Me, car, YFC: Dad in three words

My Dad’s plastic wallet. Own collection. Although I may have decided that preserving the contents was more important than the preserving the wallet.

The plastic wallet may be dirty, cracked and held together by Sellotape but the contents almost perfectly sum up what was important to my Dad (George Christopher Houseman aka Bob) as a young man. As my Mum put it when I asked her about the wallet “Me, car, yfc were intertwined.”

My Dad’s driving licence. Underneath the full licence is a provisional one dated from 1 September 1967. Own collection

First there is the driving licence. The provisional licence was issued on 1 September 1967, the day after my Dad’s 17th birthday. I am a little surprised that it took him until six months to obtain the full one as it took less than four to get mine…..

Farnley Estate YFC programmes from September 1962 to August 1971. Own collection.

Then there are the Farnley Estate YFC programmes spanning the years from September 1961 to August 1973, missing only the year 1971 – 1972. Comparative to the rest of the family Dad was a late joiner of the YFC in 1961 at the grand old age of eleven, because, as my Grandma wrote “he could not stand late nights.” These programmes track the lives of both sides of my family. In 1961 my Grandad, Mr G Houseman, was an advisory member, my aunt Christine, Miss C Houseman, the notice and scrapbook secretary. By 1969 my Mum & her brother Richard start to make an appearance. Whilst Mr & Mrs G Houseman are both now part of the advisory committee and Miss C Houseman has been promoted to treasurer, Mr R Barrett has been appointed as vice chairman and Miss A Barrett as minute secretary. My Dad just scrapes in as regional rep alongside both Christine & Richard. Richard is elected as chair in 1969, my Dad in 1970, Richard again in 1971 – did the two friends stand against each other or agree to take it in turns? And the one missing programme tells its own sad story, as it’s the year my Uncle Richard died. The heart went out of the club that year.

Elizabeth Ann Barrett on the doorstep of Upper West End Farm, kept in my Dad’s wallet. It’s a pink ribbed top and the outfit would have been made either by my Mum or my Nana. Own collection.

Last is the photo of my Mum, stood on the back doorstep of Upper West End Farm, Stainburn in a dress she likely sewed herself. The fact that it is folded, creased and torn is testament to the order of “Me, car, YFC” – it was a love story until its end.