He saw her for the first time in the queue for the Dean. The year was 1947. She had just arrived in Leicester to begin her English course at the University College (as it then was), while he was making a fresh start after the financial problems of the year before. He liked what he saw and said to his new friends, “Have you seen that zipped dress?” She saw him too and thought, “You look as though you’re used to getting your own way, but you’re not going to get me!”
How wrong she was! Three weeks later they were firmly involved with each other and have remained so for 61 years (so far!) Almost immediately, Fred was totally accepted into Margaret’s family and her home became his home – his first real home since his mother had sent him to England, at the age of 10, to escape the Nazis.
Before 1939, Fred had lived happily with his mother and two sisters in Northern Moravia. Once in England, he soon adapted to a life which was happy in school, but far from normal otherwise. Margaret, on the other hand, was born into a caring, English working-class family environment but knew from a young age that her aim was to achieve high standards by hard work.
By emulating Margaret’s industrious approach, Fred was, at last, encouraged to fulfil his potential and was able, in spite of set-backs to his health, to contribute fully to the life they made together.