James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Marriage & mixed fortunes

Sally and John married at Barnsley Registry Office on 24 October 1970 when Sally was thirty-two. They went to live at Triplinghoes Farm - here Sally kept “Bella”, the horse on which she competed - and Sally got a job with the DHSS in Scunthorpe where she stayed for fifteen years. For over five years John was living at Epworth where they ran an equine centre and Sally was living at Triplinghoes though they saw each other every day. John’s son lived at Triplinghoes with her; they had a riding school there and third one at Berringham.

In 1970, John had been living at Frodingham Grange, Doncaster Road, Gunness. His employer, Norman Jackson, built The Trent Valley Garden Centre on the site of Frodingham Grange Farm. John was appointed its managing director & Sally also worked there. A condition of their employment was that John was should give up his other business interests and they were assured they could live at Triplinghoes as long as they wanted. They sold all their horses, including “Gemma”, the horse Sally was then riding. John travelled the world in his new job, partly to try to improve the Centre’s standing as the tenth best in the world but also to improve its stock; it had a large butterfly house containing species from many countries. Disappointed that it was not rated the best, the owners sold up after about eighteen months – the best eighteen months of her life according to Sally, though she often worked from 7 a.m. to midnight – and, despite the promise, they were forced to leave Triplinghoes.

With some of her inheritance from her mother she bought back “Gemma” but rode her only a few times before her own arthritis made riding impossible and forced her to resell the horse. John went to work for a property firm in London, living in a flat at Tower Bridge and Sally went to live in a run down property that had been empty for years, “The Dwelling House” in Eastoft, Lincolnshire: Sally did it up. John lost all his redundancy money and the money he had made from selling Epworth through unwise investment and loans to friends. He got into terrible debt and fled to Gambia working for this same property company. He simply ignored the financial mess he had left behind him and, though he had not intended to stay, he could not return.