Catherine 3

7 Apr

The Cantells moved into their house on Great Newton Street a few weeks before Alfie’s birth and it was a rush to get everything ready. Ann Marie’s sister Lizzie and her husband Denis lived a few doors away and were a great help especially as her husband,  John worked long hours as a  printer for the Liverpool Echo.

Catherine spent hours entertaining Billy while mammy got the house straight and Auntie Lizzie went back and forth preparing pans of Scouse and freshly baked bread for the two families  One such day they were busy together in the kitchen polishing brasses and folding away starched white sheets which had been through the wash the day before;

‘Well the house is starting to look lovely Ann Marie; you’ve done a great job.’ Lizzie pronounced hanging a shiny brass engraving of a ship at sea, up above the fireplace and stepping back to check her handiwork,

‘I couldn’t have managed without your help Liz, and thank God it’s ready to bring the baby into.’

‘Yes and our Maud can’t stop talking about having Catherine to play with; they’re so close in age, like us Annie. They’ll be the best of friends.’

The two story terraced house, with its parlour and large kitchen felt pleasantly welcoming to the steady flow of visitors  as they awaited the birth.  But it was a cold November evening when Ann Marie put the children to bed and told John to call the midwife.

Jenny Steel  lived just round the corner and Alfred was born shortly after her arrival.‘He’s a beautiful baby boy John!’ Jenny announced, ‘But I have some concern for Ann Marie. I think you should fetch the doctor.’

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