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Video/Gallery: Beryl Willson moved into her Ipswich home the day before war began...and it’s still home sweet home!

09:01 28 August 2014

Beryl Willson will have lived at her house in Ipswich for 75 years on September 2.

Beryl Willson will have lived at her house in Ipswich for 75 years on September 2.

The outbreak of the Second World War is a date that few who lived through it will ever forget.


For Beryl Willson, who was four at the time, it holds more significance than most – as it came the day after she moved into her new home in Ipswich.

Today, as the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of war approaches, Mrs Willson, 79, still lives in that home near Bramford Road, with five generations of family memories to share.

“It’s been a very happy home,” she said. “I like to call it a home rather than a house – it’s been a joyous place, a musical place and people always say they feel calm when they walk through the door.”

Built in 1935, the year Mrs Willson was born, the house was bought by her parents Mason and Maud Garrard on September 2, 1939, for £375. With the outbreak of war the following day, Mr Garrard joined the RAF, serving in Canada and Palestine before his return, which marked one of Mrs Willson’s happiest memories in the home.

“It was a real time for rejoicing,” she said. “We just loved him so much and couldn’t believe that he was home for good.”

Growing up with her brother David, 76, and sister Veronica, 66, Mrs Willson said it was a more innocent time, when children walked to school on their own and neighbours looked out for one another.

After marrying, Mrs Willson and her husband John bought the home from her parents for £2,000 in 1961, where they raised their own family, with daughter Rosalyn and son Nigel.

Over the years, new housing estates were built, neighbours came and went, but Mrs Willson and her family felt no desire to move although there have been several extensions built.

“We’ve been very happy here and we’ve never wanted to move. We’ve had good neighbours and we found that if we are friendly to people, they are friendly to us,” she said.

Although Mrs Willson’s husband died earlier this year, she is still regularly visited her children, grandchildren and great children.

“They all love coming here and I like their company,” she said,

“I would like to think that one of them keeps the house when something happens to me.”

Do you know anyone who has lived in their home for as long as Mrs Willson? Email



  • a lot of parents would not take the money of their children .nice story though.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Lovely story . My wife was born in our house and we did similarly and bought the house of her parents . This is what houses are for , not for Investors to make money on . There are plenty of other properties to buy ! At then rate house prices have gone up over the last 20 years people won't be able to have stories like this one ion the future . Some controls need to be put in place ?

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

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