Freda Aldous
(later Freda Fidler and Freda Lomas)

Freda Aldous was the first child of Addie and Fred, born 23rd May 1919 at Levenhulme, Manchester. She was named after both her father, Fred, and her mother, Adelaide.

She was a very good baby and was no trouble for her Mum. Freda had dimples and the "Aldous gap”, referring to the gap between the two front teeth.

The family came into Christian Science when Freda was six years old and soon after she gave a testimony in gratitude for a healing of chilblains which she said she had had “all her life”! Freda became a dedicated Christian Scientist and later an active member in her local branch church.

Freda went to Sherbook School which was a Christian Science School started in Buxton by Mrs Dorothy Greaves.

Freda 1922 at Homestead

Freda later attended Cavendish Grammar School in Buxton, which was founded in 1906. She went on Cavendish Guide Camps; to Filey in 1933 and to Salcombe in 1934 with about sixteen other guides. In 1936 and 1937, Freda went as a Cavendish Ranger on a houseboat holiday to Salcombe with about eight others. The boat was called “The Mary Rose”. They did some rowing and cooking. Freda left Cavendish in 1937 when she was eighteen.

Forty years later, Freda wrote about her time at Cavendish saying:

" I was painfully shy and gawky and my woollen stockings were always falling down or twisting round my legs (why ever hadn't they thought of tights?) and my hair was continually falling out of my slide and how difficult it was to know what to say and even whether to or not - but the staff and everyone were kind and helpful, and from the beginning there were friends.

Guides and Rangers were a highlight. We had meetings every week and then camp in the Summer holidays. The first Guide camp I went to was at Filey with Miss Hodgson and Miss Gittings, when my best Guide hat blew off on Filey Brigg never to be found. Then we had a camp at Salcombe with Miss Saunders and Miss Abbott (where I dipped the cheese dreams in milk and wondered why they wouldn't fry right!)

When we were Rangers we had two wonderful "camps" on the Houseboat "Mary Rose" in Salcombe estuary. Those were unforgettable times - learning to row, camp fires on various beaches (with a packet of Lux for Mr. Chadderblane, to prevent the sausage skins from shrinking) working a Primus stove, diving into the sea from the deck of the "Mary Rose", going fishing with Mr. Saunders and bringing back mackerel and pollock which we ate for breakfast; going out to Start Point at the crack of dawn to try to catch sight of the Queen Mary, but it was too misty; and cream teas!

The girl still in me quite dances remembering all these happenings and some of the day to day events of the school time table; and travelling on the train, doing last-minute homework, playtimes; corridors; cloakrooms; making too much noise - and exams. I am glad that I passed all the exams I needed and that many subjects learned at Cavendish started an interest that has gone on growing."

Freda attended Teacher Training College in Derby from September 1937 to June 1939. When she was at Derby, she lived with the Clarke family who were Christian Scientists and their daughter, Winnie Clarke, was her friend from her class at the College. Winnie later became a Headmistress and was one of Freda’s greatest friends.

While she as away at college, her baby sister, Rosalind, was born in October 1938. Freda was nineteen-years-old at the time. At breaks from college and afterwards, Freda was like a second mother to her sister. She looked after Rosalind, bathing her and caring for her.

Freda had a party to celebrate her 21st birthday, on 23rd May 1940. Dot, remembers the day:

"In 1940, Freda celebrated her 21st birthday. We had a great party at home, lots of folk came and we had a concert and a band! Jack was on drums and the piano accordion. Dave played the trumpet. Mr Brocklehurst, who was Freda’s violin teacher, conducted and accompanied on the piano and the xylophone. His son, Brian Brocklehurst, played the guitar (Brian later in life became a famous jazz player on the double bass.) Freda accompanied the band. At one point I remember I played the piano - was it “In the Mood”? Not sure. I always thought that Al was on the drums some of the time (we were not mentioned on the programme which I still have). Lots of friends and cousins were there, it was a great day."

