My mother, Edith Florence Tidmarsh, was the younger daughter of a prosperous grocer. Of course he was looked down upon by middle class people as a ‘mere’ tradesman. The mere tradesman, however, sent his daughters to Ladies Finishing School and his eldest son to the Royal Academy of Music in London. The Royal Academy was, in those days, the l89O~s, the leading musical academy in the British Empire. Probably, it is still that today. A younger son, Bert, became a London taxi-driver. Eventually, he owned and operated his own taxi service. He seemed to delight in providing free taxi service for family members. As a child I remember him as one of my nicest uncles. He always had a smile, a pat on the head and a kind word for children. While at Finishing School, my mother learned to play the piano and organ and studied voice. She became a contralto soloist in a church choir and occasionally sang in local concerts. She also became fluent in the French language. This accomplishment was helped by frequent holiday trips to Paris to perfect her new language among French citizens.
Mother’s older brother, Willie, became a professional organist, pianist and composer. Rather odd it seems now, that both my mother and father had brothers named Willie, Accomplished, as Mother’s Willie was, his son, Egerton (Bob to the family) Tidmarsh became an even greater pianist, composer and teacher than his father. At 21 years of age he was appointed a full professor at the Royal Academ7. He was the first (and may still be the only one) to ever attain that honoth’,’4tis compositions were sold all over the world. Uncle Willie Tidmarsh also had an older son and one daughter William and Dorothy. William was considered the black sheep of the family as he deserted a wife and two small children to go to Australia. His father, good man that he was, took over the care of his daughter—in—law and his two grandchildren.
Dorothy Tidmarsh became a teacher of cello at the Royal Academy, but never a full professor like her gifted brother. In addition to her teaching, she played cello in a large orchestra. With her two jobs in music she became quite prosperous. She was also generous with her money and helped many people. For some strange reason she never married