Flashback on Mothering Sunday

A very young Allan Moran with his mum and dad and his older sister, Brenda.

Remember I said that Allan Moran’s family history was complicated?

As we move further back in time with these photographs more of that history is revealed.

I only know these stories from Joan’s point of view and then she only told me what she wanted to.  As I was merely in my teens and early twenties I didn’t feel able to ask her too many questions about her past.

When Joan and Jim met and fell in love sometime in the early 1950’s she was already married with three young children. Those children were the twins, Trevor and Johnnie and Brenda.

The marriage was undoubtedly an unhappy and troubled one. I always suspected some form of domestic violence but I don’t have any real evidence for that.

Whatever the case Joan ran away or as she said eloped with Jim to Gretna Green. I think she asked Brenda if she wanted to go with her but Brenda felt she had to stay to look after her younger brothers and her dad. Looking at the photograph above I realise how young Brenda must have been when her mother ran away.

Brenda, herself told me that she understood why her mother left her dad as life with him was very difficult. However, she could never understand how her mum could leave behind her children and I also think she could never really forgive her.

The twins whom Joan had abandoned were estranged from her when I first started going out with Allan. Brenda did manage to reconnect Joan with Johnnie eventually but I remember that their relationship was always a little sticky.

Trevor on the other hand still lived with his father and refused to have anything to do with Joan and I think maintained this stance throughout her life. Although, I think I did see him at her funeral. How sad is that!

When they eloped, Jim and Joan had a sort of marriage ceremony at the Blacksmiths shop in Gretna Green and then they went and lived in Glasgow. It was in Glasgow that Allan was born and they lived there for the first few years of his life.

This picture dates from that time. I think that Brenda did come and stay with them for a time but felt she had to go back to look after her brothers.

2 thoughts on “Flashback on Mothering Sunday

  1. Yes very sad, wonder what the real story was behind it all?! Must have been a brave woman to walk away from her family, especially in those days! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think it must have been a hard decision for her….and possibly one she regretted. I am sure that she had hoped to get her children and especially Brenda later. I think Brenda did go and live with her and Jim for a few weeks in Glasgow but then returned to Castleford. I am also sure that they returned to Pontefract when Allan was about 4 in the hope that she could see her other children.


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