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Friday, 8 April 2016

A_Z: I Remember....Grandparents & Games

I Remember When.....
Recalling Memories of My Childhood

Sadly I only really knew, as a child my maternal grandfather, so GRANDPARENTS did not play a significant part in my life

We lived some distance away from my father's family in the English Midlands  and only saw my grandmother, aunt and uncles once or at the most twice  a year.  Few in the family had a telephone which was regarded as "for emergencies only".   Sadly hardly any family memorabilia had survived and my father's family remained shadowy.

This is the only photograph I have of my four grandparents - William Danson & Alice Wnglish on the left  and Albert Weston & Mary Barbara Matthews on the right - taken after my parent's wedding in 1938.

 I grew up near my mother's relatives in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.

Grandad - William Danson (1885-1962)was the fifth of ten sons and one daughter of James Danson and Maria Rawcliffe of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.  In 1907 as a 22 year old labourer, he married Alice English,  and then went on to have six children, with baby George dying in infancy. 

During the First World War Grandad fought at the Battleof  Passchendaale and won the Military Medal at Givenchy. He sent back from Flanders a wonderful collection of postcards that remain among my family treasures.   Like many of those who had experienced the horrors of the First World War, he would never talk about this time.  He lost two brothers  during the war - John and George. 

In 1924 the family moved to a new three bedroomed semi-detached house, bought on the deposit of  £67 - I have the receipt.  It looks quite big, but, with only three small bedrooms, it must have still been a squash for parents, three daughters and two sons. 

It was here, as a treat, I was shown the shoebox of old family photographs and memorabilia kept in a cupboard by the fireplace  - the beginning of my ancestral trail.

The front door had a round stained glass window which I though very posh.  Half way up the side wall was a small door which revealed the coal chute  where we liked to see the coal men empty their sacks  down into a small cellar under the stairs. My uncle later took on the hard task of clearing out to create a "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 -  vegetables and fruit grown at the back and with floral displays in the front - the scene for many a family photograph. 

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.

Grandad was a country man at heart and had worked as a cowman  in the Auction Mart in Poulton. I have memories of him taking us I out on Sunday afternoon walks to gather items for the nature table at school and show us rabbit burrows. His weekend treat to us was a bag of pear drops to suck suck on the way home. 

What GAMES did you play at school? I was Nifty at Netball; Hopeless at Hockey; and Terrific At Tennis (no, not really, but I liked to think so!), and Tennis is the one sport I continue to follow, especially during Wimbledom fortnight. 

                                   Copyright © 2016 -  Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved


  1. I didn't know any of my grandparents growing up, which was a shame. In terms of games, I hated gym class and did everything I could do to avoid sports.

    Cheers - Ellen | http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/2016/04/g-is-for-grounding-nancy-drew.html

  2. I love looking back through the old photos from my grandparents younger days, I was fascinated by them as a child and even know I like to get them out now and again and have a look through them all

  3. Lovely post. Particularly enjoyed the description and photo of the house. Family homes hold such stories. Visiting during A to Z Challenge. I am blogging about Ancestors From A to Z. Please stop by!

    Molly of Molly's Canopy

  4. I knew all 4 of my grandparents. I remember playing the board game "Sorry" often one summer when we stayed with my mother's parents. I didn't like gym games either and got into swimming as soon as possible and stayed there. Finding Eliza

  5. I loved seeing the old homestead. I have very fond memories of my grandparents home and would love to see it again today. That's too bad that's the only photograph you have of your grandparents. :(

    As for games: I was great at Dodgeball! Sucked at everything else... :)

    Michele at Angels Bark

  6. I knew all 4 of my grandparents and lived close to both. I was closer to my mother's parents because they lived right next door, and as a result I was at their house as much as at my own.
    Visiting from AtoZ
    Wendy at
    Jollett Etc.

  7. My grandfather died two years (to the day) before I was born and I was the first granddaughter. I have always felt that he was looking over me (and looking out for me).


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