Davy Remembers His Mother

Davy Jones

A very strange thing happened just before my mother died. A few days before she passed away she cut a poem out of a magazine and she left it in her purse. It’s called “Love Still Abides.”

She has gone beyond the range of sight
Into the glory of the morning light
Out of the reach of sorrow and despair
Safe in the shelter of our father’s care
Weep not for her, say not she is dead
For she has gone on a few steps ahead
Faith looks beyond this time of grief and pain
Love still abides and we shall meet again.

We have it on the piano now at home in a little frame. I think my mother knew she was going to die. She had cut out the poem and put it in her purse. She wouldn’t go to the hospital. She said, “Just let me stay here for a couple of days.” She died that evening.

I used to see more of my mother than anyone. All my older sisters passed their scholarships and went on to other schools. But I didn’t pass, so I had to go to the school just down the street. Because it was so near our house, I would come home for lunch each day.

And how I loved that! My mum was an excellent cook. Steak and kidney pie was her best dish; and Sunday dinners were always a special treat. Every Sunday we’d go to church and we’d have dinner around two in the afternoon. It was always something special like leg of lamb or roast with roast potatoes. And it was always delicious!

Davy Jones

My mother was a very thoughtful and kind person—she disciplined us well—but everything she did was for my father and us kids. I can remember one Guy Fawkes Day, which is the holiday on November 5th in honor of an old English chap who was beheaded for trying to blow up Parliament. In his honor every street has a big bonfire.

I was about 10 years old and me mates and I went down to the railway yard and got a great wooden line from where they were laying tracks and we tied ropes around it and dragged it all the way home. This was to be our contribution to the street bonfire and we took so long dragging it home we were out way past dark.

When I walked in the house my mother belted me and she yelled, “Get in here!” She was really mad that I was out past dark. So I was feeling very bad, but I had to come downstairs to take my bath. When I came down she had hot chocolate all ready and the bath steaming hot.

We had no bathroom in our house so there I sat in a tin basin in the kitchen holding hot chocolate in my hands while she scrubbed me down. That scene was very typical of my mother—she had scolded me for doing something wrong and ten minutes later all was forgotten and she was taking care of me once more.

I remember sitting in that old tub saying to her, “I’m going to buy you a big house someday, with a lovely big bath.” She’d laugh and say, “Sure you are… but not if you don’t pass your eleven class!” But I never got to buy her that house and I never did pass that eleven class.

Harry Jones, Doris Jones, Hazel Jones Wilkinson, Beryl Jones, Lynda Jones Moore, Davy Jones
Info The Jones family at Woodley: Davy’s father, his mother Doris, his sisters Hazel, Beryl and Lynda and Davy at 8 years old.

Even though my mother is gone, I have a lot of wonderful memories of times we had together. Sunday was a very special day for our family. My mother was very religious, a very, very soulful person, and she always liked us to go to church.

Sometimes there would be Sunday School picnics and I would get one shilling and sixpence (that’s about 25 cents) spending money each week—a shilling from my fater [sic] and sixpence from my mother. What I would do is save my money all week long and on Sunday I’d buy my mother her favorite candy—Blue Lady Chocolates—and they cost tenpence. That left me with eightpence to spend. So with that I’d buy a sixpence drink and a two penny candy bar and I’d make that last all day.

Because my mother was often ill, all us kids would help out. I used to go shopping for her or I’d run errands she’d need done. On the days we’d go out to the country I’d always gather a bouquet of flowers, which she loved.

Another thing we would do after church and dinner is go out to Woodley. My father belonged to the railway club, which had a club where they had cricket matches on Sundays. We’d go on the train and we’d watch the cricket matches.

Woodley came into my mind not long ago. While I was in England over Christmas, I had to drop off someone near Woodley. It was only about ten minutes drive from where we used to live, but when I was a youngster it always seemed so far away!

Sometimes they would have special women’s cricket matches. My mother would never play, but she was always the umpire. And she’d always cheat and let the women win! It was so funny—she’d make up her own set of rules! She really made it fun and we’d be up in the stands cheering away and laughing hysterically.

Hazel Jones Wilkinson, Doris Jones, Beryl Jones
Info Mrs. Jones with Hazel, left and Beryl at St. Ann’s Beach.

Vacations were always very important to my mum and dad. While other parents were going to the local pub to have a few beers, my folks were sitting home watching TV or something and saving their money. Consequently, they saved enough money in order for us to have a two week holiday each year.

We’d usually go to St. Ann’s Beach and we’d always stay at the same place, which was right next to the fire station. We loved that because it was so exciting to see the big red engines go racing out. I’ll never forget the place where we always stayed—Mrs. Brown’s boarding house.

We had such fun along the beach in those days. We never had enough money to go to the amusement parks, so we had fun just running up and down the sand hills at St. Ann’s.

Harry Jones, Davy Jones

We had a great time, too, when we’d go for walks with my dad through the park. I can remember it had big outdoor bird cages and we used to love seeing all the different birds.

It was always a big thrill for us to go to the park. We’d sit on this one bench along one particular walk where my father made his pools—like the Irish Sweepstakes. In England they have a pool every week. Anyway, once he won and got 280 pounds (that’s about 700 dollars) and we got all rigged out in clothes and my dad kept about five quid (that’s about 12 dollars) for himself.

My mum was ill, on and off, for about seven years. She had chest trouble, which everybody does in Northern England, because of the smoke and smog and harsh weather. She would have to go into the hospital about two months out of every year.

My day [sic] tells me now that the doctor said goodbye to her seven years before she died. She could have gone any time—each year she’d be in an oxygen tent—then she’d recover and come back all spruced up. Then she’d go another few months and collapse again. Dad says she was waiting for us to grow up. I guess she thought we’d all grown up.

Right after she died I didn’t want to know anybody. It took a while to come out of my shell, but I really believe I’ve grown stronger as a person. When I was home at Christmas dad said that strangely enough, since she died, I’ve had nothing but good luck.

Everything’s been good—I’ve not stopped working, I’ve slowly improved my position, and everything has just taken its course. Dad still says now and then, “Your mum’s watching over you.” And I believe she is.

[Magazine provided by Michael.]

Magazine: Tiger Beat
Editor: Ann Moses
Volume: 3
Issue: 9
Publisher: Laufer Publishing Company
Pages: 10–12