James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Riding and working

Ruth & twins in teens Sally joined the Pony Club; her first success was third place in a gymkhana, wearing a skirt and jacket because she had no jodhpurs. She enjoyed competing in one-day events and show jumping and loved dressage. When she was in her early teens Stella’s mother (she lived with the Danby family for the last six months of her life) and brother bought her 13.2 hands 'Misty'. Her mother saved £1 a week from her Family Allowance and, when Sally was sixteen, bought 'Jenny' to replace 'Misty'.

The twins’ home education was latterly shared between Ruth and an elderly French governess, Madame Germaine Berder, whom they called ‘Jammy’. Sally helped run the household at Skiers Spring Lodge then got a sewing job at a theatrical costumier in Mexborough. After about two years she briefly became a telephonist for the UDC and then a librarian at Mexborough Library for about eighteen months; she lost the job because she had no formal qualifications for advancement (she had failed English Literature O-level but passed English Language). She then spent about two and a half years doing secretarial work at Newton Chambers where she used her knowledge of German.

At the age of twenty-two she went to work as a stable girl at a quite successful racing stables at Messingham. She worked there for about nine years. In the first two years she was in a relationship with the owner of the stables and then, about two years before she left, she met John Robert Donson. He lived at Triplinghoes and worked as a farm secretary for Norman Jackson Farmers Ltd. His marriage, from which there were two children, had failed and it ended in divorce soon afterwards. John also owned a shoot and Sally helped with the breeding of the birds. After leaving the stables Sally was back at home for about two years before getting a job on the factory floor working for Stanley Tools.