His parents appear to have been hard-working, supported by extended families and keen to combine their assets and skills as business partners. They were well placed.
Both families had reached Middlesex from Buckinghamshire and were taking advantage of the demand for food and drink that arose from the growth of London where buildings were taking over the agricultural land close to Chelsea and the Covent Garden Markets.
In 1913, John Weathers in his book Commercial Gardening wrote:
The mineral water business was also growing.
So Albert Ray was baptised at the less than 20 year-old church, St Paul's Hounslow Heath, on 18th October 1891.
By 1895 Bert, as he was known to his family, had a brother and a sister and they wore the fashion of the day.
All seemed promising for his future.