On their return to London, Noreen and Victor took permanent residence in an imposing, though not well-appointed, lodging-house for professional and theatrical tenants, 36 Fellowes Road, Hampstead. They occupied one room on the first floor with a fold-down bed; all the lodgers shared the one bathroom. Their landladies, Joan Giddings and Flora Paice were affectionately known as 'Auntie Joanie and Auntie Flora'. This became their home for the next eight years until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.
The significance of this house was marked by the arrival of their two children, Paul in 1932 and Jane in 1935; tragically, an earlier son had died in infancy. Similar concerns arose when Paul was born two months prematurely and, though he suffered regular bouts of ill-health throughout his childhood, none would affect his normal development in later life. With both parents working long and exhausting days the 'Aunties' became surrogate parents, nurses, and more importantly, friends to the young children who to this day have only loving memories of their years at Fellowes Road. Paul and his sister remember having to "sleep behind a screen in the Aunties' bedroom! "
There will be further reference to the children through this historical journey. But first, with regard to Paul, many years later at the end of the 1960s, he joined his parents at 'Charters'. At that time the school had been running smoothly for about twenty-five years since the end of the war but, his parents and the business, were urgently in need of a restorative and reinvigorating stimulus to keep it in line with current trends and demands in this specialised field. With his parents' full support, and mindful that they had now passed 'normal' retirement age, Paul proved the ideal prescriptive booster to guide the school into its final twenty years - its finest and most productive period (see Charters Part Two).
Regarding Jane, she may have become the unwilling victim referred to in the prescient lyrics of Noel Coward, "Don't put your daughter on the stage Mrs Worthington!" Was it Mrs Kimm as the mother Mrs Worthington, or Miss Bush with an eye for talent? A dilemma! Most dance teachers have experienced the notorious 'ballet mums'! But the pragmatic Noreen, drawing on her own experience with her mother Pauline, concluded that the best option was to remain 'mum'. And it was proven, Jane had the talent.
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