Went to Handsworth School followed by the West Bromwich School of Art where her headmaster was a Mr Menzies whom she adored. Mr Menzies wanted her to go to the Royal College of Art but she chose instead to get married and put her energies into becoming a wife and mother. Her father, whom she adored, had died by then so she was given away in 1915 by her brother John James at this time she was living at 113 Whitehall Road. After her marriage she moved into 53 Stanford Rd, Handsworth and then in 1929 Ernest was given the opportunity to open a branch of the Caledonian building society in Northampton which he took up and the family moved to 'Norbri' No 76 Park Avenue which they bought as a foundation house. Interestingly 12 months before this (and with no knowledge of the forced move) Gladys had visited a clairvoyant who told her that within 12 months the family would be moving she also said she could see her one son in a white coat (dentist) but couldn't see anything for Norman (who died aged 11). The family stayed in Northampton until the company had to make cut backs by closing the Northampton branch and Ernest was forced to move back to Birmingham buying a property at No 9 Salisbury Rd, Moseley where he died from lung cancer at only 53 and Brian eventually had his dental practice.
Ernest and she had 2 children Norman and Brian. As the youngest child of 7 she was very spoilt and told stories of insisting her cat 'Minnie' ate at the table with her. Her son, Norman, died from peritonitis in 1929 and her husband Ernests death followed 16 years later in 1945 leaving her a widow at 54 when the onus of responsibility of care passed onto her only son Brian who during his time as a dental surgeon in the navy sent money home each month to look after his mother; with this and the money she made from making dolls and kid gloves and selling them to shops such as Harrods and Marshall and Snellgrove (who took everything she could make) she managed to make ends meet
As she became older Brian felt he wanted his mother nearby and he built a bungalow for her called 'Highland' in Poolhead Lane Tanworth-in-Arden almost opposite to where he now lived: 'The Barff'. She eventually died of cancer of the bone marrow in the spare room of Brians home.
Born 24 November 1891 died 22 December 1969
Occupation, Talented artist and seamstress.
Married Ernest Allen July 20 1915 at
St Michaels Parish Church Handsworth