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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Home: 52 Years of Personal Genealogy and History - Week 4.

This is the fourth challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.  Week 4 - Home   

I am the baby - with my Dad in our back garden,  1944
My first home was a rented end-terraced house on the edge of Blackpool, Lancashire.  My memories are of open fires,  and an  icy front room used for special occasions (birthday parties, Christmas plus my piano lessons)  when the fire was lit.     

The kithcen was small and basic,  It was rather dark and gloomy with a solid back door and little light getting in.   A pantry with a cupboard with a mesh door was the primitive fridge!.    Washing (always on a Monday when my mother donned  a cross-over overall and put her hair in a turban),   was done by hand and then put through a mangle to dry either outside on the clothes line or  on an overhead pulley. The other alternative was a steaming clothes horse around the fire.
As the end house of the terrace,  we had plenty of space down the side  for my brother and I to play - he in his  pedal car and myself with my tricyle and doll's pram (I was a very dolly girl and because my mother was a dressmaker, I had the best dressed dolls on the street).  I remember tall  pink and purple lupins in the garden and I pretended they were ladies at a ball and curtseyed and danced to them - but only when my brother was not around to tease me!

It was an event when we heard the rag and bone man passing by on his horse and cart.  We also had a lorry coming around selling drinks and it was a treat was to get  in a stone jar sasparella- a forerunner of Coca Cola? 

We were one of the first people to get a televions in 1953, so the house was crowded around it to watch the Queen's Coronation.  We also got a phone then, largely because my father worked away a lot and it was a way to keep in touch - so we felt we were living a modern life in the new Elizabethan age.
My "second" home was my grandfather's house, (right) which he bought in 1924 - I have the receipt for the deposit of £67.   It looks quite big, but, with only three small bedrooms, it must have still been a squash for parents, 3 daughters and two sons who all lived at home until they married. The front door had a round stained glass window which I thought was very posh.  Half way up the side wall was a small door which revealed the coal shute where the coal men emptied  their sacks down into a small cellar under the stairs. My uncle later took on the hard task to clear it all out to create a much needed "glory hole". The side trellissed gate was later taken down and a driveway created to take my uncle's car.  The former hen house at the back then became the garage.  The large gardens were my grandfather's and later uncle's joy - with floral displays in the  front and vegetables and fruit  grown at the back.  There was one surprising feature about the house, though - it did not have electricity until the late 1950's, because my grandfather refused to have it installed. I remember my aunt standing on a chair to light the ceiling gas lights, and ironing with a heated flat iron, and the flames from the gas cooker frightened me.

Home 1956-1961 at Upper Poppleton, near York.
In 1954 we moved to our own semi-detached house not far away and my mother was delighted to have a Rayburn - a solid fuel cooker which she loved for making stews, soups, casseroles and baking.

Two yaars later my father was transferred from Lancashire to Yorkshire,  where we lived near York in  a lovely named village  - Upper Poppleton - complete with a village green and maypole.  This home  (left)  was going up in the world - a new build and detached. Instead of the two small downstairs rooms we now had a through lounge and fitted carpets and cumberstone storage heaters to get at least some background heating.  From the outside it hasn't changed much when this photograph was taken  a few years ago.

1961 saw another move, this time north  to Edinburgh to a lovely  bungalow and our first central heating - bliss!  The colour scheme was rather strong - red units in the  kitchen and a bathroom with a yellow suite and black tiles, which my mother  could not wait to get rid of.  This was the last of my childhood homes, with my parents moving again in 1970 - but all left me with happy memories I am pleased to share here. .  

52 Weeks Personal Genealogy and History

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post! I really enjoyed reading about your family's homes through the years. Thank you for participating in my 52-week series!


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