Liz Hopkins, and Nancy Carter left Archers to come and work for Tom, he took on an apprentice called Rob Darby. The ginger haired lad was only fifteen but keen as mustard to learn how to bake. Tom had him going round all the pubs selling to landlords who turned a small profit from his produce. Tom and Shirley were engaged now and planned to marry the following year but Shirley got pregnant and that brought the wedding forward. Her parents Robert and Ruby Jameson were not happy and told her that she had made her bed now she must lie in it. Tom asked his parents if Shirley could live in with them until they found a place in Charlotte Street. Shirley had a difficult pregnancy; she suffered with terrible morning sickness and cramps in her back right up to the delivery date. Tom paced the floor of Preston Hospital when she was taken in to the ward. He waited over an hour before being allowed to see his wife.
She wasn’t fully dilated and there were concerns for the baby’s safety but Tom reassured her that everything would be fine. Two hours later she was fully dilated and the midwife was called in along with the doctor. Tom held her hand and encouraged her to push when she was being asked by the midwife. Another twenty minutes elapsed and then Tom heard the crying of their first child.
“It’s a boy Mr Taylor said the midwife. Both Tom and Shirley were overjoyed.’
Shirley held the baby in her arms for the first time and the little hand held onto her finger. His blue eyes and a mop of black hair gazed up at her. Instinctively she held the child to her breast and he began to suckle.
“Congratulations to you both said Dr Muir. There were no complications and your baby is perfectly healthy.’ You will have to step outside for a moment though Mr Taylor until we finish up here.’
The baby was taken from Shirley and he was weighed and the time of birth logged.
Do you have a name for him asked the midwife?’
“Yes said Shirley I would like to call him Jeffery, Thomas Taylor.’
“Lovely name said the nurse as she escorted Tom to the waiting room whilst they took care of the afterbirth.
“You can come down to the nursery with me and you can hold your new son.’
“Can I said Tom.’ he followed the nurse down the corridor to a little room where they were wrapping Jeffery up and putting him in a crib.
“You can go in now Mr Taylor.’
Tom sat in the chair beside the crib looking at his son who had now closed his eyes and was sleeping contently.’
He picked him up and held him in his arms for the first time. Tom was full of pride as he looked upon his son. He thought that he looked like Shirley at first then there was certain ways his face moved he could see himself.
It was bloody marvellous he was now a father and he couldn’t have been more pleased. After holding his son for fifteen minutes he stood up and placed him gently back into the crib then went to the phone booth and rang his mother first.
“Mam he said down the phone after dialling the number you have a grandson.
“That is wonderful Tom what weight was he?’
“Nine pounds two ounces.’
“My God that’s a good weight.’ You were only seven pounds nine ounces born.’
“We are calling him Jeffery, Thomas mam.’
“Spelt with a letter G or with a J son.’
“It’s spelt with a J mam.’
You had better ring Shirley’s parents they will be anxious to know.’
“Alright mam see you soon.’