Family, interests & service
Their daughter Janet Margaret Forbes was born at Mardale Nursing Home on 9 May 1944. It was an extremely difficult birth during which Elaine had to be resuscitated and she was advised not to have any more children. However, after a few years, Elaine went to her GP with what he diagnosed as fibroids and by the time the 'fibroids' had kicked nature had to take its course; the birth of her second daughter was without incident.
Elaine devoted herself to her family, little using her acting and artistic talents. Janet's lifelong illness meant she required a great deal of care both in treatment and in coping with her behavioural problems. Despite this Elaine acted and helped paint the scenery with a local amateur drama group, the Fullerian Players, for several years from about 1952; Janet appeared in their production of "How Green Was My Valley". Elaine also painted posters and huge displays for charitable events such as the local March Hares’ Ball and United Charities Bazaar. She delivered 'Meals on Wheels' for a while and for decades was Secretary for her age group collecting news for the WGGS Old Girls News Sheet. The Caledonian Schools invited Elaine to become a Director, a position she held for many years. She also became a Manager of Chater and Cassiobury Primary Schools and subsequently a Governor of the Grammar Schools in Watford.
One regular family activity was horse riding on Sunday mornings, until Janet’s poor health made this impossible. There were also several family pets: a labrador, Dinah, then a lovely golden retriever, Sally, and then a mongrel, Thumper – so named because he had large paws which suggested (wrongly!) he would be a large dog. He cost thirty bob; it cost very much more to replace the fencing that had been taken down after Sally had died! Thumper was such a character and so friendly Elaine always joked that she became known as ‘Thumper’s owner’ on walks in nearby Cassiobury Park. For a while there was also a hamster with a strong nesting instinct; Elaine often had to get behind the very large sideboard to retrieve tufts and reconstitute the carpet. There was also a feral cat for whom a cat-house was built in the garden; she had two kittens and these became quite domesticated.