Jennifer Taylor

‘I was born in St Albans. My husband Rick and I started going out when we both travelled to work in London by train. We got married in 1966, when I was 19. We moved to Kingsbury in north London for a while but hated it and soon came back to the familiarity of St Albans, and have lived here ever since.’

‘My parents were childhood sweethearts from Willesden, London. They fell in love with St Albans when they drove out here in my father’s car. In 1932 they opened a ladies’ clothing shop, Adairs, in the building that’s now the Peahen pub and became founders of the small Jewish community.

Adairs closed after my father died in 1968.’

‘My mother’s parents came to England from Warsaw, Poland, in around 1864. When I was born, my maternal grandmother gave me this utility teddy bear, Marty, who has survived mostly intact.

Like food and clothing, toys were rationed during the

Second World War. Utility toys were built to be good quality and hard-wearing with economical use of materials.’

‘This photo shows my mother, Evelyn, with her sisters:

(from left to right) Evelyn, Minnie, Florrie, Ida and Anne.

She also had three brothers, Sam, Harry and Maurice. They all lived above my grandparents’ tailors’ trimmings shop on the corner of London’s Berwick and Broadwick Streets.

My grandmother, who spoke no English, walked around outside the shop with a tray of trimmings, encouraging people to come inside.’