Chapter 7. The con game
A young lady that lived locally answered my next advertisement and I arranged to interview her at a local hotel, she turned out to be 23 very attractive and in the course of the conversation explained that she was divorced from her husband who lived in Cornwall he had suffered some injury which resulted in him having a metal plate in his head, their small son was living in Cornwall with her husband.
Her parents were living in a bungalow up on South road and she was the eldest of three children, with a younger brother and small sister, she said she was very fond of children and assured me that he would be able to cope as a housekeeper.
So it was arranged that she would come down see the house and meet the children, that all went well and within a few days she had moved in, for the children it was like having an older sister, I wouldn’t say that cooking was her strong point but she could drive and did her best to keep everybody happy.
Unfortunately my easy money work cycle had only a few more months of fatigue testing before the shift work was due to end, that would entail a drastic reduction in my take home pay so an alternative source of income had to be found, I decided that the best thing I could do would be to sell my house and move into the hotel trade, I could only do this on a part time basis as I still needed my wages to survive.
There was a big old house for sale on Milton road that had been neglected by the old lady who had recently died there, seeing the potential of all those extra bedrooms and as due to its condition it was a reasonable price I sold up and bought it as quick as I possibly could, I renamed it the Wychwood Hotel, that was in 1968 and the standard price for bed and breakfast on Locking road at that time was fifteen schillings so I decided that we would charge fifteen schillings and six pence, well if you stay in the hotel you have to pay the extra.
I spent the next eight years of my spare time working on the hotel. I won’t go into the boring details other than that it was rewired, central heating, new boiler, wash basins, rooms divided, downstairs floors renewed, bar installed and all this while building up the summer trade and looking after the holidaymakers. Plus working full time
But the interesting bit is Susan’s part in all this she was all for changing houses and we were getting along very well, so well in fact that in the late 1968 we were married at the Baptist church in Milton, we had the reception at the Wychwood climbed in the car and headed to the south of the land, a beautiful young bride climbed into the car, and a she devil got out.
I’m sure that she was suffering from schizophrenia because it was a different person that she presented now, the first thing she wanted to do was to get rid of the children I put her straight on that one and told her “ if there is anyone going it will be you” it turned out that she was a very sick woman she was abusive to my eldest daughter to such an extent that Janet decided she’d rather go and live with her grandmother who lived in the town and closer to Janet’s school.
It transpired she was in fact a mental patient and actually spent some time later in Wells asylum, we married in September and in April the next year she told me she could not stand the thought of having guests in the house during the summer, so it was decided she would go and live with her mother, she moved back in when the summer was over only to repeat the process the next year when she said she was going to go to London and learn hairdressing, in September she returned allegedly qualified and we turned one of the bedrooms into her salon, to the best of my knowledge she only ever had one customer and that was a friend who lived close by, she was persuaded by salesmen to purchase gallons of various hairdressing Chemicals but she only showed me the first page of the invoice.
We had the usual fiasco the following spring when she told me she was off again, this time because I’d had to make her an allowance the previous summer I agreed she should just take the mini and go. In September she wrote a begging letter asking if she could return, by this time I had formulated some plans of my own, and I thought at least I will get the car back, it was the winter of 1969 and by January 1970 we were well into the swinging scene. But that’s another story.
Susan treatment------Susan would on occasion lose all control and the only answer was to put her on the floor sit on her until the police arrived, on one occasion I said to her “ if you are going to behave like a child I’m going to treat you like a child” and I took her into the bedroom and with my hand I smacked her naked backside until my hand was hurting, she visited our doctor to complain and the next time I saw him he said “ Susan was in and told me you gave her a smacking, her backside was black and blue, anyway you did a good job of it”
At Easter in 1970 we had a football team staying in the hotel and the following weekend the football coach returned again, Sunday morning came and no sign of Susan and on inquiring later she said “ I spent the night upstairs in Derrick’s room” so I told her “he is leaving this morning and you had better make very sure that he takes you with him”, she spent the next hour or so loading up his car and when they were ready to leave I went out and I shook Derrick’s shaking hand and said “ thank you very much”
Susan was still about in the area, we had a couple of random visits, that one time she broke into the mobile home, don’t ask me why, and on another occasion she picked up the huge flowerpot that we had behind the front door complete with the evergreen plant that was in it and threw it through the glass panel which was the top half inner door.
Susan divorce--------this happened some years later in 1977, when she telephoned me with the information that she wanted to emigrate to America and they preferred divorced rather than separated applicants, we contacted lawyers and I made her a full and final settlement of 500 pounds, and that was the end of Susan, she might have been more demanding had she realized I had just bought a hotel with 46 bedrooms.
And now 33 years later I'm glad to say I have not heard from her since