Our June

For the coalminer’s daughter, our Miss England, who graced the silver screen,

Beloved Mum, our June, for all that you are, for all you have been,

Born to Marjorie and David, Kiveton Park, 1941,

A cherished only baby – who knew what you would become?

Tin bath in front of the fireplace, gas lights and an outside loo,

Men with black coal dust on their face – things so familiar to you,

Hiding from rent collectors after money –funds the family did lack,

But they loved their daughter so sunny and you loved them right back,

Explosions in the mines, broken ribs but mining men were tough,

Waiting outside the pub at closing time – a childhood happy but tough,

Giving Sunday school lessons, teaching ballroom dance –in Village life you played your part,

Singing in the choir at every chance, you loved it with all of your heart,

And there was lots of fun to be had on holiday to Cleethorpes and Skegness,

While Marjorie cleaned Mrs Moyland’s pad to make the price a little less,

And it was in those seaside towns that in beauty pageants you did compete,

Winning them all hands down – every single heat!

Soon you waved goodbye to your Mam, Dad and Josie as you got on the train,

Bound for Miss England in the Big Smoke where you won again!

A free spirit with a borrowed swimsuit and fire in your belly,

Watched by your parents and neighbours to boot, all huddled round the telly,

How your blue eyes sparkled underneath the ‘Miss England’ crown,

A modelling contract followed and to London, your family moved down,

Yet to retain your title you were too young it was deemed,

But nothing could stop the admiration of your loveliness it seemed,

Ideal Holiday Girl ’58, a Miss Uk entry were achievements you held dear,

Though a ‘Welcome Home Miss England’ banner hung in Kiveton for many a year,

As a dress model you excelled, you were everyone’s favourite honey,

Then you landed the role of hostess of ITV’s ‘Double Your Money’,

Your village was oh so proud but there you did not stay,

As soon as you were allowed, you were off to the USA,

With your grace and your beauty, it was easy to find a role over there,

Working with the famed Mr Teasy-Weasy who styled your gorgeous hair,

But it was Peter who stole your heart as you waltzed upon the Luceum dance floor,

You loved him from the very start and could not have wished for more,

Such a glamorous pair, holidays in Cannes so flash,

Sandwiches and sleeping in the car – you didn’t care, that you had no cash!

In ’62, you became man and wife with a first home in North Weald,

Silk sofas, green lawn, the perfect life –a marriage truly fulfilled,

Always grounded even when you achieved success on the silver screen,

In ‘Carry on up the Khyber’ and ‘Goldfinger’ no less,  June Cooper could be seen!

But your biggest role was as a Mother, which began one Christmas Eve,

You loved me like no other and your magic you began to weave,

The nurses they wrapped me up tight and then took me along,

To the carol singers in the winter’s night so my soul would be filled with song,

Always song and always laughter – it meant so much to me,

We lived happy ever after like Darren and Samantha, Bewitched, on TV!,

We moved to Cecil Close where you’ve stayed for forty years,

A circle of friends and a husband that you love most and whom you hold so dear,

You loved to escape to the sun and enjoy jolly holidays so good,

Happy times with grandkids Christa and Ollie in your pad at Tangle Wood,

As I look at your now grown up granddaughter, I see so much of you in her face,

Together I hope we have taught her to display the same joie de vivre and grace,

Even the Florida sun could not shine quite as brightly as you,

You’ve brought warmth and joy to everyone – it is just what you do,

A loyal friend and a beautiful wife with a capacity to love like no other,

A fairy story of a captivating life  – my vibrant, beauty queen of a mother,

How we have always adored you, how we have truly laughed,

Together we’ve roared and giggled when you’ve done something quite daft,

Sitting in one place with pals in another or forgetting the dog one afternoon, ,

I’d say ‘ ‘that’s my Mother!’, your friends would sigh ‘Oh June!’

Yoga, cooking, corgi walking – you did it all with ease,

Singing in your operatic way or just talking, I’ll always hear your voice in the breeze,

A life well lived, a lady well loved – I know you will always be there,

To teach the things that nothing should come above and for the trivia, not to care,

Our June, it is a privilege to belong to you and to always be your little girl,

You’re in my heart like a song that never fades – my treasured Mum and my own Miss World.

