The Leslie Ginno Family
Leslie was born on 2 October 1910 and married Lillian Beatrice Sellick. They had two children - Lesley and Deryn.

This is a photo of Les and Lillian's wedding. The lady on the left is Lillian's grandmother - she gave Liilian a home after her mother died.


 Les and Lillian on their wedding day 

This shows Les and Lillian as young adults. The date and location are unknown.

A photo of Isabella (Nan) with Lesley and Deryn.

This photo shows Les with his then pride and joy. The photo is known to have been taken at Herne Bay in 1936 (before Les and Lillian got married) but the make and model of the car have yet to be established. Any car anorak's who can identify it, please let us know.



In 1937 Leslie and Lilian bought their first borne at 10 Welton Road, Plumstead, London S.E.18 for approximately £750. During the next 25 years they paid the mortgage at fixed rate which became tiny as inflation raised wages and prices. The house was new, on an estate built between Plumstead and Welling in Kent. Their families, especially Les's mother Isabella, were hugely impressed by the modern fitted kitchen and indoor bathroom. The two downstairs rooms had sliding doors between them that were only opened at Christmas to keep the front room for "best". These rooms were each heated by a coal fire and there was a back boiler in one of them that heated water (no radiators!), The kitchen had some fitted cupboards with a pull down worktop and a pull down ironing board. There was no washing machine, fridge or freezer.

During WW2 they continued to live at this address as Les worked in Woolwich Arsenal. Wynne and Jack's home on Plumstead Common was bombed and they lost everything, including their wedding presents. Les and Lilian made the tiny boxroom bedroom of their house into a kitchen and had Wynne and Jack living with them throughout the war, each having one floor of the house and sharing the bathroom.

Lesley Ginno was born in 1942 at Paddock Wood in Kent, the British Home for Mothers and Babies in Woolwich being evacuated there for safety during the blitz. Lilian often took Lesley to Netheravon for safety during this time. Len was in the RAF and had rented a house in Netheravon while he was stationed there. The house was used by most of the family throughout the war. Isabella and William lived there and welcomed all of the mothers with their grandchildren. Phyllis gave birth to Wendy in Salisbury Hospital having travelled in on the bus from Netheravon,

After the war life settled down at Welton Road. Wynne and Jack moved into a house in lower Plumstead towards Lesness Abbey. Deryn Ginno was born in Woolwich in 1946 and while Lilian was in the hospital, Lesley stayed with Wynne and Jack. Playing in the garden one day with Vivian, they found a pile of soot which seemed as good as a sandpit with predictable consequences. The washing and cleaning up was done in a bowl brought into the back garden to protect the house.

Len and Betty lived on Plumstead Common and the two brothers' families grew up together sharing Sunday teas and Christmases together. Len made electronic games like noughts and crosses and a steady hand trial. He also built a very temperamental, early type television. It filled a whole tea trolley with glowing valves and a mesh of wires. The screen was tiny and so a massive magnifying lens was placed over it, making a very narrow field of vision. It was watched eagerly by the children as the picture revolved round and round in snowstorm of interference. Len worked frantically to clear the picture to cries of "leave it!" and "that's better"

Les still played regularly in dance bands at weekends as he had since being a teenager, He shared a small bedroom with Len at Rudd Street and learnt to play the trombone, pushing the slide out of the bedroom window because the room was so small. He had lessons from Royal Artillery bandsmen and became very good on the trumpet. He won a Louis Armstrong silver trumpet in a "Melody Maker" competition. His earnings always helped first his mother and then Lilian to manage the family budget. Music was an important part of family life. Isabella could play the piano and William sang in choruses and groups. Les collected records of all the early jazz bands but most were broken by the shockwave caused by a large bomb that fell in Duncroft Road.

Lesley and Deryn both attended Timbercroft Primary school and Kings-Warren Grammar School. This was the school that Wynne Ginno had won a scholarship to attend. That was before the 1945 Education Act that assured free education for all. Later, Penny and Pat Ginno also went to this school. Pat was much younger and the last few years of her school were disrupted by the change to comprehensive education in London. The Grammar School was joined with the Central and Secondary Modern schools to make a large girls school on the Kings-Warren site The playing fields and gardens were lost as was the ethos, high standards and organisation the others had enjoyed at Kings-Warren. When Lesley went there in 1953 the rules were very strict. Everyone changed their outdoor shoes for indoor shoes when they arrived in the morning. Hats were worn outdoors at all times and eating outdoors in uniform was not allowed. Only walking was allowed in corridors and silence was enforced in classrooms and the library. If Prefects  reported anyone three times they visited the Headmistress as a punishment and no-one enjoyed that!

