good wash all over and my pyjamas were so wet with sweat they had to give me some of the RVIs.

When they got me put right they put me in a big chair at the bedside, and they put my smoking jacket on me, when they drew the curtain every one was looking at me, the nurses from the other wards were coming in to have a look at me, they were bowing in front of me and shaking hands. They were calling me Sir Albert.

Well how is every one at home. I hope you are getting plenty of rest now. Is Peg all right now I hope she still comes in to see you. Tell everyone I am asking after them. Well I think this will be all. Excuse writing as these nurses are pulling and tearing at me.

From your loving Husband
Sir Albert Victor 

Peg, the woman named in the letter, was my grandparent's neighbour.

My grandad died just over a month later, and my grandma never fully recovered. She was reunited with him in death in 1984.

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