Cyril Watters
Mood Music of the 20th Century
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Family Life


Cyril and Doris Watters 1939
29th of May 1939 Cyril married Olive Doris Watters at Willesden Registry Office and had a reception at ‘The White Hart’ Willesden. They honeymooned in Devon. In June and the summer that year they went to the Isle of Wight where Cyril had a contract to play. 1940 August 12th a daughter, Jill Barbara Watters, was born at Fordwich Nursing Home, Kilburn. On August 25th Jill and Doris returned home to 37 Dudden Hill Lane, Willesden, Doris’ parents. Gordon Miller, Doris’ father had a laundry at the back of the house. After many bombing raids on Willesden, it was decided to move and on September 29th Cyril, Doris and Jill went to stay with Doris’ Aunt Clarisse and Uncle Harold at 19 Chiltern Road, Hitchen, Hertfordshire.
 
Bomb Damage at 37 Dudden Hill Lane, Willesden, 1940
Cyril returned the next day and found a shock awaiting him. Just before midnight of September 29th a large high explosive bomb fell at the back of Dudden Hill Lane demolishing several houses and the Laundry. The flat at No. 37 was uninhabitable and the outlook from the window one of wreckage and devastation. Cyril went to stay with his parents at 25 Geary Road, about half a mile away.
 
Cyril kept travelling back and forth to Hitchen from that time.
 
In May 1941 Cyril was called to Padgate in Lancashire for a preliminary test for the Royal Air Force and early in July came the papers for service. On July 15th Cyril left to join the R.A.F. On July 22nd Doris and Jill went to live at 13a Hermitage Road, Hitchen, a flat over a Draper’s shop. Olive Miller, Doris’ mother went too. Late August 1941 Cyril was moved to Shrewsbury  for training as a radio mechanic.
 
 Doris & Cyril with Jack & Jill 1942

On February 15th 1942 a son, John Gordon Watters was born at Benslow Nursing Home, Hitchen, Hertfordshire.
 
1942 saw his first published composition ‘Irene’, written in the RAF. The copyright contract gives his address as R.A.F. - Neatishead, Norwich. It also saw the production of a song based on his pals in the RAF called ‘The boys of the C.H.B.  
 
In March 1943 Cyril’s Unit went to Putteridge Park, only five miles from Hitchen, but a few weeks later he was sent to Southern England
 
On 30th May 1944 another daughter, Julie Margaret Watters, was born at Benslow Nursing Home, Hitchen.
Early in February 1945 Cyril went to Belgium and then went on to Germany. In June he returned to England and in January 1946 he was demobbed.
 
49 Geary Road (as it was later)In 1947 the family (including mum-in-law Olive Miller) moved from 13a Hermitage Road, Hitchen to 49 Geary Road, Dollis Hill, Willesden. Olive Miller moved herself to the next road 40 Fleetwood Road, a couple of years later. His parents lived at no 25 Geary Road. The house cost about £2000.

He played cricket for the Almora Cricket Club most Saturdays in the 1950’s.  As children we used to go and watch whilst Mum helped the club with the tea. Stamp collecting was another hobby. He was very meticulous in this and gave interesting accounts of the changes of names of countries when they occurred. Overall he put together 15 albums and a specialist one on Great Britain. He also collected first day covers and specialist ‘Music and Dance’ stamps. He was always posting me letters with a ‘save the stamp’ written on the back. 

In 1951 the family owned its first television – a 9 inch black and white one. In these days a ‘test card’ and background music was broadcast for the most of the day and many of his pieces were played there. Later the BBC introduced intervals between programmes. One of Cyril’s pieces was played to the scene of slowly travelling up a winding river.

At this time the family had its first car, an Austin Somerset, black of course. (Jill’s note) I remember my first ride in it and feeling how strange it was to be driving around the streets quite independently of a bus.  

Cyril with Jack and Jill returning from a cycling trip to France 1955In May 1955 Cyril began to take his two elder children Jill (15) and Jack (13) hostelling with their bikes. In August 1955 Cyril took them on a two week cycling tour and hostelling in Normandy, France. A train was taken to Ferryfield, Kent and then a plane to Le Touquet. The places cycled to were Etaples, Montreuil, St Valer sur Somme,  Abbeville, Le Treport, Dieppe, St Valery en Caux, Doudeville, Barentin, Rouen, Pont Audemer, Honfleur, Trouville and Deauville,

Jill's note: The most exciting part was cycling around the Arc de Triompe in Paris as a trip from Rouen; quite a feat for Dad with two teenagers who had never experienced ‘that side of the road’ before. We stuck close to him!  French hostels turned out to be quite primitive compared to the English ones with six foot sacks of straw to sleep on in the villages we stayed in. We had to put our yellow cycling capes over the sacks to keep endless bugs from biting us. That wasn’t too successful Jill's Wedding 1962 (Jill, Phil Coward, Doris Watters, Mabel Coward, Cyril and Ron Coward)either.

The 1960’s saw the marriage of his daughter Jill in 1962 and the arrival of three grandchildren. Jenny Coward was born on 6th June 1966, Tim Coward on 30th June 1968 and Jon Coward on 9th September 1969.

Sadly, in 1963 Cyril’s mother died and she was followed in 1967 by his father.

In 1964 ‘Pot Luck’ was used on Radio South East for four years as their signature tune.  By this time Cyril had written 300 compositions, half of which was mood music.  To celebrate he took the family for a short holiday in Derbyshire.
Cyril with his father 1960's

Julie's Wedding, Doris, Julie, CyrilOn June 2nd 1981 Cyril’s second daughter Julie was married to David Wright.  Another grandson, Peter Maxwell Wright, was born on 10th August 1982 and another granddaughter, Hannah Lucy Wright, on 20th January 1984, the year in which he died.