Goodnight Darling Dad

Sleep peacefully darling Dad,

No more battling for your air,

Drift into the arms of Heaven,

Knowing how much we all care,

Let us watch over you

As you watched over us,

Float away on a gentle cloud,

No more trauma, tears or fuss,

While we hate to give you up

We know the time is right,

Dream sweetly now, dear Dad,

You no longer have to fight,

When life becomes hard work,

Its  time for pastures new,

Move gently on to a better world

And take our love with you,

Don’t worry dalring Dad

Of what you leave behind,

For we will always love you so

And our hearts remain entwined.



Bluebell Rise  1stDec 2008


I visited you today at Bluebell Rise,

Imagined you there before my eyes,

Felt your presence, your warm embrace,

Closed my eyes

And pictured your face,

Next Spring when the bluebells start to appear,

I’ll come back again, just to be near,

While I’m away forget-me-not,

As I think you always in your woodland spot.

My Nan

Today I’d like to reminisce about the Nan I loved

for just a little while,

All of four foot nothing,

with the biggest ever smile,

She was funny, smart and witty,

A little lady with snowy white hair,

She left me with very special memories

and here’s some I’d like to share:

The way she would cut my sandwiches

tidily into quarters,

Even though I’m a 35 year old woman,

I was still her little granddaughter,

Her obsession with stocking up

on multiple toilet roll,

A habit which was becoming

well beyond control,

When asked if she needed any,

she’d just never decline,

With 30 in the house,

she’d order another nine!

The same with kitchen rolls,

And with boxes of tissues too,

Though quite what she did with it all,

No-one really knew!

She was partial to a sherry,

And chocolate was her favourite treat,

A little something alcoholic,

and a little something sweet,

She’d take me along to Safeway

when I was just a girl,

Thoughts of sticky doughnuts,

sending my mind in a whirl,

Straight to the Bakery Counter,

my little legs would race,

to ensure that I got the doughnut

with the nicest smiley face,

You see I always wanted the one

with the orange Smartie as a nose,

And Woe betide poor Nan,

if the wrong ‘doughnut face” she chose,

For on would go the frown,

Out with the bottom lip,

And I’m ashamed to say that I’d sulk,

for the remainder of the shopping trip,

But Nan was always there for me,

Very kind and ever knowing,

She’d try to pass on her skills to me,

like knitting and like sewing,

Sadly her teaching sessions

never went without a hitch,

(even though I am a nurse

and should know how to stitch!)

So she gave up on the sewing,

and we decided I would knit,

But I was just so hopeless,

that she simply had to quit,

Nan, you were good at so many things,

You loved your life at Chestnut Court,

where playing Bingo in the communal lounge,

was quite your favourite sport,

You had many happy years there with Grandad,

You were never, ever apart,

And when he left us less than a year ago,

I know it broke your heart,

While it pains me so much to say goodbye,

To the Nan that I adore,

I know that Grandad will be waiting,

And you’ll be together once more.

Strictly Chris

Words to describe my Auntie Chris:

Gentle yet assertive, intelligent and aware,

If I say she loved animals more than people,

Well, I know she wouldn’t care,

Talented photographer, creative writer,

She had a way with words,

An artist and a painter,

An interest in the world but quite a homebird,

A very dear friend to many,

As an auntie, she was thoughtful and kind,

We tried to tempt her to Scotland to see us,

But she’d never leave her beloved cats behind,

She preferred to stay home in St Johns Grove,

Where she’d lived for all her years,

Now the houses around hers were boarded up,

Leaving it deserted and austere,

Chris was never lonely,

Even though neighbours were no more,

Cos every stray moggy in the vicinity

beat a path straight to her door,

Cats and hedgehogs and birds alike,

All were dutifully fed,

Although for every feathered friend on her feeders,

The pusscats made sure several were dead!

