Posts Tagged ‘mother’

Mother’s early life

June 4, 2015

My mother doesn’t feature, on this blog, as much as my dad. There’s one main reason for this and also a secondary one. The secondary one is that mum died when I was a teenager so I never got an adult’s perspective on her. But the main reason is that I don’t have the same number of resources to base a blog post on.

My mum did not have an easy childhood. I guess her earliest years were much like many a child at the time. She had a complete family. Her dad was a railwayman and I imagine that by the time my mum was born in 1924 he was already a train guard and that meant shift, including night work. My mum had a mum who I never knew, an older sister and then a younger brother. It was soon after the fourth child was born that mum’s mother died. She had cancer and died in 1932 aged 32.

There was no social security or opportunities for care in the community. Her dad had to keep working to support his children and that meant he couldn’t care for them. He was determined they would not be taken away and put in care. For a while, the three eldest children were sent to live with grandma but she found this tough going and so my mum and her younger brother were sent off to an aunt. My uncle described this period as the happiest time of his childhood.

In 1934 the father remarried, my mum and the others gained a stepmother and they could return home.

From all accounts it was not a happy home. Stepmother had little idea on how to cope with children and she gave them a really tough time. No wonder they all left home as soon as possible.

This is one of the very few childhood photos I have of my mum. The year is 1928 and my mum is on the right. The older sister is on the left and younger brother in the middle. He is wearing his dad’s St John’s Ambulance cap.

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It certainly looks quite a jolly photo in the back garden of the house in Tonbridge in Kent where the family lived.

And those three, together with the younger sister, all became parents and managed their children well. The unhappy period in their lives did not affect the next generation.

Some memories of mother

May 3, 2015

My mother died when I was in my teens. Yes, it was a tough time for me, and who knows, it may have had an impact on the rest of my life. But surely one secret of being happy is making the best of things. That doesn’t mean forgetting but it does mean accepting that tough things happen but life is still worth living. I always say that my life, so far, has been good.

Of course I loved my mother dearly and I am delighted to have some physical – actual items – memories of things she did.

During her long fight with cancer, she knitted. Nothing fancy, that I recall, but she made me a very serviceable jumper and of course I still have it.

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It’s in amazing condition, considering how much I wore this. And it is now over fifty years old!

I was so pleased with this one that mum followed it up with one to the same pattern but in white. Back in those teenage days I used to play cricket for local teams and this was a cricket jumper.

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My brother fancied one of these jumpers as well and Mum started on one for him but sadly she never finished it. However, my future mother in law did complete the jumper for him.

My brother died (cancer again) some 35 years ago and that jumper got passed to me. It was hardly worn by either of us.

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I am, of course, delighted to have these memories of both mother and brother.

Now just to be a bit of a nerd! The three photos were taken in the order shown, in the same place, with the same camera and identical settings.

It is interesting to note that the white jumper appears to have a darker background than the darker jumpers. Cameras may not lie, but they may display their own version of the truth!

When a child is born

August 28, 2014

The birth of a grandchild gives an excuse for looking back as well as forward so today I’ll be unashamedly nostalgic and comment on changes.

We’ll start with the youngest photo we have of me.

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I’m already over four months old and was clearly practising my royal wave. New granddaughter is now just over a fortnight old and more photos of her have been taken than were probably taken of me throughout my childhood. This isn’t to be wondered at for changes in technology have meant it costs just about nil to take dozens of photos so you may as well take 100 in the hope of a good one.

But of course, as compared with the late 1940s when I first saw the light of day, people (most of them) now have much more disposable income and there is much more to dispose of it on.

New granddaughter has a self-rocking swing, a Moses basket on rockers, a pram/pushchair etc. etc. – and that’s the norm. My bed in that photo appears to be an old washing basket although this might have been a temporary affair for a photo session.

New granddaughter is lucky enough to have a big brother. I had a big brother and sister and here we are on the same day.

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Garden furniture? No, of course not! That wonderful Lloyd Loom chair was one of our house chairs, carried out for the occasion. These days people have lavish garden furniture, purpose made.

But despite a paucity of equipment and all things for babies, I had the most wonderful childhood. I had a dad who loved me.

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And a mum who doted on me.

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That remains the most important thing and I’m pleased to say new granddaughter certainly has doting and loving parents.

My mother

July 13, 2014

I have been inspired by Opobs who wrote about his mother’s 90th birthday. My mother would have been 90 this year as well. But she didn’t make it. In fact she didn’t even get half way for she died when she was just 43. In terms of actual birthdays she was only ten and a bit for she was born on a February 29th.

I could say she never had the easiest of lives. Her own mother died when she was just eight. I suspect times had been financially quite hard. Certainly photos are few and far between and not very good quality.

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This photo dates from 1928. Mum is on the right with big sister on the left and little brother in the middle. None of them are with us any more, but a fourth sibling was yet to be born and she is still alive.

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Here we have mum with the same little brother.

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The threesome again. Perhaps this was taken at Margate for they did visit an uncle there. That fourth sibling was adopted by an aunt – she was still a babe in arms when her mother died.

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A school photo of my mother, in about 1935.

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About 1942.

My parents married in 1944. I have no photographic record of this event.

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Parents and my siblings at Southsea in 1951.

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In colour, with dad in 1957

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Christmas 1963. Mum was already ill by then.

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A first grandchild in 1965 – the only one of the six she ever knew.

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On holiday in Somerset in 1966

My dad remarried – a much younger woman. He and second wife celebrated a silver wedding. Two more children were born and my dad ended with ten grandchildren. At the present count he’d have almost 12 great grandchildren – but he died nearly twenty years ago.

Just in case it all sounds like a tale of woe, I think I’ve had a fantastic life so far.