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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Grandfather's House: 52 Weeks of Personal History and Genealogy - Wk 31

The topic for Week 31 in Amy Coffin’s and Geneablogger’s 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History series is "Your Grandparent's House"

My "second" home was my grandfather's house on Blackpool Old Road, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, (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 William Danson and Alice English, 3 daughters (Edith, Kathleen and Peggy)  and two sons (Harry and Billy)  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 hatch door which revealed the coal shute where the coal men emptied  their sacks down into a small cellar under the stairs. My uncle Harry later took on the hard task to clear it all out to create a much needed "glory hole".  He also modernised the kitchen and installed French windows in the living  room at the back of the house.

The side trellis 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  productive 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, whilst the flames from the gas cooker frightened me. 

A copper kettle stood in the hearth (open fire) and I was told that had belonged to my great grandmother Maria Danson, nee Rawcliffe (1859-1919).  To the left of the fireplace was a cupboard where a shoebox was kept holding family photographs and memorabilia - many of which I have featured on this blog.  These started me on the family history trail at a young age.

Pride of place in the front room (kept for best) was the piano which I learnt to play on.  The  bookcase held the   family bible recording the marriage of Maria Rawcliffe and James Danson and the birth of their first four  (out of ten) children - entries petered out after that.  Another favourite book which had belonged to my grandmother and was treasured by my mother  was an 1899 edition of "Pride and Prejudice" with delicate pencil drawings protected by flimsy paper.

The front garden was a regular setting for family photographs (see below). 

My  mother was the first of the family to marry in 1938, followed  by her younger sister Peggy who emigrated to Australia and then Billy.  Edith and Harry lived there nearly all their lives until their deaths in 1995 and 2001 when over 70 years of a family home passed away.


            Copyright © 2011 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

  1. Great photos here, Susan. Got your comment on Tonia's blog. I'm answering here and there because I know you'll see it. I think going back to the original blog is best unless there's a long thread that gets started. Then one just has to subscribe, at least for a while, to follow the thread. That's another thing I'm doing.


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