Hamilton Square Gardens, Birkenhead
Friday was a very strange day. We spent hours in the Pyramids Shopping Centre in Birkenhead at one point, killing time. After trundling round for ages on the possibly visually appealing but very uncomfortable paving for a wheelchair user I felt I was beginning to lose the will to live... But at least I got a pair of cheap purple Crocs clones half price, so not entirely wasted!
We spent part of Friday morning making phone calls to arrange appointments. We rang Mum's solicitor, who was out, in Liverpool for the morning. His clerk, of course, knew already - he is also the Coroner.
We left a message for Mr E, Mum's accountant (also out), and will probably speak to him next week sometime. John thinks it was R that he spoke to, who had dreamed Dad had died - I hope he wasn't troubled by dreams this time round. Guess not, as I think he'd have mentioned it as we met him shortly after Dad's funeral.
John rang the Bereavement Office at Arrowe Park Hospital and arranged to collect Mum's effects. Her new slippers, the clothes she was wearing when admitted, and her wedding ring. They gave us the Doctor's cause of death certificate for the Registrar, and a form for the Funeral Directors, to be signed for the release of Mum's body to them. It was different to when Dad died, as he had to have a post mortem, so the Coroner's Office sorted out the medical certificate I think.
We made a provisional appointment with the Registrar (at Birkenhead Town Hall) to register Mum's Death, dependent on the paperwork being faxed from the Coroner by 3.30, or it would have to be Monday.
After the trundle round the Pyramids, and several phone calls to try and get things sorted we went to Posh Nosh Kitchen in Market Street for some lunch. I first heard about them on the Breakfast Liverpool blog. This is our second visit, we ate there the day we went to register Dad's death. I had the Full English Breakfast that time, and it was very good. Very nice to get Ulster Fry as well as black pudding!
All day breakfast, yum!
John had the Full English Breakfast this time, but I went for double egg and chips. The chips were absolutely superb - the best I have had for years. Crisp and golden on the outside, melty potato in the middle, just perfect. Dunked in runny egg yolk, I felt in heaven.
Double egg and chips (one egg nearly eaten already!)
We had the same seats in the window of Posh Nosh as we did last time. I can't believe I didn't notice this picture on the side of a building across the road on the corner of Henry Street before!
John had a couple of calls while we were eating, stepped outside to take them. We still didn't know if the paperwork would get faxed through in time, but after eating we decided to go to the Town Hall anyway in hopes all would be in order by the time of our appointment.
There was a marriage at the Town Hall when we arrived. We were about an hour early for our appointment, so we took a short walk in Hamilton Square. We sat for a few minutes on a bench, but despite the sunshine the wind was a bit chilly, so after taking a few photos we walked back to the car for John to collect the papers we needed, and then on to the Registrar's Office.
Birkenhead Town Hall
It was comforting to see the circle of life, two happy people and their family embarking on life together, as we went to register a death.
At first we were told that the paperwork hadn't come through, but John had had a phone call from Mr J to say he had faxed it through himself since his clerk had gone home. So they checked the fax machine and then told us to go through.
We met the same Registrar as we had when we registered Dad's death. She was very kind, and told us how much she enjoyed the work she did. While she has to record the sad events of life, she also has the happy aspects - birth and marriage - to record. She was looking forward to Saturday when she would officiate at two marriages. Should you read this, thank you A. for being so approachable and helpful - your kindness is much appreciated.
Then it was on to the Funeral Directors, Charles Stephens on Bebington Road, Bromborough, who looked after Dad's funeral. John signed a lot of papers, and we were helped to write Mum's obituary for the both the Welsh and English editions of the Liverpool Daily Post, and the Wirral Globe (freebie paper).
G and J at Charles Stephens were fantastic when we were dealing with Dad's death and arranging the funeral, and I am confident that they will be as incredibly helpful and kind this time around. But I'm sure that they won't mind me saying that I hope I don't have to deal with them again any time soon! ;-)
Dad and Mum on their honeymoon, September 1947.
I think this might be Clovelly?
Note: updated 5 Nov 2007 to add link to Obituaries for Mum and Dad.