Isabella was born in 1877 and married when she was 30 years old. Isabella and William returned to Eastbourne after the war. Her parents had lived in Westminster and were quite well to do but both died from illnesses caused by alcoholism and all of the money was gone. Isabel Isabella then lived with her aunt in Eastbourne and worked as a barmaid, which is how she met William. After the war they lived in a basement flat in Upperton Gardens. All of the growing families had summer holidays there during the hardship years, with parents and children in the bedroom and grandparents in a bed in the sitting room. All meals were eaten in the flat and the holiday makers had to walk to and from the beach twice a day. Long distances were walked from Holywell to Princes Park (where Eastbourne ended in those days). All around the streets of Eastbourne there were bombed sites full of flowering buddlias and butterflies. The Hippodrome and Devonshire Park Theatre were open and the beach and parks provided entertainment.

Eventually they moved to live with Tiny and Brian in Bristol, Pinner and Weybridge. William died in Bristol having suffered many years from lungs congested by the dust generated by glass making (his trade). He had owned a share in a glass moulding factory in Charlton, London. ln the 1930's his partner ran of with the proceeds and the family were very hard up for years. Members of the family still have some old moulded glass items he gave them as wedding presents.

Phyllis and Ken moved to Eastbourne, Hampden Park in 1954. They were joined by Tiny and Brian who first had a weekend flat in Meads Road and later a retirement house in Cliff Road. Les and Lilian retired and moved into Moy Avenue, followed by Wynne and Jack. Doris and John sold their large house in Weybridge and had a bungalow built in Paradise Drive where Doris lived for only a few years before her death from cancer. Eventually Les, Phyllis and Wynne all had flats in Beaufort Court, St Leonards Road where they enjoyed each others' company. Sunday morning coffee at Cliff Road carried on for many years with large glasses of whiskey to help "put the World to rights". Wendy Wootton (Phyllis's daughter) has always lived in Eastbourne. Judge Smith (Phoebe's son) moved into a bungalow at Polegate and Lesley Jackson (Leslie's daughter) retired and lives in Eastbourne.

William worked in the Charlton area at glass moulding - this would have been roughly 1907 to 1937. The 1930's were a hard time! Isabella and William brought up their young family in a tiny house in Rudd Street, Woolwich. They were financially hard up but they had happy memories of their childhood. Doris was the oldest. She worked at Liberty's in London and way trained as a tailor. She made most of her mother's and sisters' dresses and, of course, their wedding and bridesmaids dresses. She also planned and made the costumes for plays they put on.

Len was the youngest of the family. He and Les once fixed a long aerial wire from the hose to the top of the washing line pole but also managed to nail Les's pullover to the pole! When Les had some new football boots he slipped them on and rushed into the yard to kick a ball. His dad warned him to tie the laces but too keen to wait he kicked with disastrous results and broke a large window.

William and Isabella struggled to bring up their large family and he was cast out of the marital bed to prevent any more pregnancies. Les remembered going to school at Foxhill school and he was a good student, passing the eleven plus exams. They couldn't afford for him to go to the Grammar School although Wynne was able later to attend Kings-Warren Grammar school on a scholarship. Mondays were laundry days. In a back scullery Isabella had to light a fire under a large metal boiler. Here the clothes, towels and shirts were boiled, rinsed, put through a mangle and hung out to dry. It took all day.

Buying enough food was difficult. They had porridge made with water for breakfast. A large pan of soup was kept heated on a range over the main fire in the back room. Into this were put butchers bone and vegetables bought cheaply at the end of the day in Woolwich market. When they were teenagers, boyfriends and girlfriends were welcomed to the house and they had bread, butter/marge and jam for tea. Phoebe, one of the twins, known as Tiny and later as Tina, had a friend who lived in a house inside Woolwich Arsenal. They were allowed to play inside the Arsenal grounds and one day Tina smuggled a cannonball under her coat and took it home. Panic ensued and the bail was taken back very quickly.

Phoebe and her twin Phyllis joined the Polytechnic Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Here Phyllis met Brian Smith who became Phoebe's husband! Phyllis also met Ken Bryant there and they were married at the beginning of WW2. Les trained as an engineer in Woolwich Arsenal and worked there throughout the war doing fire watch duties and joining the Home Guard. He later described crawling down a hillside somewhere near Shooters Hill with twigs and leaves supposedly camouflaging them. Les managed to pass all of his exams both on leaving school and during his apprenticeship. He worked for a time at Ford's Dagenham factory, He remembered that when the conveyor system broke down the workers were sent out of the factory and all pay was stopped until the line was running again. They used to hang about all day in the hope of work continuing as wages would be low that week. When Les had his 2l birthday he was dismissed because the company would have to pay him a man's wage! His band playing helped to supplement the family budget and he helped his mother a lot at that time.