Flitton Family History Chapter 7
The following is a sketchy and draft outline put together by Bob Flitton in the mid 1990s.
GLADYS AND THOSE FLITTON BOYS
Charlie met the Balls younger sister, Gladys in 1913 when she was 3 years old. Her parents, Samuel and Mary Ball, were chicken farmers living down the street from the Flitton home. Gladys, a student at Strawberry Vale for 2 years, later enrolled at St. Anne’s Academy. “I was able to start taking her out after I had a car in 1925. I was 16”, Charlie recalls. Mary was opposed to Gladys going out with “those Flitton boys.” Charlie worked at the time at Bapco Paints cleaning turpentine bottles. “I dropped the handle to the machine one day and steam blew everywhere. It made a mess of the office below. I was paid $7.00 for a 40 hour week. I then went to work for CPS Lumber Mill near Bay Street, after which I worked at a mill in Colwood for 40 cents and hour.
“I got a chauffeurs license in ’25 and drove bus for Rastus Rowan’s Yellow Rose line from in front of where the BC Museum sits today near the Empress Hotel. My father had a motor launch that he sometimes tied up in front of the Empress. It was twenty four feet long, large enough for a number of us to go for a picnic on a Sunday. It often sunk during rain storms.”
“We would pass the hotel at Parsons Bridge (the Six Mile Hotel) to go to the horse races at the track in Colwood (behind the current Juan De Fuca Recreation Centre). We went to the races with the Hulls. I remember Goldstream Road with concrete sections that were bumpy and made a clickity-click sound when you drove on them. Harry Hague, Archie McKinnon and I went to the YMCA together. Archie was a well known swimming instructor and taught me (and Jack) to swim. His parents had a store on Pandora Street. We shopped at Wellburn’s at Cook and Pandora.”
“My family purchased clothing at Spencer’s on Douglas and clothing seconds from Turner Wholesalers. McCloys Auction where GAD did much of his buying, was located at Blanshard and Pandora. We went along the railway tracks every July to pick blackberries for winter. If we got back with a blue tongue, GAD gave us hell. Once he came with us but walked into a yellow jacket nest and got stung on his bald head and his head swelled something terrible.”
Agnes and Jack picked crates of raspberries when they were 8 and 9 to earn money. Jack saved his money while the others spent theirs on penny candies at Scafes Store. Charlie bought his first bicycle for $12.50 from Jakey Aaronson but it had been painted hiding cracks in the frame and the bike fell apart, so he had to buy another at an auction. He and Agnes received $2 each Christmas from the Millers and that helped. Jack wanted a train, but when Christmas came, his Dad gave him a cast iron train with no wheels instead of the long wind-up model. “I was disappointed. Later, he gave me a steam engine, but he wanted to play with it”. Josephine took the family to the Gorge for swims, to the Japanese Gardens and to May Day celebrations. “When we went to Strawberry Vale by horse and buggy, the horses stopped at ‘Five Corners’ (later the ‘Round-About’) at Government and Hillside where a drinking trough was located. We rode along Burnside to Granville and onto our 5 acres at Charlton.” GAD bought Josephine china from Levy Brothers after it went broke. The plates were large English china platters.
John Fry, the Chief of Police, and Sgt. Bolton often came by the store to enjoy a Players tailor-made or Odgen roll-your-own cigarette. Winifred fell from a tree as a child and broke both wrists. Josephine splinted the arms with sticks of wood. Win, later after winning a beauty contest, went north to Prince Rupert to live with her Uncle Robert Sims. Because of a Smallpox scare at the time, she was vaccinated before leaving. On arrival in Prince Rupert, she went to the hospital to have surgery on her diseased ovaries, but contracted an illness due to Smallpox complications and nearly died. She was never able to bear children. Win married a “no good army man” named Jim Cool. He was later transferred to the east and refused to go. The marriage was annulled and she went to work at a store where the Greek owner wanted to marry her. She had a relationship with Stan Dyed for years.