Ernest Raymond Russ was born 1929 in St. Mathews, MoorfieldsSt.George, Bristol, England, United Kingdom to Henry Russ (1889-1955) and Ivy Daisy Violet Hazel (1894-1962) . He married Grace Enid Baglin (1933-2006) .
Labourer, Gardener, Head Gardener
Brief history of Ernest Russ
In 1951 Ernest Raymond Russ (born 1929) married Grace Enid Russ (1933-2006) when she was 18, she saw it as an opportunity to escape home; her mother always wanting her to be prime and proper, which Grace never considered herself to be; and although didn't work out in the end it was a happy marriage while it lasted.
They planned to have two children, but had a third because unfortunately the second died just a few weeks after birth. We were a poor family, Ernie was always chopping and changing jobs, a couple of times trying self-employment which never worked-out because of his bad business sense! When first married, they lived in a caravan, shortly afterwards moving to 77 Streamside, Mangotsfield, Bristol and became the 1000th Council tenant on the new Council Housing Estate. I can remember my mother ‘Grace’ telling me about Alan (her first born) when as a baby he stuck a knitting needle in an electric socket and was thrown across the room. And, as a toddler, to young to go to school, he sometimes ‘escaped’ from the house and made his way to his Nan's house about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away! (‘Nan’ the family name for 'Eva Baglin' born as Florence Eveline Jenner).
My first memories are in 1960 - When the whole family, my mother and father, Alan 'my brother', and I were walking down a country lane with hedges on either side. The next thing I knew, we had came to a green wooden gate to our left; and looking through the gate down the garden path with flowers overgrown on both sides was a small cottage like house, with a large green door and four windows. This, 38 Victoria Road, North Common, Warmley, Bristol, was to be our new home for the next six years.
It was a four roomed house, two up, two down, each room about 8ft Square, and loose flag stones, with earth underneath, on the kitchen floor. The only modern amenities were electricity and a cold water tap in the Out-house. The house was bought on the understanding that Ernie’s parents would put up the money for modernising the place. However, planning permission was not granted because the Council had redevelopment plans under consideration (it was over a decade before the council demolished the building and redeveloped the site). So, Ernie made a feeble attempt to make a cesspool in the garden; a dangerous and deep hole, 6ft square and 6ft deep; and it was never used as we had moved on before its completion. For toilet facilities we used a plastic bucket; and for baths, a large tin bath, which was placed in front of the coal fire and topped up with hot water, boiled on the kitchen stove. At one point we were so poor that we survived on nettle soup for a few weeks.
However, in 1966, in the dead of night, we moved on, leaving creditors behind us. Ernie had leased Angeston Nurseries in Uley, Gloucestershire, and set himself up as a self-employed Nurseryman. My mother and my brother, after he left school, helped to run the place; but after a while, in spite of Ernie’s principles, Grace got an independent job, and had a taste of freedom.
Three years after moving to Uley, due to bad management, my father was declared bankrupt, so once again we moved on; this time to Mortimer, near Reading, where he was employed as a Gardener; then nine months later moving on again, to Angus Convalescent Home, Orpington, Kent, where Ernie became `Head Gardener'.