Ruth's extended family
After the war Ruth and family moved to near Culworth in Northants. Ian's father retired to Malton and Ian joined the newly nationalised coal industry. Ruth, Ian and the twins moved to Upper Haugh in the West Riding. The accommodation was fairly squalid and Ruth developed heart trouble – she had minor heart attacks, her speech became slurred she became very cold and weak. Ian was then given the opportunity to live in a lovely, large house 'Skiers Spring Lodge' in Hoyland near Barnsley, Yorkshire. After the move Ruth's health improved slightly but life was not easy for them; Ian was not earning as much as his father had earned and he started drinking heavily which led to money problems.
Ruth decided to give up acting but needed to go back to work. She became Drama Adviser to the prison service (including Wakefield Gaol). She was still involved with the West Riding Youth Drama Group and got some of the youngsters into drama school, which involved writing many letters. One of the people she wrote to was Geoffrey Ost who ran Sheffield Playhouse. He then asked her to act for him and this resulted in her going to London with The H.M. Tenant Company and understudying the great Peggy Ashcroft; they became good friends and Ruth was her understudy on several occasions.
Stella Pettiward was now virtually part of the family and generally ran the home while Ruth was away working. The family included the twins and an ‘adopted’ son, Charles Christopher (b 9 April 1944), and an adopted daughter.
There was also Meg Shuttleworth who, aged thirteen and not getting on well with her own parents, became part of the family - her mother was a well-known writer on mystical matters and a friend of Ruth’s. Adopting Ruth’s name, she became well known as the actress Meg Wynn-Owen through her television work in the 1960s and early 1970s. More recently she appeared in the film, ‘Gosford Park’.