Our residents at Lambwood Heights celebrate memories of their fathers on Father’s Day
We asked some of our residents at Lambwood Heights Care Home in Chigwell, Essex, to share their memorable stories of their fathers to celebrate this year’s Father’s Day.
Ronald Maidman is 92 years old and has been living at Lambwood Heights since March earlier this year. Ron’s father William Alfred Charles Maidman was born in 1901 at 6 Queen Anne Road in Hackney. William went to an ordinary school growing up but had ambitions of doing more in life than what was in his immediate surroundings. William started going to night school to fulfil his greater ambition and started looking for jobs in his local area. After having done a few jobs that he didn’t like, he got himself a job at an estate agent called ‘J Nicholson & son’ in the city of London.
Ron details, “It cost him 6 pence on the tram to get to work. The company was run by brothers, and they were very pleased with my father. He introduced typewriters and a letter press to the company because up to that point they had still been using quill pens!”
In 1928, the two brothers retired and decided to give the business to William. Ron continues, “The brothers were so impressed with my dad during their time that before leaving they said, “Willy, when you die you should leave your brain to the London Hospital” because they thought he was so clever.”
William’s offices were in the city of London and he ended up relocating to King’s Street in West London during the war. His entire staff of six people were called up for the war and his offices were fire bombed during that time. William had to relocate back home to Ilford and he moved all of his furniture to the room over his garage and turned that into an office. Ron’s mother started helping out in the business as she would do most of the typing for William. Ron and his brother Brian would also help out as messengers since they had bikes.
William was a part of the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) as a Chief Invasion Officer for his local area during the war. Ron continues, “He did war damage work as a surveyor and an estate agent during that time. We were the only firm at that time who were estate agents and surveyors. The firm is still going strong till this day!”
Speaking about the nature of his father, Ron said, “My father was a quiet sort of fellow. He always wanted us to be in a better position compared to him and when he was young, he paid for us to go to private school. He was very interested in our education and wanted us to improve ourselves.”
Talking about how he ended up setting up his own business, Ron said, “When I left school, I was encouraged to become an accountant but my mother said, “No, he is going to work in his father’s business so he can take it over.” I didn’t get a choice, but I’m glad I didn’t become an accountant. There is much more interest and self-satisfaction in what I did.”
Talking about his father’s hobbies, Ron said, “He was a keen gardener and taught us all how to mix cement and build rockeries. He was keen to encourage us to do things and improve ourselves. He wasn’t a hard sort of character, he didn’t have the self-confidence maybe because of his upbringing. He was reserved but at the same time wasn’t old fashioned. When he was young, he played cricket in Hackney park but I never saw him play, I suppose he was always working.”
“I remember we used to go to a boarding house in Cliftonville quite often. Sometime we went for 6 weeks straight and he would leave his car at a garage and drive up and down to London for work. I suppose in some ways I’m a similar Father. My son is very like me, always doing something!”
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