Posts Tagged ‘allotment’

Morecambe and District Allotment Society Show – 1948

March 25, 2014

I never actually had a father in law for he died, suddenly and unexpectedly, when my wife was still but a girlfriend. That meant I knew the man – a real gentleman, kind, considerate and always helpful. He tended a neat and tidy garden but there was no evidence of an enthusiastic vegetable grower. Yet he clearly had been back in those early post World War II days when he was a newly married man.

For a while, he and his wife lived in Morecambe and they obviously had an allotment on which Doug (for that was his name) grew vegetables. Not only that, he entered them in a show.

He’d be pleased to know, I’m sure, that 65 years on his daughter enters in our local show – but that might be another story. Let’s return to that Morecambe show in 1948.

Like anybody else, Doug was a proud winner and maybe that is why he, and then his widow, and then his daughter kept his annotated show schedule from 1948.

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This is the front of the schedule and we can see who the important people were  and the dates and times. At the top Doug has put his name and address and then added ‘1st prize winner 1948’.

Doug was not an overall winner. He won one class and the inside of the schedule shows us what he entered and what he got first prize for.

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He entered beetroot, white cabbage and carrots and got his first prize for the cabbage. Yes, father in law was a champion cabbage grower. Now that’s something we find hard to match. Our own soil is rather light and sandy which is not the best for tight hearted cabbages.

It looks as though he entered some flowers as well, ticked off with his propelling pencil and in his  hallmark diminutive writing.

For completeness let’s see the back of the schedule which carries a couple of adverts. I don’t know Morecambe, so I have no idea if the shops still exist.

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Was Grandad a nerd?

December 9, 2012

I’m sure the answer, really, was no he wasn’t. The view of some was that Grandad’s life was blighted by the first world war. He came home, as far as I know, unharmed in any physical sense. But the ‘land fit for heroes’ was unable to get him his pre-war job back. He’d been a postman. He had some skill as a cobbler and got a poorly paid job doing that. There was certainly poverty, but at least grandad had a job and the wolf was kept from the door.

Grandad took photos. He didn’t have facilities to develop a film, so he got that done at a local shop and then printed his own images – or those he thought were worth the money. I think this one fell into the ‘not worth it’ category, but Grandad kept his negatives which, eventually, were handed to me. I have been able to digitise them and so can see something of my ancestor’s life and that of his family. Of course, negatives are not captionned. It has not always been easy to sort out where photos were taken, let alone why. But as we can see, this shows a railway.

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Now I’m on guesswork. I think this will be near Sidley on the Bexhill West to Crowhurst Line of the old South Eastern and Chatham Railway. I suspect part of the purpose of the photo was to do with the vegetable garden on the left. I know grandad’s brother, Joe, had an allotment somewhere near the railway so it might have been his.

The sign on the right says ‘catch points’. There may be an expert who can recognise that sign and its proximity to an over bridge.

It’s certainly a shame that granddad was unable to get a train in his picture. That would have helped to date it and locate it.

Since I last wrote about the Bexhill West branch, I have located another ticket, probably bought as a souvenir by my dad for it dates from the time of his last trip on the line.

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Sixpence for a journey of slightly over 4 miles sounds laughable today but the adult rate was, no doubt, threepence per mile back then. It would not have seemed cheap in the 1960s.