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PLYMOUTH – rented one-bedded flat – November 1968


We ended up renting a first-floor, one-bedded flat at 72 Embankment Road, above a shop named Drake’s Bazaar (what else?). The picture above, from Google Earth, shows it has changed to Harvest Home.

We paid a local agent £16 3s 4d per month – that’s under £200 a year! – for a good sized lounge, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

First-floor flat, 72 Embankment Road, Plymouth PL4 9HY

Before the wedding I arranged some sales calls down in Plymouth so I could not only drum up some business but also lay carpets and receive furniture deliveries. I later designed and built several rickety kitchen units and a wardrobe from timber, flimsy hardboard and Fablon-covered chipboard.

The Thursday before our wedding I was travelling back to Bristol and stopped to eat at the Maidendown Stage, a transport café.  When I paid, I saw there was no cash register so spoke with the owner who by happenstance had only taken over that very week. I took him out to my Mini van and demmed a Sweda on a manual-crank handle (it was late, and I was about to be married!). He was another who used silence, but when I asked what he was thinking he said he didn’t know whether he needed three or four analyses. Ker-ching! I realised that I was not sure exactly where the café was, which county, Somerset or Devon but fortunately it proved to be just a tad inside the Devon border – so it was my deal!

I signed him up for four analyses but he then added a caveat that I had to deliver it that week. I explained I was getting married in two days on the Saturday. We couldn’t afford a honeymoon and planned to take the first week setting up our first home. He was insistent so I volunteered that I would of course be driving past him and as long as he didn’t expect me to set it up or do training then I was prepared to drop it off – no more! He agreed.

So, when we got married and drove away from our reception in my Mini van, the Sweda proudly sat at the back doors above the tin cans tied on with string. I dropped it off and he had very kindly prepared us a wedding box of milk, bread and other basics. We drove off to our Plymouth flat – and married life.

After that Jane had to know what she had bought into. She spent many hours sitting outside in the car while I did dems. There were upsides. Much later, I would drop her and our baby at Watergate Bay in Newquay, go off to do my sales calls and join them on the beach in the afternoon.

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