Saturday, 3 September 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!!

The following is a modified version of some fun I had a few years ago when I produced a pamphlet I called "The Jack Times"...and never let the truth get in the way of a good story my friends!

A Star Is Born
Robert Herbert and Mrs Sarah Ellen Gardner wish to announce the birth of their third child, a son named John after his uncle.
The baby will be known as Jack to avoid confusion.

September 3rd, 1933

Itinerant Photographer Snaps Britain’s Bonniest Boy

Today, Jack Gardner, Britain’s Most Bonny Boy, was photographed standing at the gate of his home at 4, Condor Place, Lancaster, in the north of England.
Despite recently winning the award, Jack was reluctant to smile saying he preferred to keep his smiles for his


War Declared On Jack's 6th Birthday
At 11.15 BST the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, announced the British deadline for the withdrawal of German troops from Poland had expired.
King George has called upon "my people at home and my peoples across the seas".
He continued: "I ask them to stand calm, firm and united in this time of trial. The task will be hard. There may be dark days ahead and war can no longer be confined to the battlefield. But we can only do the right as we see the right and reverently
commit our cause to God." 
Jack Gardner’s sixth birthday party was somewhat subdued as the gravity of the situation sank in.

September 3rd 1939

Student Knits For England
Lancaster schoolboy, Jack Gardner, has been relentless in his desire to aid the British war effort and has single handedly knit a blanket square. The square will be framed and mounted at the Town Hall. Jack will be awarded a certificate at a special ceremony later this month.  
May 1941

Boys National Secondary School Works On Student Behaviour Policy

“As teachers struggle to control talkative students at our school we have had to look at implementing severe punishment for this problem. For example, one student who must remain nameless has had to be chastised for talking in class every day since his arrival at the school and has broken several canes at great expense to the school board.” Quote taken from school meeting minutes earlier today.

Artist To Begin Apprenticeship
It was announced today that local artist, John Gardner(also known as Jack) would be apprenticed to Mr Wilfred Ward to learn the special skills needed to paint and wallpaper his family’s homes at their beck and call. Among the skills to be learned, Jack will become master of hanging paper on uneven ceilings, cutting in whilst balancing on one foot whilst up a ladder, the many uses of the plomb bob and the applications of the blow-torch. We wish him every success in this enterprise.
September 1948

Sheep Heard In Condor Place
Neighbours last night reported to the local police station that a sheep was being abused at 4, Condor Place, Lancaster. Two officers were sent to investigate and were told by Mrs Nellie Gardner that it was Jack’s Uncle Arthur enjoying a sing-a-long and that no animals were in the house. Mrs Gardner was issued with an official notice for disturbing the peace.
December 1948

Local Lads Go Cruising
To celebrate his nineteenth birthday on September 3rd, Jack Gardner of Lancaster, has taken several friends on a cruise to Korea via India. They will share a cabin on the HMS Devonshire. The young men will visit several ports en route and be away from Lancaster for quite some time. They were particularly looking forward to the exotic cuisine and seeing the wildlife up close.                                                                                                                                                                          September 1952.
Famous Beauty to Marry Footballer
Wedding bells are to ring for famous local beauty, Miss Marjorie Emma Kelsall, on Saturday, October 1st, as she marries local sports star, John(Jackie) Gardner at St Mary’s Priory in Lancaster. Rumour has it that Jack’s mother, Mrs Nellie Gardner, has paid the bride a substantial fee to take Jack off her hands.
We wish the young couple all the best for a happy future together and many healthy children.
September 29th, 1955

Daughter Born To Local Couple
Mr and Mrs John Gardner wish to announce the birth of their first child, a daughter who will be named Susan Barbara. The baby was born at 10.30pm at the Lancaster Royal Infirmary on December 12th. Mr Gardner is reported to have said, “She looks funny.”
December 13th, 1956
Celebs Buy Property
Local celebrity couple, Mr and Mrs John Gardner, has ventured into the property market today with the purchase of a family home at 40, Lordsome Rd, Morecambe. The property will need a little work but in a family of painters, electricians, plumbers and carpenters, the owners foresee few problems. The house will be repainted before the family takes residence and several chocolate swiss rolls have been ordered by the painters to maintain their concentration.

