A Rugby Life - With a Gap for Thailand

Scene from Craven Road, Rugby showing a group of children with a few women on the left and two gentlemen standing outside H. Driver, ' hairdressing and shaving' on the right. original photo. no. E.R. 108. 1900s
IMAGE LOCATION: (Warwickshire County Record Office)
Reference: PH, PH 350/1802, img: 2338
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I’ve lived in Rugby nearly all my life. I grew up initially on the outskirts of Rugby in Dunchurch, and my grandparents were just down the road. My father was the Station Manager at Dunchurch Railway Station until I was seven. We moved because my dad had unfortunate health problems that meant he could no longer be the manager. He ended up working in the offices of the railway station, until his health couldn’t support him being there either.

I was not keen on Rugby initially, having been taken away from the place that I’d grown up in and loved, so on our first evening here I ran away to the train station with the intent to get the first train to Dunchurch I could. I figured that I could go live with my grandparents and settle with them. Luckily I was found before I could get on a train, and I eventually settled into my life in Rugby.

A family connection

We lived in a house on Craven Road, and my parents stayed there until they passed away so I’ve had a strong family connection to the town itself since the 1940s. I used to walk to primary school from home as I went to Northlands Primary School which was really close by. After Northlands I moved on to St Andrews Benn, which is now a primary school, but in my schooling days it was a secondary school. I found school relatively uneventful as I never much enjoyed making friends and talking to people when I was younger. It’s still something I struggle with now, but it was a very prominent character trait when I was younger. I also just found school uninteresting as there was nothing I found particularly inspiring.

When I met my first husband after school we moved in together in Rugby, and I very much became a wife and mother rather than my own person. I felt quite stuck in this period of my life, and so I didn’t much enjoy living in Rugby at this point. After I spilt from my first husband I met my second husband Gerald, and this is when I really started to live the life I had always wanted too.

A spell away

Gerald and I would travel extensively, across Europe and Asia, and it fulfilled a sense of adventure that I had always wanted to act on. Our favourite place that we went to was definitely Thailand, and we ended up settling there for five years because we loved it so much.

We eventually ended up returning to Rugby for various reasons, and stayed with one of my daughters on our return before we settled into our home together. Despite Gerald’s passing I don’t want to move out of Rugby now, I have connections and I feel like this is my home. His passing was the reason that I ended up coming along to the Benn Partnership, I wanted a group to attend so that I could have a reason to get out of the house. The centre is in easy walking distance and I enjoy the connections that it has given me.

Something to come back to

I knew about the group though because my husband and I initially went together, we dropped off because of our travelling but it was something I knew I could come back to. It’s nice to have the companionship that the group brings, we have a gossip together and it’s nice to talk to people with similar views and life experiences.

Rugby has become my home, and despite how I first felt about it I could not imagine living anywhere else.

This article was published as part of the Warwickshire in 100 Objects project, part of Warwickshire Bytes.

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