Friends and family included Dot, Chris, Alan, David, Mr and Mrs Harrison, Amy and Jim Lomas, Joan, Auntie Alice, her Mum, Dad and Grandma., Freda's sister,


Freda became a school teacher. She had beautifully clear, round, handwriting.  She was a resident mistress at Taxal Lodge School. In May 1950, she became an Infant teacher at Kettleshume School.

Freda taught at Vernon Park, Stockport. She usually taught 5-6 year olds. She once taught at another school in Stockport for a short while, where there were 60 in a class. She taught at Rainow School latterly, but did not get on well with the Headmaster who had “modern ideas”.

Freda learnt to drive and acquired a small, black, Austin 8 (license plate: CVM 87). In 1947, when Freda had not long learned to drive, she drove her family to Cornwall. There were five of them in the car; her parents, sister Dot, and sister Ros (who sat on a tin between the front and back seats).

After that, Freda always had a car. Freda did not drive fast! She liked to give people lifts. She took her mum and dad to see Ros when she was at Ackworth boarding school. Freda would often give lifts to people wanting to go to Christian Science lectures in Stockport, Chesterfield and Derby.

Freda met her future husband, Sampson Boothby Fidler, through teaching at Kettleshume School. They went dancing together in the Village Hall. Freda and Sam got engaged March 1952. Freda's niece Jane was born that same month.

On May 8th 1952, Sam’s mother died.

Auntie Freda
Freda & Sam Fidler
Sampson Boothy Fidler
b. 19 November 1912
d. 7 September 1972
Freda Aldous
b. 23 May 1919
Levenshulme, Manchester
d. 8 June 1996
Buxton, Derbyshire
25 July 1952
St James' Church, Taxal

{Click here to download Freda's family tree}
Alan Fidler, Rosalind, Winnie Fidler, ?, Sam, Freda, Addie, Lily, Jack, Fred, Dot, David, ?, Alan


Sam and Freda married at 3pm on Friday 25th July 1952 (St James’ Day) at St James’ Church in Taxal (Taxal Parish Church). Her sisters, Dorothy and Rosalind, were bridesmaids. Her brothers, Alan and David, and her cousin, Frederick Thornley, were groomsmen. Her brother Jack took a cine film. F.W. Studios in Chapel-en-le-Frith were their photographers.

About 130 guests attended the reception at the War Memorial Hall, Kettleshulme. They had a three-tiered cake. Some of the guests included her Grandmother Lily, parents, Auntie Dora, Auntie Alice, Auntie Annie, Auntie Ciss and Uncle Lew and cousin Pat, her brother Jack and sister-in-law Joan and Joan's mother (Mrs Drabble), her nephews Michael and John, her brother David and sister-in-law Marjorie, and Marjorie's mother (Mrs Perkins), her cousin Maureen, family friends Charles and Miriam Harrison.

Freda and Sam spent their honeymoon in Torquay, Devon, from 25th July to 10th August. They went swimming in the sea. Freda really enjoyed swimming.

Freda loved being married. At first, they lived at Oaklands with her parents but soon moved to Sam’s cottage in Kettleshulme, “Ely Fold”, which had been Sam's mother's house. It was not ideal (as it was small and had a chemical toilet), but she coped well. They had a dog called George.

Sam was born 19th November 1912. He was the youngest son of Mr G.A. and Mrs Susannah Fidler. He was a printer with Peak Press in 1955 and with Vernon Press in Chapel; he did hand compositing. He was a careful, steady, honest and good person.


Although Freda never had children. she was very close to her nephew, Nigel, who was only young when they were newly-weds.

When her brother, Alan, passed on in 1966, Freda gave up teaching and started to work at the family business, Fred Aldous Ltd. Alan had been Managing Director and the firm needed help. She did sterling work for the firm, eventually becoming a Director.

After Karen was born in 1968, Freda would visit her sister, Rosalind, and family at 34 Chantry Lane in Disley after work, before she went home. Each morning, Freda would drive from Kettleshulme to Disley station and leave her car there, and catch the train to Manchester to go to work at Fred Aldous Ltd.

Freda and Sam had a bungalow built in Kettleshume on Paddock Lane, which they called "Reedsvale".

