Blue Suburban Skies
John’s mother Judy (often referred to as Julia), had four sisters: Mary Elizabeth, known as ‘Mimi’, Elizabeth, known as ‘Mater’, Anne Georgina, known as ‘Harriet’ and Harriet, known as ‘Harrie.’
Their parents, George and Mary Stanley lived at 9 Newcastle Road, Wavertree and they used to baby sit with Stan.
Stan also used to be taken in his pram to Sefton Park by Judy and Alfred, John’s parents.
“So I was a baby at Newcastle Road when George Smith came to court Mimi in the front parlour.
“I was around when they first bought ‘Mendips.’
“The previous owners had named the house ‘Mendips’ because they had been fond of walking in the Mendips Hills.
“It was a lovely middle-class house, situated in a very countrified area, as it was then. It had a garden front and back, with apple trees. There were also wide-open spaces surrounding the house.
“’Mendips’ became a regular meeting place for all our family: aunts, uncles and cousins.
“When I was three my parents, ‘Mater’ and Charles Parkes, moved over to Rock Ferry, Cheshire.
“When we cousin’s had our regular school holidays we would stay at each family home.
“Although we did spend a lot of time at Mendips, Mimi was very intolerant of rowdy children, so we went round to Aunt Harriet’s home, the Cottage, which was nearby. After we’d completed all the household chores and messages, we had complete freedom to play. We’d then go on to Blomfield Road, Allerton, Judy’s home, where we had even more freedom.
“’Mendips’ was always the main meeting-up place for our families to start off with.
“At periods the entire family was there at once: all the Stanley sisters, their husbands and all seven cousins. Aunt Mimi, my mother, Aunt Harrie, Aunt Anne and Judy would all go off on their regular shopping trip into Liverpool city centre.
“We kids would be left to our own devices at ‘Mendips’, to play around amongst ourselves.
“In the early days it was just myself, John and cousin Liela. Later on, cousin’s Michael, David and John’s half-sisters Julia and Jaquie were involved.