Steve Marriage Jnr
Stephen John Marriage Jnr (1902 - 2000)
Steve Marriage was born on 23rd February 1902 in Bethnal Green. He joined Herbert & Sons in 1915, following his father, who was a scalemaker, into the business. In a letter in 1996 he wrote "I was 13 years of age, and the First World War was in progress”. He was employed in the workshop in St. George in the East on drilling and filing, his weekly earnings 8/- together with 1/3d pocket money for making the tea. For this, he had to work from 8am to 6pm on weekdays, and from 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. He also remembered meeting George Herbert (1842 – 1926).
Steve left the Company in 1918 to work in an armaments factory, rejoining in 1922 in the polishing shop. He was pictured at a Company outing to Margate along with his father and brother around 1930.
He married Emma Sallnow in 1931, and on 6th September 1939 joined the Auxiliary Fire Service as a full time fireman, serving throughout the London ‘Blitz', and restarted with us in June 1945. Emma died in 1951, and in 1952 Steve married for a second time, to Rosa Hooper.
When the Company moved to Haverhill in 1968, Steve decided to stay in London and, as he had already reached the age of 65, retired. However, he did not stop working! He started part-time in Boots in Leytonstone, then moved to a full time job driving a van for a clothing firm.
In 1985 he accompanied Jim and Richard Herbert round the site of our former premises at 47 St George Street, East, which is now a garage forecourt, pointing out in particular the Rose pub which adjoined our building.
Steve kept in touch with regular letters to the Company and always had a gift with the pen. Moving with his wife Rose from Leyton to Dunmow in 1990, he wrote "Seems I have gone from the ridiculous to the sublime after 88 years in London”.
In 1995, he wrote twice saying "I’ve only got two ‘gears’ left, Dead Slow and Stop. Apart from that I’m OK” and also "You know what they say, one door shuts and another opens, and that’s how it will be until one won’t open, and then I will have something to worry about”.
Steve always said "It’s being so cheerful that keeps me going” and he remained cheerful and bright until his death on 20th October 2000 at the age of 98.
Rose Marriage died on 14th January 2020 at the age of 102 - the very last of that generation of the Marriage family.