Saying “My Nana was a Pagan” usually got me a few strange looks (visions of Wicca no doubt), but it’s true. She was born Ethel Maud Pagan on the 24 May 1900 to Thomas Naismith Pagan and Edith (nee Dobney) in Hull, East Yorkshire. She was an only child, and the family lived with her grandfather Dobney who was a Ticket Collector and Guard for the N.E.R. Her father Thomas was a nautical instrument maker.
She grew up before the First World War, and went to work during the War at Paragon Railway Station working for the N.E.R. in the typing pool there. In 1922, she married Marcus Alexander Green, a young Merchant Navy Officer and they set up home with their young son Ronald in Withernsea, East Yorkshire.
Two more children followed, Derek born in 1924 and Nancy born in 1926. In the 1930s, the family returned to Hull where they eventually settled in a home on Boothferry Road. The Second World War loomed, and Marcus once again fought in the Royal Navy; Ronald followed his father to sea, though Derek, due to ill health, was unable to fight. In 1944, a late addition to the family, Peter was born, a year later Ronald married his sweetheart Muriel, Derek’s wedding to another Muriel took place shortly before Ron and Muriel with their toddler son Wesley set sail for a new life in Canada.
Ethel remained devoted to her family, bringing little Peter up with the help of his big sister Nancy. Derek, Muriel and their young family were frequent visitors during these years. Marcus died first in 1966 after a long illness that confined him to the sofa in the front room (my only memories of him). Ethel took the opportunity offered by Ron and his second wife Verna to visit them in Canada (Muriel had sadly died in the 50s) and see her Canadian grandchildren. In 1973, Ron brought his family to England for a holiday, but sadly Ethel was very ill and despite rallying round tremendously whilst Ron was in Hull, she died on the 9th August that year just after Ron left to visit relatives down south.
I’d stayed with her the previous year, a whole week during the summer holidays, I remember the Munich Olympics were on whilst I was with her. She complained of my cold feet in bed on a night and that I fidgeted too much for her, but that didn’t stop her inviting me to stay. She was a lovely Nana, and it was sad to lose her when we did.
L-R Marcus Green with a young Peter standing in front of him, Ethel Green with Derek Green behind and Muriel his wife next to him