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May Fowler, 1905 - 1994

May was born on January 5 1904, at 107 Manvers Street, Sneinton, Nottingham. One of seven children and daughter of James and Elisa Fowler. James was a painter, employed by the local railway company to paint bridges. Little is known of May's early life but she grew up and attended school in Sneinton and had a very elementary education. Life wasn't easy for May's family as her father died when May was very young. There was also the tragedy of her younger brothers death in 1913 when she was just 8 and then the death of her older brother who was killed in the First World War when she was 12.

Manvers Street, Sneinton, Nottingham


In March 1923, at the age of 18, May married William Croome a miner and they lived together at 28 Davidson Street, Colwick. Within a year they had a baby daughter, Marjorie, but the baby did not survive her first birthday. Around this time we know she worked as a barmaid in the Old Moot Hall in Nottingham Market Square (her brother Harry and sister Clara also worked here when it was bombed during the war).

Moot Hall from the Market Square, Nottingham

It was while she lived at Davidson Street that May left her husband in 1925 for Bill Drury, eventually divorcing William Croome in 1929. May and Bill lived for a short time in Hutton Street and after the birth of their first child they moved to West London. The move south may have been an attempt to avoid the scandal of the divorce which was a rare occurrence in 1920's Nottingham. Alternatively it may simply have been a bid for Bill to find work during the Depression. Whilst in Feltham it is thought that Bill worked as an electrician and May found work as a domestic in the flyers hostel at Croydon Aerodrome. May and Bill were married in Staines Register Office in 1930.

Croydon Aerodrome in the 1930's


Mavis outside the family home - Feltham Middx 1933

The family eventually returned to Nottingham to Overdale Road in Bakersfield staying with members of the Fowler family. In 1936 they moved to their new council house in Deepdene Way and remained there most of their lives. May and William had four children Mavis, Sheila, and twins June and Jean. Sadly Sheila died at a very young age.







As June and Jean got older May began work at CS Wardle's, in Nottingham, as a semptress. Here she joined her daughter Mavis and for a time they worked there together until 1950.

CS Wardles Ltd, Castle Boulevard

May died in Nottingham in April 1994, aged 79.

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January 5, 2012