Posts Tagged ‘family memories’

Great Granny lived here

May 6, 2016

My wife was lucky enough to have truly known her great granny. Great Granny had been born in 1857 which made her a venerable old lady as remembered by my wife. She may have been born in Gloucestershire, but she was a long term resident in Cornwall, mostly in Redruth where she raised her family and then living with a daughter in St Austell.

Back in 1989 we took a look at the house on Poltair Road in St Austell.


That was it, with my wife standing in front. The

photo, pre digital of course, is stuck in an album and my wife wrote a note underneath it.


Great Granny, apparently, said that had she known she was going to live so long she’d have changed out of the long black dresses. She was just short of 101 when she died.

And here we see a group outside the same house in about 1952.

image006Great Granny is at the back left with Great Aunty Dolly holding the little girl who is now my wife. The man in the photo was my wife’s father and we do not know who the other lady is.


The Quarter Mile Field

March 26, 2016

My dad died in November 1996. Ten years on we had a family get together and took a walk that Dad would have taken many a time.

And here’s a group of us setting off.


I can recognise siblings, children nieces, wife, cousin, great nephew etc in that photo. I took it so I’m not in it.

The walk was from (more or less) my childhood home and it took us to the Quarter Mile Field.

image004This field is said to be a quarter of a mile long. And that is about right. In my young days it had always been pasture but now it has come under the plough. Of course, in animal drawn plough days the field was too long. A furlong – the length taken between rests for a horse plough, is an eighth of a mile.

Here are some of the men folk traversing ‘the quarter mile’.

image006Twenty years will have passed since Dad’s death this year. Maybe time to mark it again.

Battered but beautiful

November 24, 2015

Can an old dictionary be beautiful? Probably not in any normal sense, but this one has beautiful history attached to it.

image002We can see from the front of it that this book has seen plenty of use and has also seen better days. We have to look at the spine to see what we have.


This is the modern universal dictionary and world atlas. The question is, when was it modern for it certainly isn’t in 2015. Maybe a picture inside can give a clue. There are several black and white whole page photos in this dictionary and some of them show modern items. There is a photo of the Queen Mary Ship which was launched in 1934, a photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge which was completed in 1932 but I have chosen one of the London Television Station at Alexandra Palace which came into use in 1936 and then ceased to operate during World War Two.


But the give-away for date is the bookplate stuck in the front.


This was a prize awarded for proficiency in the knowledge of Holy Scripture and it was awarded to Violet Ware in May 1938.

Violet Ware was my mother and it is this plate that makes the book beautiful in my eyes. It also tells us this book was modern 75 years ago. Mum grew up in Tonbridge which was at the heart of the area this prize was for.

My mum died almost 50 years ago when I was still a youngster so I really treasure these odd snippets of her early life.


The Old Sow

November 15, 2015

My dad, a true man of Sussex, was inclined, if ever the opportunity arose, to put on his best Sussex accent and sing, ‘The Old Sow’. You could say this song was his party piece.

During my childhood I never heard it anywhere else. It was only as I started collecting 78 rpm records that I came across Albert Richardson singing it. To be honest, I thought my dad did it better.

When my late sister was trading, she came across the record and also some fairly modern sheet music for this song.


image004Altogether there are eight verses which get the piglets onto the breakfast table! It isn’t a song for vegetarians!

The record is the one mentioned on the music front – a Zonophone variant.


The sheet music has chords for a ukulele but Albert, like my dad, sang it unaccompanied.

You can see and hear my old HMV gramophone playing this record by clicking here.



Lost siblings

April 24, 2015

There aren’t many days go past when you don’t think of family members who have died. Recently I got in touch with a new family member – quite a distant half third cousin – and I so wanted to tell my sister about this contact and show photos she sent. But of course, my sister died last year so it can’t be done. Oddly, I don’t feel the same need to share this with my brother. It is 35 years since he died and genealogy wasn’t on the agenda back then. But things happen most days and the thought comes that I might tell one of them about it. So let’s honour those departed siblings today with a picture of them from before my own birth. This photo was taken in 1947. It was taken, of course, by my Dad. image002 The Lloyd loom settee had clearly been moved into the garden at the family home in Wadhurst, Sussex, which was where I was born. Paula, my sister, looks happy to have a brother. He had been born in what is recalled as an awful winter with all sorts of problems, but he looks to have thrived on it and is clearly showing an interest in the world. I remember that settee with affection, too. My dad didn’t quite approve of settees. He claimed that people didn’t use them by choice and that if offered a chance to sit anywhere, they always took a single seater chair. It got replaced by two arm chairs. But of course nothing can replace the brother and sister. Please don’t get any idea that I live a life of sadness though. I don’t. My memory is good and I have lots of good memories. I’ve known my wife for the vast bulk of my life so I have someone I can share most things with. I have no thoughts of having been dealt a lousy hand in life. I think I’ve had a great one.

Mum’s teapot

October 7, 2014

My mum was a tea drinker – and I have followed suit. Mum was not a tea bag user. It was always the packet of loose tea for us. Mum’s preference was for Typhoo. I bullied her, in the late 50s to get Brooke Bond so I could collect the Out into Space tea cards. When money was tighter than usual a Co-op own brand was purchased.

Mum always drank tea black although as a child, I had milk and sugar in mine. Oddly, for it has no connection with my mother, I have dropped both sugar and milk now so I have my tea just like mother did.

Using leaf tea meant using a teapot. There was a ‘tea’ spoon, a perforated spoon with a perforated lid that could be opened and closed. You can still buy them, but clearly my mother never thought much of it. She used the pot. This pot!


It’s made of aluminium, with plastic handle and knob and was used just about all the time. I inherited this for my dad was never a tea drinker and I used it for a while.

But aluminium, rightly or wrongly, started to get a bad press. Some people think it links to forms of dementia. We stopped using the pot and have used china ones for years now.

Not that any aluminium, inside the pot, ever touched the drink. The inside is deeply lined with tannin.


I keep the tea pot purely in remembrance of my mother who died as long ago as 1967.