But her favourite feline friend

was a feral beast named Tigger,

So unlike his friendly namesake

That we couldn’t help but snigger,

Now Tigger was no pampered puss,

Preferring life outdoors,

So when a trip to the vets was pending,

He sharpened up his claws!

Chris hailed a taxi,

Popped Tigger in the back,

Who promptly opened up his bowels

And launched a gas attack!

Pity the poor Taxi driver who did accept the fare,

His tip was ‘never transport a feral cat

If you want to breathe pure air’!

Yes, Chris seemed to love the unloveable,

Every waif and every stray,

Who could forget Polly?

Her formidable African Grey?

Rescued from a life on board

a Merchant Navy ship,

A talented voice mimic, well renowned

For giving quite a nip,

Referred to by Helga as ‘that bloody parrot’

Is it any wonder

That many of Chris friends breathed a sigh of relief

Once Polly was six feet under?

Now despite all of Chris’s good points,

I think she’d be the first to admit,

That, at times, she could be indecisive,

Winding up my Dad just a bit,

On several family occasions,

Against his military mind she was pitted,

But Dad was consistently on the losing side,

Often frustrated but always outwitted,

Family visits were spent in the garden,

Where football we used to play,

Russell in a Chelsea strip, me in Liverpool’s,

There was usually an affray!

And pity the poor neighbours

Who we tried hard to appease,

They must have wearied of the knock on the door,

“Can we have our ball back please?”

Now it may come as a surprise,

that Chris was a ‘footballer’ supreme!

And she was an enthusiastic member,

Of the Edwinstowe Ladies Team,

They trained hard and they played hard,

Tho’ it was plain to see,

They were always keen for the halftime whistle,

For a fag and a G and T,

When she wasn’t playing, she was writing

For the Hull Daily Mail,

Typing up various sports reports,

With Margaret, Isobel, Julie and Gale,

And, of course, for many years,

She worked for the Hull NHS,

As a Medical secretary in Radiology,

I hear she was the best,

She welcomed new recruits with warmth and humour,

And when Maggie Wingfield joined the team,

She’d found a new best buddy,

To have adventures quite extreme,

They ice skated, bowled, played tennis

Even going to Venice for a day!

Although both conscientious workers,

They surely liked to play!

Margaret even managed to persuade Chris

To go camping in the Yorkshire Dales,

A memorable weekend for them both,

And one of Margaret’s favourite tales,

They walked and laughed and took photos,

But when it was time for bed,

Chris was extremely well prepared,

‘I don’t want to be cold’ she said,

She donned so many layers,

Fearing a chill in the toes,

That she was totally wedged in her sleeping bag,

As she was wearing that many clothes!

Helga was another special friend,

They met at the age of seven,

She’d take Chris to the Lincoln Agricultural Show

Which was Chris’s idea of heaven,

And Chris was asked to be bridesmaid,

55 years ago when Helga wed,

Though never a bride herself,

‘waiting for the perfect man’, she said,

I think she’d have settled for Pasha,

From the Strictly Come Dancing TV Show,

Whenever she saw his Quickstep,

Her eyes were quite aglow,

She loved watching black and white movies of

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire,

And she liked a good British comedy,

And thought Benny Hill beyond compare,


But her own heart was always in Lincolnshire,

In Swaton, where she was evacuated,

At six years old, with sister Marie,

And an instruction ‘Not to be Separated’,

They lived with Granny Green,

And life was far from dull,

They became fond of the lady who opened her house,

To two little girls from Hull,

She made some lifelong friends there,

Elsie and Frank and Wally,

I remember going back there myself,

On family holidays jolly,

Memories of new born chicks,

And harvest time in the fields,

Who would have thought that so many years later

The memories that Swaton would yield?

And now I’d like to ask you to take a moment and think

For a while,

To recollect, to remember and allow yourself a smile,

I hope you have enjoyed this chance to reminisce,

And I know you will hold dear your own memories of Chris.

Dear auntie Chris, your family, your many friends, will not forget your sense of humour, your voice, your face,

And now we will take you home to rest forever in Swaton, your beloved place.