They liked to have family parties and gatherings. Every Christmas, there were family gatherings at their house. Freda loved having the family round and she always took photographs. Freda’s mum and dad’s Golden Wedding Anniversary party was held there in 1968. Another notable gathering was a bank holiday in August 1972, at which family bunch photos were taken (one by Ros and one by Peter).

Freda taking photos  

Soon afterwards, Sam and Fred both passed on within a week of one another in September 1972 (7th and 15th respectively).

Sam died 7th September and a service was held 13th September at St James’ Church in Taxal. Psalm 23 was read and the hymn “Jerusalem the golden” was sung. Freda and Sam had been married for twenty years. Freda was very grateful for the years she had with him.

Freda moved into Limehurst in Buxton to live with her Mum, after they both lost their husbands. They were very good pals and Auntie Freda was a wonderful help to her mum. They lived together for ten years, until Addie passed on in 1982.

Here are Addie and Freda in the lounge at Limehurst, 2 Manchester Road, Buxton.

Freda became close to Jim Lomas when they were First and Second Readers together at the Buxton Christian Science Church, on Holker Road. Jim had been a great friend of the family for many years when he was married to Amy (from 29th April 1939 until she passed on in 1982).
Freda & Jim Lomas
James Lomas (Jim)
b. 24 February 1901
d. 1 January 1994
Bathford, Bath
Freda Aldous
b. 23 May 1919
Levenshulme, Manchester
d. 8 June 1996
Buxton, Derbyshire
20 February 1983
Brierley Green, Chinley

On 20th February 1983, Freda married James Lomas (Jim) at Brierley Green, near Chinley.

Jim had been an industrial chemist. He was very interested in the weather and kept records of rainfall and temperature. He liked three teaspoons of sugar in his tea. Jim loved rice pudding.

At one time, she did quite a lot of knitting and even got a knitting machine.

Freda was often busy with teaching work and with Christian Science work.

Freda used to have a sleep after lunch. She never liked tea and would drink a cup of hot water after her rest.

Family was so important to Auntie Freda and she was the one who kept family members in touch with one another and communicated news of the families. She was always interested in all of us and kept us informed of each other

She was a wonderful correspondent, keeping in touch with family and friends with lovely letters in her very particular hand-writing. Freda never forgot a birthday or anniversary and must have sent out thousands of cards in her lifetime. Freda probably sent out about three hundred Christmas cards; it was a very large undertaking.

Freda held reunions for staff of Vernon Park School and for old Sherbrookians for many years.

Freda kept a diary for many, many years. She kept albums of photos and memorabilia. Her interest in the family led her to research her family history and she created family trees and began to write out the story of the Aldous family for her niece, Karen.

Freda continued to live at 2, Limehurst at 5 Manchester Road in Buxton. Her bedroom was green and up a few stairs from the lounge. Freda's favourite colour was green.

Auntie Freda had quite a wonderful sense of humour. She also could tell really good stories because she had a brilliant memory.

Freda had special “Freda” words and sayings which were part of her uniqueness:

“Bunch”: to gather for a photo, or take a photo
“Wuzzle/Give it a wuz": to quickly have a run around to clean or dust
“Snackeral”: a mini snack
“Bob into town”: go into Buxton
“Bob down”: go to bed
“You’re a rum ‘un”: you’re a tinker
“It’s been continuous Chinese”: meaning doing lots of washing like a Chinese laundry
“Flop doodle”: to flake out
“What a caper!”
“That’s the very IT!”
“You’re lovely!”

She would say about "snow" that it was "sometimes beautiful, always erroneous" (quoting from Mrs Eddy's writings).

In 1995, Freda went on an amazing holiday to visit relatives in New Zealand. It was a surprise gift from her family. She left 23rd February and returned 13th April. It was wonderful for her to meet up with relatives she had been corresponding with for years. Freda had a few days in Los Angeles on the way out there to stay with Karen. On the way back, she stopped in New Jersey to stay with Nick, Sufia and family.

Freda was a very special lady to all who knew her.

On 8th June 1996, Freda passed on peacefully at home, at 2 Limehurst, Buxton, in Derbyshire. Freda's ashes are with Jim and Amy Lomas at Chinley Independent Chapel, Derbyshire.