The Riley Family
My side of the family are the Rileys, who originally lived in Weaste, Salford, in the days when Weaste Woods existed and apparently covered a fair area of ground.
In the 1950s and 1960s when I was growing up, the five siblings and their respective families stayed very close and shared quite a bit of time together. Then, gradually, people moved away, became involved elsewhere and ended their lives far from the original nest.
Here are the details of the Rileys…….
Arthur and Mary Riley
My grandparents on my father’s side. Arthur Riley was an engineer who was forced into retirement at the age of 40 after being diagnosed with heart disease. He lived to be 80, which had always been his ambition.
Mary Riley worked. She sewed, sometimes 24 hours straight for up to three days. She was still making dresses in the 1960s. Every Sunday I would go down to her house in Weaste and we would have lunch. Always a chicken, always cheese and biscuits to follow. We got on very well, and she remembered that even to the end. The last thing she ever said to me as she lay dying in hospital was, “We always got on very well together, didn’t we?” and the last thing I said to her in reply was, “Yes, we did.”
Arthur and Mary Riley, circa 1963. Kodak Brownie Junior 620 with Verichrome Pan film. My Grandfather was being held up here as he was really too ill to stand outside the back door and have this image taken, but the image persists for all to see which has to be a good thing.
My Aunty Emily lived in Liverpool and was Mary’s sister.
A lovely lady, she always seemed old to me but she probably wasn’t. I remember her front garden, filled with lupins. And her cold, cold house filled with trinkets and ornaments.
Her son Bob lived in Canada and I met him several times in the 1960s.
Arthur and Joan Riley
This one is easy, as they were my parents. My father died in 2006 but my Mum lives on in happy retirement.
Arthur was a Dental Technician with a very high degree of skill and did work for many high profile dentists such as Phil Wander, Alan Dobkin, Peter Kurer and Hans Kurer, OBE.
Doreen and Bill Parfitt
Doreen was the eldest daughter and she married Bill Parfitt. Sadly they have both died now. I wonder if anyone remembers “Doreen’s” on Cross Lane in Salford, a knitting and childrenswear shop?
My cousins Pat and Trevor are still very much alive, although the eldest cousin Kit is sadly no longer with us.
I spent a lot of time with this part of the family in my teens and they were very good days.
William Parfitt (Uncle Bill) was the only person I ever let call me “Johnnie Riley”…
Trevor Parfitt (Bill and Doreen’s son) and me shot with the aid of a self timer on a Konica Auto S2 in the very early 1970s.
Pat and Stuart Darlington
Pat was the youngest sister, and my Dad considered it his duty to look after her as a teenager. I’m not sure if she saw it the same way, I must ask…
Stuart died some years ago. He was a massive Sinatra fan. Oh, and he was always first at the buffet table at family parties. He also had a great ability to say the most outrageous things about people and sound as if me might be joking. I think he was deadly serious!
My cousin Keith is a high-flyer indeed and lives in London.
Judy and Tom Clayton
Both no longer with us, but my cousin Susan is to be found alive and kicking in London.
Tom was an area manager for the Co-op. In his youth I’m told he was quite the dashing figure, the Errol Flynn of the family.
Jack and Norah Riley
Jack was the baby of the family and therefore could do nothing wrong. You could not wish to meet a nicer person, and he is superb with children. He used to tell me stories when I was a small child and my favourites were the tales of Brickie and Big Black Jack.
Cousins Lesley and Ian are out there somewhere!
Me handing a horshoe to my Aunty Norah on the occasion of her marriage to Jack Riley. Behind Jack is his Best Man. Behind Norah’s head is Christopher (“Kit”) Parfitt, Trevor’s older brother.
Poets and Pals
The person I spent most of my time with was my cousin Trevor. We came through our pretentious poetic stage sometime after 1968 and even at one time tried to write a book together. It was dreadful and never was completed.
Trevor moved away to Egypt for several years after he gained his PhD and he has been something of an academic. Currently he has been working in Thailand.
Claims to Fame
The Riley family is working on reaching its potential!
This means that there are no claims to fame…yet.
John & Sue Riley
John & Sue Riley Wedding Day 4th October 1975
Here we are on our Wedding Day, 4th October, 1975. Arthur John Balfour Riley and Susan Janine Scollon became Mr & Mrs John Riley.