Baby Boy for Local Family
Mrs Marjorie Gardner yesterday gave birth to her second child at her home in Lordsome Rd. The baby boy will be called Ian David and has been much admired for his rare intelligence. Dr Nicholson attended the birth but confused three year old Susan Gardner by telling her that she’d brought the baby into the house in her black doctor’s bag.
October 17th 1960
Father Cements Over Rare Plant
Breaking news from Lordsome Road in Morecambe where it is believed that today as Mrs Gardner was preparing the Sunday lunch, Mr John Gardner has cemented over a very rare, red peony shrub belonging to Mrs Gardner. “The shrubs ancestors had sailed from China in the 19Century,” said a distraught Mrs Gardner and it had great sentimental value. Mr Gardner preferred not to comment.
July 1963
New Kitchen For Distraught Wife
In a bid to console his heartbroken wife, Mr John Gardner, today added the finishing coat of paint to the new kitchen he and his brothers have built at 40, Lordsome Rd. Readers may remember that Mr Gardner recently cemented over a rare peony shrub belonging to his wife and he is hoping to get back into her good books with the new kitchen. Their daughter, Susan Barbara, whose bedroom overlooks the kitchen has been warned not to go out onto the flat roof for fear that she may crash through the roof and into the kitchen.

Top Cricketer Wins Award
Butlin’s Holiday Camp, Filey, today listed winners of competitions held this month and local cricketing legend, John Gardner, was thrilled to be named the winner of the “Knobbliest Knees Contest”. He claimed that the damp cabin in which the family was staying had sharpened his knees to their maximum knobbliness. His wife, Mrs Marjorie Gardner, was also in the prizewinners circle and was named “Mrs Personality” and presented with a bottle of French perfume.
May 1967
Gardners To Emigrate
It is with great excitement that we report today that Mr and Mrs John Gardner and Family have announced that they will sail to Australia on December 10th to begin a new life in the sun. Recent secret trips to Preston have been confirmed and 40 Lordsome Rd has been tidied up and placed on the market. Daughter Susan is said to be less than thrilled at this decision but her parents feel that this is a good move for the whole family. The family will travel to London by overnight train and then take the boat train to Southampton Docks to board the luxury ship, Castel Felice.
October 20th 1967
Migrant Buys Scooter
Today industrious new immigrant, John Gardner, has purchased a motor scooter to enable him to ride to work. The scooter will also be used to shop for hamburgers and chips at the Melville Burger King franchise when the fodder at Point Walter Hostel is quite inedible.                                                                                        March 1968

In the following years the family will live happily at their home in Calista…..from August 1968 and up to and including the present day. Jack will work at Alcoa for an eternity and hide his work satchel every Friday evening so that it does not remind him of work on Monday morning. Colleagues will refer to him as the Silver Fox and he will be blown off the toilet one morning as he takes his regular nap.

He will retire early with dicky ears etc and then proceed to become the village greenkeeper in between carrying Marge’s bags on overseas excursions. Together they will visit Bali, Hong Kong, Singapore, Langkawi, Thailand, Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu, New Zealand, Tasmania, Queensland, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and the Barossa Valley, Darwin, England and Scotland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Austria to name but a few places!
Jack and Marge will also celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary ..…and have two children, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren! And we couldn’t love you more Dad….Happy Birthday!!!
On the train to Barrow-in-Furness, June 2008

and Dad? Always remember "Wet birds do not fly at night."


  1. Happy birthday Jack!

    Sue that is a clever piece of writing!

  2. Happy birthday Jack!

    That is definitely a wonderful piece, Sue.

  3. Oh Sue I had more than a giggle while reading this its absolutely delightful! Your Poor Ma and her red Peony its only right she should have gotten a new kitchen ;) I absolutely adore the fashions adorned by the bridal party and their mothers. So very proper and beautiful! Thanks for sharing this.