1963 – Jamaican Wedding Cake


It was now the year 1963.

There would be just one more Hodgson from Southfield that would move to the United States of America. However, the Hodgson Emigrants moving from Jamaica into the United Kingdom were complete.

There was now a total of nine Southfield Hodgson’s firmly established in England, eight males and one female;

  1. Cecil 
  2. Valdie
  3. Renford
  4. Clinton
  5. Astley (unmarried)
  6. Ainsley (unmarried)
  7. Shirley (unmarried)
  8. Colin
  9. Myrtle

Three of these family members were yet to marry. There were now 1st generation Hodgson’s being born in England, myself being one of them. 

The pictorial story continues….

My dad’s youngest brother Colin Hodgson had been dating a teenage Jamaican Girl, Laseta Waite. She lived at the top of Jesson Street, not far from Cecil & Helen Hodgson’s home.

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1956/57 Jesson Street. An Unknown Wedding. Colin Hodgson & Laseta? Are On The Left, Aunt Helen Is 4th From Left. My Dad, Renford Is Second From Right Standing In Between A man Named Halden & His girlfriend. ‘Uncle Halden’ Would Later Turn Out To Be One Of My Dad’s Best Friends.

July – September 1963

Another ‘West Bromwich Hodgson’ got wed when my dads youngest brother, Colin Vern Hodgson married Laseta Waite at Saint Andrew’s Church, Carters Green, West Bromwich.

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Saint Andrew’s Church, West Bromwich
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At The Alter, Saint Andrew’s Church. My Sister Joan Is The Shortest Bridesmaid On The Right.
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1963 Colin & Laseta Signing The Marriage Register. Colin’s Sister In Law – My ‘Aunt Cherry’ -Is At The Back On The Left. Colin’s Neice – My Sister Joan – Is Peering Behind The Brides Veil

My mom and dad were living in West Bromwich, not far from this church. Being a small boy, I held no memory of Uncle Colin. I was just two and half years old at the time of his marriage. My eldest sister Joan, however, was present as a bridesmaid and stood at the altar of Saint Andrew’s church, alongside the bride and groom. Joan was also present at their signing of the marriage register.

The after wedding party was yet again held at Cecil and Helen’s Jesson Street home, which was the established hub of the Hodgson family in West Bromwich.

Three children would soon be born to Colin and Laseta in West Bromwich.

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1963 Colin & Laseta’s Wedding Reception Was Held At Jesson Street. His Aunt, Helen Hodgson Would Almost Certainly Have Made His Wedding Cake. Colin’s Cousin, Shirley Hodgson Can Be Seen In The Background. I Wonder If Any Of You Spotted The Two Black Silhouette Figures Of Cupid?

22nd November 1963

1963 was also the year that the 35th American president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

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Just Moments After This Photograph Was Taken, President Kennedy Was fatally Shot.
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President John F. Kennedy

1964

The years were now moving on quickly….

My family was now settled at Nelson Street in West Bromwich. My dad Rennie had wanted to be an electrician since being a young teenager in Jamaica. With his thoughts firmly focused on this occupation, he left Tube Products Works, Oldbury and moved to West Bromwich to work at a company in Church Lane. Soon afterwards he managed to find jobs there for his cousin Ainsley, and his youngest brother Colin.

1965

Dad enrolled into West Bromwich College studying one day a week learning to be an electrician. His brother Colin had hoped to be given a room at our Nelson Street home, but with Mom and dad now having five children living in our small house, dad decided there was not enough room to house his brother and his young family. This didn’t go down too well with Colin.

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1965 Nelson Street, West Bromwich. From The Left Is Joan, Dad Holding Susan. The ‘Happy One’ In The Middle With The Lovely White Shoes Is Me. There Had Been A Big Scuffle, My Two Brothers Were After Them. Next Is My Mom Holding Michael, And On The Right Is Vernon. My Youngest Sister Sandra Was To Be Born 6 Years Later.
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Sandra Was The Last Born In 1972

1966

Work opportunities had arisen overseas in Canada. Colin, his wife and their three West Bromwich born children emigrated there in 1966. They settled in the city of Ontario, initially residing all together in one single room.

Colin & Laseta’s marriage ended many years later. He later married his second wife Audrey Patricia Simpson. In Canada, Colin & Audrey went on to have four children.

Being a young boy of about 5 years old when Uncle Colin left England, I held no memories of him. I did however grow up hearing his name with an understanding that he lived in Canada. As an adult many years later, I saw him properly for the first time when he visited England in 1979.

Three more West Bromwich Hodgson’s would marry in the upcoming years. Shirley in 1971, Ainsley 1977 and Astley in 1994 ….

There were now branches of Southfield Hodgson’s spread out far and wide at Southfield, New York, West Bromwich, Oxford and Canada.

“This has been yet another very enjoyable blog to write.

Exactly twenty years after Aunt Helen made that ‘1963 Jamaican Wedding Cake’ for Uncle Colin’s wedding reception party, she also made one for me at my West Bromwich wedding in 1983. Just recently when I was looking at Colin’s wedding photographs, I noticed that the cake had two black-silhouetted figures of cupid placed around it’s base. Such a nice touch!  

I can’t remember ever noticing if Aunt Helen placed any cupid’s on my ‘Jamaican wedding cake’ I will have to search through my albums to check.

I adore our old black & white photographs, there is just something unique about them, no colours to distract you. What you see in these pictures is a story. I am so much enjoying displaying Cecil’s lifetime collection to everyone.

All the old photographs in this blog were found amongst Cecil Hodgson’s photo albums at Southfield. I was so surprised to find so many intriguing photos in his collection. Amongst the photos are also several wedding parties held at Cecil’s Jesson Street home. It appears that his home was welcome to just about every friend and relative. What a amazing man my great uncle was” Robert Roy Hodgson

“PRESERVING OUR HERITAGE”

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