Taking a trip down memory lane to Etal Villa with grandfather

Mrs Patricia Couch grandfather, George William Clark, who was one of the founder members of North Shields GPO, on Saville Street is pictured in 1920 wearing DLI badge.
Mrs Patricia Couch grandfather, George William Clark, who was one of the founder members of North Shields GPO, on Saville Street is pictured in 1920 wearing DLI badge.

I write with regard to your photograph of Etal Villa, (News Guardian, May 25).

I have many memories of Etal Villa as a child. I was about nine years old, just after the Second World War, in which my dad had been killed. I was very close to my grandfather and was always with him.

My grandfather was George William Clark, who was one of the founder members of North Shields GPO in Saville Street. He joined the DLI in 1914, went to war and was in the Battle of the Somme.

In 1945, as he had always been a keen gardener, he applied for the post as under gardener at Etal Villa. The head gardener was Mr Smith.

I was taken regularly to Etal Villa and was fascinated by the fernery, especially a Japanese trailing plant with tiny, pink, heart-shaped leaves. I thought it was wonderful, and it is still in my memory.

I met Mr Peter Brown, as he was always referred to, on many occasions. He wore a black Homburg hat and had a black cane with a silver top. He treated me with kindness, although I was in awe of him. His sister Eva was also kind and always asked her housemaid to bring me milk and biscuits.

My grandfather, who I loved dearly, lived to be 91 and was still a keen gardener. He showed dahlias at Tynemouth flower Show, winning many prizes.

Mrs Patricia Couch

North Shields