Memories of large Spalding family, the Roberts

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Does anyone remember the Roberts family of Spalding?

It was a large family of boys and one girl who lived with mum and dad June and Raymond Roberts, first in Willesby Road and then in Cradge Bank – in a house that Ray built, calling it High Hopes after the film.

He was obviously a practical man because Ray also built a boat, June Roberta.

The only girl, Rae, got in touch because her father, who at 86 is still dancing and teaching judo to children (pictured top right), has been diagnosed with cancer. The family is planning a big family get together – which will involve 20 grandchildren and quite a few great grandchildren in addition to all the children and their spouses.

Rae says that June – who died nine years ago – had all nine children in the space of 11 years from 1952 onwards.

They are, in birth order, Christopher, Stuart, Peter, Steven, David, Paul, Rae, Gary and Nigel.

All are still alive and most of them are craftsmen. Rae runs a shop in Battle High Street.

June’s maiden name was Balderson, and she lived as a girl with her family opposite the church and pub in Holbeach. She is aged 11 in the photograph bottom right.

The family moved in 1969 for a new life in Hastings.