Slade's Dave Hill: My parents faked their wedding
Slade guitarist Dave Hill's life has been packed with ups, downs – and the downright bizarre.
In his new autubiography So Here It is, he reveals one of the most curious facts of them all – that his parents staged a fake wedding when they discovered he was on the way.
His father Jack Hill already had a failed first marriage behind him and his mother Dorothy had had a child out of wedlock before the pair met.
They couldn't get married because Jack's wife wouldn't give him a divorce.
So when Dorothy became pregnant with Dave, they decided to move to another part of the country, Devon, where people assumed they were married.
After a while the pair wanted to move back to the Midlands where all their relatives lived, so for the sake of the family album, they staged a mock wedding at a register office – with everyone barred from going inside.
Dave says: "They went in alone – none of their guests went in to see the ceremony. When they came out, Mom had a wedding ring on. I'd have thought that would make everybody suspicious but either they turned a blind eye or people were a lot more trusting 70 years ago than they are now.
"It's incredible. I only discovered that they did this quite recently."
He said birthdays and anniversaries were never talked about at home, and whenever his sister Carol raised the subject of their parents' wedding anniversary, she was told she didn't need to know.
His mother also kept her first-born daughter a secret from her husband for years. Jean, who suffered from epilepsy, lived with an aunt. He found out about her only after confronting his wife because he suspected she was having an affair.
Instead she was leaving the house each night to ring Jean from a telephone box. Dave says: "I was already two or three years old but this was the first he knew of it. From there Dad had a fantastic relationship with Jean."