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Elsie's parents, Ada (Nee Horton) and Tom Ford.

Promotional photo of Elsie
with saxophone.


" A Life of Music "

Chapter 1
"Childhood Memories"

I was born in Crewe, Cheshire, on 18 July 1915, in a little terraced house in Ludford Street.

My father, Thomas Powys Ford (Tom), was a railway man. In those days, every man in Crewe was a railway man; there was nothing else. We don't know very much about his family; his mother died when he was six and his father married again, so he had a stepmother who didn't care about him because she soon had a family of her own.

My father was a musician. The music must have come down through the Ford family, because his stepbrother was musical; he was a cellist and he lived in London on a barge on the Thames. But we never had much to do with him; we didn't go to London, it was miles away as far as we were concerned.

My father taught both my brothers to play the cello. From the age of fourteen, my eldest brother, Allen, played in the local cinema for the silent movies. Later, he was a founder member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra when it started in 1931.

My other brother, Frank, also played the cello. My sister, Marion (Marie), who's between the two boys, never left home; she played the piano and became a piano teacher in Crewe and stayed there all her life.