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1961 – 62: Memories of Michael from former girlfriend, “Jazz.”

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Jan. 1st, 1970 | 05:10 am

A lady who knew Michael in the early 1960s found out about the tree planted at Woodchester in his memory, and got in touch through the Forester. She has given me these memories of their time together, to share.

To Michael Alan Gothard, from Jazz

I first met our Michael when I was 16, coming up to 17. It was snowing, and we met in Ken Colyer’s Jazz Club in London. I didn’t wear shoes in those days, and he was also bohemian and quite serious, intelligent and kind, with longish, very blond hair; a person I would think of always as a gentle gentleman.

I was working as a children’s nanny to three youngsters, and lived with the family on the edge of Hampstead Heath. I remember Michael occasionally coming on walks with me and the children to the lake on the Heath.

Other times, on evenings off, I’d go to his café in Kentish Town, NW5. They were a mixed bunch there, mainly teenagers, who, in retrospect, were perhaps a bit deprived. Michael made soup and sandwiches, tea and coffee for them, if my memory serves me right.

Sometimes he seemed very tense.

Wherever we went, he always took me home to where I worked, and we’d sit outside the door and talk for ages.

He came to my mother’s sister, Auntie Kathie, for Christmas. The two sisters, Auntie, in Bournemouth, and Mum, in Surrey, used to do alternate Christmases. Michael was an only child, and to be confronted by five teenagers, a five year-old (who still remembers that Christmas, and Michael) and five adults, must have been daunting for him!

On the train going back to London on either Boxing Day or the day after, he asked me to marry him – I said yes! He said we would have five children, and the first would be a boy, and we’d call him Simon. Back in London, he bought me a beautiful Indian silver bracelet.

bracelet 1

Our relationship foundered, and I went to work as a nanny in Paris, then went hitch-hiking over Europe. Since then, I’ve discovered that before we met, Michael lived in Paris and back-packed through Europe.

Our Michael was a lovely, kind and intelligent gentle man, and I shall never forget him, and the love we shared.

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