Ena James, née Gatrell: growing up in Lowtherville

Ena grew up at 19 Lowtherville Road at the beginning of the twentieth century, part of a largely self-supporting family. Her two brothers, Gordon and Enis, were valets to Mr. Baillon who lived at Caithness on St. Boniface Road. It was not long before Ena was herself engaged to assist the Baillons, her job being to take a newly-acquired puppy out every lunch-time. In recompense, she was given lunch by Mr. Baillon’s housekeeper.

Ena also took cans of milk from Bob White’s cows on Down Lane to Mrs Newbery and to Miss Drayton on Kent Road in return for a basin of bread and milk and some pocket money from Bob White. A further source of pocket money for Ena, as well as for her two brothers, was to help Rowland Jackman when he took young ladies from East Dene on riding lessons over the Downs.

Ena began school at St. Margeret’s, Lowtherville, when she was 4 years old where she was taught by Miss Gardner, before moving to the Council School in Albert Street aged 8.

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