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Long time on and off before pairing up


Gill: “We’d known each other since we first met at a in Bristol in 1975, I went there from Aberystwyth.” (Where Gill was living at that time).
Betty: “And that is the conference of which my abiding memory is that on Friday night when we arrived, there were jam sandwiches for tea, and that was fine. And then on Saturday morning, there were jam sandwiches for breakfast and it became clear as the conference went on, that every meal was going to consist of nothing but piles of jam sandwiches.” (laughter)
G: “I remember meeting you, with Sam (Betty's young son) in tow, round the jam sandwich table and we had a brief conversation. Later, when I turned up in Birmingham and I was looking to buy a house I thought it might be useful to have somebody else living in it to help pay the bills and you were one of the people who came to see me as interested. And then we obviously encountered each other after that, but both of us got, about that time, into other relationships. I was with Anne for eleven years, and you were with Barbie for thirteen. After those relationships broke down, we got together, although there was a gap, I don’t remember what year it was.”
B: “Although, because they were open relationships, we were actually involved with each other at intervals while in those relationships as well, and spending time with each other.”
G: “Because we used to take the children on holiday together, and Betty lived just down this road, because I told her there were two houses for sale on our road. I’d been living in and I moved here in ‘83 and you moved in in ’85.”

(Gill and Betty are both ).
B:” We had a celebration of our partnership at our Quaker meeting in 2005. We had trouble when we had our celebration, trying to remember quite how long we’ve been together. We had to keep asking the kids.”
Gill and Betty have six children between them. Gill had two sons by her former husband. Betty had a son, Sam, then fostered Wayne  for a few months . She fostered, and subsequently adopted Rajesh who came as a nine year old in 1983. She took Veena, aged  7  and Harish 9 , blood siblings, in 1985 , and soon afterwards she moved into the same road as Gill. Betty and Gill had taken their children swimming, camping and on holiday together for a number of years before they ‘officially’ got together as a couple.
G: “It’s been a long time. Veena was 14, I think it was February ’91.”

Contributed by: Gill Coffin, 63, Betty Hagglund, 50

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