This photo is of Rita and Dennis Copeman on our wedding day. We got married in the Church in Little Thurrock on 26th August 1950.
I was born in Hamden Road in Grays on 1st Of the 1st 1932. Jan 1st. I lived there until I got my first home 1956 at No 1 Perth House at the top overlooking the shops. My first job was in the Tilbury Cinema the Tilbury Palace nick name the Bug Hutch. I was nearly 14 when I started on the grand sum of £1.00 per week, of which I got 19 pounds and 8 old pence because 4 old pence was my stamp money. I worked there until they changed into Bingo Hall for about 5-6 years. I had 2 friends who worked with me, Joycie Gert who is still alive and now lives Basildon. The other girl was Joycie Fredricks. who has passed away now. In this time I met my husband Dennis at 14 years old when I used to go dancing in the Railway club. He was a seaman and came from Little Thurrock. I hated the sight of him!! When came over to ask me to dance I use hide in the toilets!! One night there was a tango night and the band was Mr. Lyons who live in Melbourne road. The man I usually danced the tango with was away and Dennis asked me to tango and I didn’t want but had a go with him. He wanted to walk me home and I said yes………..the rest is history!!
When the cinema closed I started work with Mr. Reynolds in a double shop in Calcutta road. I sold records, the first Beatles, Rolling Stones records, as well as radio grams, electrical wire, light bulbs but mainly records. It was very busy and I was on my own. We loads of records because there was not many televisions. I can remember people mainly boys who would quuere around the corner to get the latest releases. Especially the Beatles – She Loves You, Please, Please me. I worked there for 12 years and I loved it. The I stayed in the town and went to the flower shop Violets the Florist in Calcutta Road. I learnt to make flower arrangement, funerals, weddings etc. You had to use wire frames with moss not oasis for the arrangements. My boss was Johnny and Ivy Lee. Ivy Lee is still alive and lives at the top of Chadwell Hill. I stayed with the Lees for about 12 years until John became ill and died. Ivy sold the shop to a man in Chadwell called Rick Thompson but I din’t stay long with him.
After that I didn’t work at all and just stayed at home with Dennis. We lived in Perth house together for 20 years before moving to Newton Road. Dennis passed away in Nov 2010.