Fred and Barbara Payne – Whitby and the pandemic : a virtual archive of people’s experiences

 

OUR EXPERIENCE DURING THE PANDEMIC IN 2020

WHO ARE WE

FRED AND BARBARA PAYNE BOTH IN OUR EARLY NINETIES.

FRED WAS BORN IN MIDDLESBROUGH AND BARBARA IN SKELTON

BOTH WENT TO SCHOOL IN MIDDLESBROUGH .FRED WENT TO A TECHNICAL SCHOOL FOR BOYS BEFORE STARTING WORK AT THE AGE OF 16 IN RESEARCH DEPT AT I.C.I.BILLINGHAM AT THE LOWEST OF THE LOW JOBS AS A LAB . BOY.BARBARA WENT TO SECRETARIAL COLLEGE AND THEN TO WORK IN VARIOUS OFFICES. PROGRESSED TO SENIOR POSITIONS IN THE UK AND IN SOUTH AFRICA

THE START

WE HAVE OFTEN BEEN ASKED IF WE ARE MORE FRIGHTENED DURING THE PANDEMIC THAN WE WERE DURING WORLD WAR TWO.INTHE WAR,BEFORE THE BUZZ BOMB,WE KNEW THERE WAS DANGER WHEN THE SIREN WENT OR WE HEARD THE THROBBING OF GERMAN AIRCRAFT ENGINES AND WE TOOK COVER.WE WERE APPREHENSIVE BUT NOT FRIGHTENED AND WE DID HAVE ALL RELATIVES CLOSE AT HAND .SCHOOLING WAS LIMITED UNTIL MORE AIR RAID SHELTERS WERE BUILT. POLiTICIANS WORKED TOGETHER.

WE COULD SEE AN END TO IT.

THE PANDEMIC VIRUS IS A SILENT KILLER AND WE DO NOT KNOW WHERE IT IS WHICH MAKES IT FRIGHTENING .LIKE MANY MILLIONS OF OTHERS WE ARE PARTED FROM OUR CHILDREN ,GRAND AND GREAT GRAND CHIDREN AND RELATIVES WHICH MAKES IT PAINFULL.THANK GOODENSS WE ARE BOTH TOGETHER AND FOR THE TELEPHONE AND APS FOR PICTURES

INITIALLY WE FELT IT WOULD AFFECT OTHERS BUT NOT US.THE SHOCK CAME WITH THE ROTARY TECHNOLOGY TOURNAMENT WHICH FRED ORGANISED THROUGH ROTARY FOR THE LAST 12 YEARS FOR SCHOOLS IN THE WHITBY DISTRICT AND TEESIDE. WE WERE SET TO HAVE THIS YEARS EVENT ON THE 19TH.MARCH IN THE SPA WHITBY.100 YOUNGSTERS WERE LOOKING FORW’ARD TO IT .ON THE 16TH i HAD TOMAKE THE DECISION TO GO AHEAD OR NOT! DIFFICULT!! WEIGHING UP ALL THE PROBOBILITIES I DECIDED TO CANCEL IT!! IT WAS THEN THAT THE HORROR OF THE VIRUS HIT BARBARA AND I AND OTHERS. WITH THE LOCK IN, THE QUESTION THAT HIT US AND MILLIONS OF OTHERS WHEN WOULD WE NEXT SEE OUR CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN AND GREAT GRAND CHILDREN AGAIN.HOW WOULD LONELY PEOPLE SURVIVE AND THE EFFECT ON THE ECONOMY AND OTHER SERVICES DID NOT BEAR THINKING ABOUT.

WE REALISED THAT THE NHS WERE GOING TO HAVE A HARD AND FRIGHTENEING TIME AND WOULD NEED FULL SUPPRT FROM EVERYONE.

WHAT OF US ?

WE WOULD CARRY ON AS NORMAL LIKE GETTING THINGS DELIVERED FROM SAINSBURYS. MISTAKE NUNBER ONE .THEY DID NOT WANT TO KNOW US! OUR IMMEDIATE NEIGHBOURS ALISON,JANE AND CAROLINE AND ANNE IN WHITBY HAVE BEEN BRILLIANT. THEY CHECK EVERY WEEK OUR REQUIREMENTS AND GET THEM VIA CLICK AND COLLECT OR BY SHOPPING.RADFORDS THE BUTCHERS HAS ALSO BEEN GOOD ON DELIVERING.

FOR V.E. DAY JANE AND JOHN ORGANISED A PARTY IN THE STREET. THEY ORGANISED THE WORLD WAR 2 MUSIC AND THE PA, FRED HAD BAKED CAKES .WE TOOK OUR CHAIRS TO THE END OF DRIVES

OR ON THE ROAD AND HAD A GREAT DAY.

BARBARA HAS BEEN HAVING TREATMENT AT BRIDLINGTON HOSPITAL TO TRY AND KEEP SOME SIGHT IN ONE EYE.THE HEAD DOCTOR PHONED ME AND AFTERA GOOD DISCUSION DECIDED THE SAFEST PROBABILITY WAST TO POSTPONE EYE TREATMENT UNTIL JULY!!

OUR FRONT VERANDA AND THE GOOD WEATHER HAS KEPT US IN CONTACT WITH PEOPLE ,BARBARA SITS OUTSIDE AND PEOPLE PASSING BY STOP AND HAVE A CHAT.

THE MASONS AND ROTARY ,FRED HAS BEEN A MEMBER FOR OVER 30 YEARS,HAVE NOT INQUIRED ABOUT US BUT THE YORKSHIRE WOMANS ASSOCIATION HAVE MADE CONTACT WITH BARBARA BY PHONE AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK TO CHECK THAT WE ARE OK.

ONE BRIGHT SPOT WAS ON MY BIRTHDAY MY GREAT GRANDAUGHER SINGING A HAPPY BIRTHDAY OVER THE PHONE

JUST LATELY THROUGH THE DOCTORS WE GET A THREE COURSE MEAL FOR EACH DAY DELIVERED TWICE A WEEK BY ESTBECK HOTEL .WE BELIEVE IT IS BECAUSE OF OUR AGE AND THAT OUR NEAREST RELATIVE, OUR DAUGHTER LIVE A LONG WAYOFF. SIRIUS MINES PAY FOR IT .

A VERY BRIGHT SPOT WAS THE SURPRISE ARRIVAL AT THE END OF MAY OF OUR DAUGHTER AND SON IN LAW FROM DERBYSHIRE. THEY BROUGHT THEIR OWN CUPS AND TOWELS, PORK PIES FROM AYTON AND ORDERED FISH AND CHIPS FROM SLEIGHTS,THAT WERE GREAT,BEFORE GOING HOME WE KEPT SOCIAL DISTANCE ON THE PATIO. A GREAT DAY

ALTHOUGH RESTRICTED WE DO SOME BIRD WATCHING MOST DAYS FROM THE GARDEN AND OUR VIEW ALONG THE VALLEY AND ARE ATTEMPTING TO COMPLETE A FRUSTRATING JIG SAW. SITTING AND EATING OUT,WEATHER PERMITTING, ON OUR PATIO,PAINTING AND PRACTICING ON THE UKE.

FRED HAS A WALK ROUND THE LOCAL AREA TWO OR THREE TIMES A WEEK

WHEN WILL IT END ?

HOW LONG IS A PIECE OF STRING ???

FRED AND BARBARA PAYNE 02/06/2020