Susan Janice Hyde
9th September 1956 –
There’s a big gap of seven year between my brother Michael and I, which was mainly due to a number of miscarriages that my mum suffered during those years, but Irene and Tom desperately wanted a little girl.They lost their first daughter Catherine back in 1946, because she was born with a hole in her heart. She only survived for eight hours, so when I made my appearance into the world at St, Margaret’s Hospital, Epping, Essex, in September 1956, just in time for Sunday lunch, their family was complete.
As you can imagine, I was spoiled rotten, having two big brothers to take care of me and I have fond memories of playing with them on my swing in the garden of our prefab at Marlscroft Close, Loughton, Essex, where I spent the first four years of my life.
The prefab only had two bedrooms, so my two brothers had one room and I shared a room with mum and dad but 1960 saw our family move to a three bedroomed house, still in Loughton but on the Debden Estate, which meant I would have a room of my own.
Paley Gardens remained the family home for the next 29 years, until Mum, Dad and Keith moved into a ground floor flat in 1989. Michael and I had already moved out by then.
School didn’t get off to a very good start for me.
I was a few days short of my fifth birthday when I started at Sir Thomas Willingale County Infants School at the start of September 1961, but I hadn’t been there more than six weeks when I was rushed to hospital for an emergency operation. I had aappendicitis, it burst as they were removing it and it was touch and go for a while. I was starting to make a good recovery but then things started to go wrong again when they found I had peritonitis, caused by the burst and I had to undergo another emergency operation.
Fortunately it all turned out ok in the end, but I was off school for a very long time, which meant a slow start for me and a lot of catching up to do when I finally went back.
I remained at the infants school until 1964 and this was where I first showed an interest in art and stitching, something that would play a big part in my life in years to come.
The next four years were spent at the Primary school next door, but I still struggled a bit with writing and especially reading. I needed extra one to one lessons to help me and that led to some bullying from some of the class, so it was not a particularly happy time for me.
The next five years at Lucton County Secondary School for Girls were much happier.
I still found it hard going but my bullies had gone to a different school and I was able to indulge myself in my love for art, sewing and domestic science. I loved music lessons too and although I never got to grips with playing an instruments, I joined the school choir. It seemed a natural progression at the time because I also used to sing in a small church choir at St. Nicholas, Loughton, the church I was christened in.
Friday night was always dancing night. Dad and I would head off to the local community centre for Ballroom Dancing lessons and then we would come home and settle down to an hour of Come Dancing on our new Colour TV.
During my last year at school I got myself a Saturday job in Woolworths and then in a local bakery and I would use my wages to fund craft materials for the cross stitch, knitting and jewellery making I was doing.
When it came to thinking about a career I always said that I wanted to go into floristry or may be even window dressing, but a lack of qualifications and not wanting to go to college, having found schooling hard going, meant there was little chance of that.
I eventually left school with no job lined up and no real idea of what I wanted to do, but one visit to the local careers office and they found me a job in our local branch of Lloyds Bank.
I stayed there for two years and then went to work at the Bank Of England Printing Works, where they print all the UK’s paper money.
It was nice and local for me, just a 30minute walk away and the money was twice as much as I was earning at Lloyds so it was a good move. Little did I know in 1975 when I started there that I would still be working for them in 2003, although not doing the same job. I started out examining the notes 8 till 5 and 28 years later I was working on the security/audit side of things doing shift work but I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of my time there.
At the age of 29 and with no thoughts of marriage or relationships, I decided it was time to move out of the family home and buy somewhere for myself, but I still wanted to stay in the same area to be close to my family, especially my mum, who’s health was failing. I brought a little two bedroom maisonette in River Way, on the other side of the estate and moved there in May of 1985.
My spare bedroom became a craft room and when I was fortunate enough to find myself in the position of taking early retirement from the Bank at the age of 47, I decided it was time to take my crafting a little more seriously, went self-employed and started my own company, Sue’s Krafty Cards.
It was more of a hobby really but I was able to indulge myself, making greetings cards and wedding stationery and get paid for doing it too, which was perfect.
My ‘retirement’ also came at a good time because it meant I could take care of dad towards the end of his life and I was able to be with him without having to worry about having to go out to work.
So it's 2013 and where am I now?
Well, I never did marry.
Despite being in a relationship for more than ten years with Ken, a chap I meet through work, I think we were both too set in our own ways and were too fond of our own company, so eventually we went out separate ways.
Ken’s company was replaced by Emily and then later by BoJangles, two little cats from a local rescue centre that I gave homes to .
I still, knit, cross stitch and make cards although at the end of 2012 I decided to close the company and just craft for fun.
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MME – So Sophie ‘ Open Your Heart’ Patterned Paper
MME – Lost & Found Madison Avenue ‘ Cherish’ Patterned Paper
MME – Lost & Found Paper Flower, Rhinestone and Pearl Brads
Tim Holtz - Idea-ology Trimmings Lavish Ribbon
Mayaroad – Alterable Vintage Lase Blooms
Basic Grey - ‘Sugared’ Alphabet Stickers
Bling Bling – Sticky Backed Pearls
Papermania – Build-a-Brad
Small Pink Pearl beads
White Lace Trimming
Computer Generated Journaling
Pink Plastic Frame
Spellbinders – Tear Drop Circles