I've gotten to the age of 44 without knowing the story of how my mum and dad got together. Today I asked mum (Mary Louisa Yates-nee Palmer) and this is her account.

I was 16 going on 17 in 1951 and one of my favourite activities was going to the cinema. I would often go with my cousin Cathleen. She was five years older than me but I was very tall and she was very short, together we looked like Ethell Revnell and Gracie West- Jack Warner's sisters! This evening we had either been to the Hippodrome or the Lytton and we were walking along Everton Rd when two fellas across the street wolf whistled us. I thought they looked like sailors because of their rolling gait, but in hindsight they were probably bevied. I said "ignore them" and we walked on, but they came over and we started to chat.They were called Lenny Cosgrove and Richie Yates. Richie asked me to go out with him the next evening and our Cath was left with Lenny- she went mad because he was very tall too and they looked a pretty odd couple.I already had a date arranged with another chap for the next night but I decided that Richie would be plan B!

As it turned out I never kept the date with the other chap and stuck with plan B. Richie and I carried on seeing each other until one night he stood me up. I was livid about this until I got a letter from him to say he had been called up for his National Service Training and was in Kimnel Bay. He was due to be sent to Egypt for the remainder of his service and he wanted me to write to him. Then out of the blue he showed up at Kepler Street. This night I was out with mam at the wrestling (at Liverpool Stadium) and there he was, perched on a chair, red as a beetroot, having been let in by my Auntie Matt. I ran out of the room when I saw him because I had gone out with a turban on and I didn't want him seeing me like that. He was on a 36 hour pass and wanted us to get enagaged before he went away. I said no, I was too young and said we should see other people but I agreed to write. We wrote to each other religiously while he was out there.When he was away I had my first holiday with my friend Lily Watson. We went to the Isle of Man and had a great time. I had saved my first bonus from Ogdens - the princely sum of £20 and proceeded to spend it all on the first night buying everyone drinks. Luckily I was bought drinks the rest of our time there and came home with just three half pennies to my name. I wanted to stay there but mam wouldn't allow it.I remember whizzing around the TT circuit on the back of a motorbike with some bloke but I carried on writing to Richie and told him all about it because we had agreed to be honest with one another.

Finally Richie came home from Egypt and we took up where we left off. One day we were in a pub at the end of Kepler Street when he brought out a ring and said "shall we?", no going down on one knee. I later found out he had bought the ring off a mate whose girlfriend had returned it to him. I thought this was unlucky so I got the ring design altered.We were married on 26 March 1955 and were together for 44 years until he passed away 29 March 1999.



By PaulaPage PaulaPage

This story was added on 4th April 2011

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