Edwin Henry Meadows, Jeff and Roger’s dad, was born at Arden, Parkhurst Road, Bexley on 16 November 1906. He describes himself as ‘a very shy boy’ and ‘not a bright scholar’. He writes: “My first school was Upton College at Bexley Heath where I got the cane almost daily for my bad writing (I was left-handed and had much difficulty managing a spluttery pen in my right hand).” And later: “Dartford Grammer School meant cycling across Dartford Heath and to help me speed along I used to hang onto the backs of lorries which in those days seldom did more than 20 mph.” He speaks of ’several clashes with authority’ and it appears his father interceded more than once on his behalf finally removing him from Dartford Grammer over a perceived injustice. His education ended when the family moved to Beech in 1922.
Edwin Henry married Joan Audrey Powell, known as Peg, at St Lawrence Church in Alton on 25 March 1940. They had met a rehearsal for a production of Aladdin, adapted and produced by ‘The Two Eds’: Eddie Meadows and his friend Ed Plomer. Peg’s first words to her future husband were: “I am here, O my master”. The performance at the Assembly Rooms in Alton was on Peg’s 19th birthday. See poster.
Edwin Henry’s own family knew him only as Whisk. He and Peg had two boys: Jeffrey Powell Meadows was born in Holybourne on July 9th 1943 and Roger Powell Meadows on January 25th 1949.
Whisk was an enthusiastic photographer and much of the material on this website comes from his notes. He was a wireless technician in WW2. He and Peg kept an electrical shop in Lenten Street, Alton from shortly after the war until his untimely death in a train accident in Portugal on February 13 1979.
Peg passed away peacefully at home on April 29th 2019. She was 100 years old. See Peg’s pages
‘Meadows Radio Service’ moved to Lenten Street and became just ‘Meadows’ and then ‘The Lampshade Shop’. Whisk was well known for his ads in the local paper. Here are a few of them. Click to enlarge.