The 40 Ruby Stages Of Mike And Helen’s Love Story
1. Mike Martin was a dashing young thing with a taste for cheap wine and fine women.
2. Helen Hormbrey was a fine woman who couldn’t even handle her cheap wine.
3. Mike graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in Mathematics.
But his first move after that…
4. His first move was to move to Hull, where he gatecrashed a student disco, where he met Helen.
A promising young Social Work student with the look of Sandie Shaw.
5. Very quickly, they fell in love.
6. And Mike’s friend Alan McLean took a bunch of photographs of them both looking incredibly hot.
7. On October 20 1973, Mike and Helen were married at the United Reform Church, Whitney Ellesmere Port.
The bride wore pink. Not wanting to be upstaged, the groom wore velvet.
8. In the car…
9. Cutting the cake…
10. Still cutting the cake…
This must have been a very big cake.
11. Lucy Mary Martin was born on November 24 1975.
12. Every year, they would visit the Spanish town of Almunecar.
Where they met lots of new friend like Julia and Warney.
13. In 1978, they moved to Ellesmere Port at 53a Woodland Road.
Just in time for..
14. Daniel Stephen Martin was born on April 30 1979.
Lucy sang Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass” into the bump all through the pregnancy, which would give the foetus a fixation with punk rock and disco which would go on to define the rest of his life.
15. There was a lot of messing about on rivers.
At the first of two Boathouses.
16. As a child, Lucy based her persona on popular fictional German child Pippi Longstocking.
17. Then, they moved to the house where Lucy and Daniel would grow up, in Warrington Avenue.
18. 80s night? Or was this just the 80s?
19. Daniel just wanted to be the Milkybar Kid.
And though she now denies any memory, Helen wouldn’t let him reply to the audition call in her Woman’s Own magazine. Probably quite wisely, she didn’t want her son being a childstar and then going completely crazy in later life.
20. There were many happy Christmases.
21. There were also many cats, but three-legged psychopath Kitty was the most formidable.
And she was Daniel’s best friend during his socially awkward childhood years. He was the only one she was nice to.
22. The Glasgow flat where Jean lived become home from home.
23. Briefly, they tried going to other parts of Spain on holiday.
Like Tossa de Mar. But that didn’t last long.
24. Then there were the corporate conference years.
25. In Carradale, it really was the 80s.
26. Mike’s mum Jean turned 80 with a squawk.
How else was she going to turn 80? Or indeed do anything at all?
27. Suddenly, everybody was all grown up.
As Mike and Helen and Sylvia and Stuart started welcoming a new generation.
28. Except there were those few years where Mike was working out of Brussels quite a lot.
29. By 1995, they’d reverted to the original holiday destination.
Because it’s not really Spain unless it’s Almunecar.
30. Mollie and Harry’s Golden Wedding anniversary.
31. Was a really great day for all involved.
32. Lucy graduated from Glasgow School Of Art with a degree in Visual Communication in 1998.
33. And life was soon about to change…
34. They finally escaped Ellesmere Port!
No sooner had Daniel been packed off to University and so stopped moaning, they became part of civilised society, joining the ex-pat Scottish community in Chester’s desirable Hough Green neighbourhood.
35. Daniel graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in English Language and Literature in 2001.
36. Lucy was finally made an honest woman of on July 26 2009.
And in a funny example of history repeating for Martin women, it was an Irvine who did it.
37. “One of them finally off our hands!”
38. Saul Timothy Martin Irvine was born on February 19 2012.
And their wish to be grandparents was finally granted. Mike decided to be addressed by the frankly bizarre term of “Gaffer” while Helen went for the more traditional “Grandma”.
39. Four generations of the Hormbrey-Martin-Irvines.
L-R: Great Grandmna Mollie, Wee Saul, Mummy Lucy, Grandma Helen.
40. But not content to sit still, they decided to start another new project…
TO BE CONTINUED…