Wednesday 16 October 2013

Week 7 - Book of Me - Grandparents

The Book of Me, Written by You Image - text as stated above a picture of an open book.
This week's prompt for the Book of Me (an online writing project promoted by Julie Goucher of the Angler's Rest blog) is 'Grandparents'. 

We are now into Week 7 and despite looking forward to writing this post I've been putting it off until I had posted something for last week's tricky 'Journals and Diaries' prompt.  As I have never really kept a diary it was a bit difficult to find something to write about ... until my daughter came last weekend to have a poke around in my loft to reclaim some of her old books and DVDs.

The pictures I posted for Week 6 are of badges that I collected over an eight or nine year span from various rock concerts I attended.  It is noticeable that once I married and the children came along this stopped!  We found the strip of material on which I had saved the badges in a box with an old fringed suede jacket and some really fancy black leather and concho'd belts.  Mmm, yummmm! I don't think they fit me any more but it was nice to remember wearing them and having fun!

For the week 7 prompt Julie gave us some further additional questions:
What were their names?
Where were they from?
Were they related? – Cousins perhaps
Where were they born, another Country or state/area
What did they do?
Did you know them?
What was your relationship with them?
If you didn't know them have you researched about them?
My paternal grandparents were Edward Lawrence Hall and Janet Bunn.  If I remember aright my dad used to say his father was called Barney - he didn't know why.  My dad was Edward Lawrence as well and he was called Laurie ... rebelling against awkward family names must just run in the family as I am also known by my middle name!
They were born just a few miles away from each other and my grandmother was a smidgit older than my grandad.  He was born in 1904 in Witton Gilbert, Co Durham and she in 1903 in Langley Park, Co Durham 1.3 miles away according to Google Maps.  They were not related but my grandmother's cousin had married my grandfather's brother three years before my grandparents' married which might have something to do with them meeting - I really don't know.
Grandfather Hall was a coal miner, but the story goes that he left home to join the army after a bit of bother involving my grandmother - I will not go into the details in a public blog.  You can read more about his army career on a previous blog post.  There is also a nice picture of them with their youngest child, my aunt, on that post.
An out door group picture of eight people named in the caption.  Clementina is much older and Peter is a young boy, the ages of the others vary from 45 to late 20s.
Back row: Arthur Bunn, Vera Bunn, Linda Bunn, Henry Bunn
Middle: Henry and Linda's son Peter
Seated: Clementina Bunn, Janet Hall (nee Bunn), E L Hall
I understand that my grandmother Janet or Jessie as she was known was in domestic service before she married.  She picked up a lot of tips about the 'proper' way of doing things that she tried to pass on to her family and children.  She came from a large family, her brothers and their wives and her mum Clementina appear in the picture above.  Grandfather and Jessie married in 1926.

She died before I was born, but my mum says that she knew I was 'on the way' so that's a nice thought.  Despite my grandfather not passing away until I was in my late teens I didn't really know him.  We had moved away when I was only a small child and we did not visit.  He stayed close to his daughter's family and my cousins and they have some fond memories of him which they passed on at a family gathering earlier this year.
My maternal grandparents were William Satchell Hutton and Doris Gibson.  I have written a couple of blog posts about my grandad, one about some of the treasures I found in an old tin box and one about his Home Guard service during the Second World War.   He was born in 1905 in Crook, Co Durham - I visited Crook with the OH some years ago now and walked from there to Witton le Wear searching out family history - you can find those posts here, here and here.  We also visited again this year as I had realised I had been looking in the wrong place for many years for his birth place and now I needed new photos.

My grandma Hutton was born in 1907 in Wallsend, Northumberland (now part of Tyne and Wear).  She hadn't worked - or maybe just a 'little job' in a local shop - I'm not sure about this.  She was the youngest of a large family and her next oldest sister had died in the flu epidemic in 1918, my mum thinks grandma was a bit spoilt by her parents as a result of this.  She met my grandfather when he moved to Wallsend to work in the late 1920s.  I remember her telling me that they used to go to the same tennis club, and I think they may have attended the same church too.  They married in 1931.
Doris and William's Wedding Day
Back row: Jim Hutton, Doris Hutton (nee Gibson), William Hutton
Front row: Jean Hutton, little Irene Nelson, her mum Lily Nelson (nee Gibson)

I knew my Hutton grandparents very well, we actually lived with them for a few months when my father changed jobs - I wrote about their last house, one of my childhood homes, a few weeks ago.  Even after we moved away from the North East we visited them regularly and usually spent Christmas with them and my mum's brother, sister and their families.  I am convinced families are usually matriarchies, with husbands joining their wives families and socialising more with them than their own relatives after marriage.  Note I did say 'usually' I'm not claiming this as an unbreakable rule of course!
Doris and William Hutton enjoying their retirement

Grandad passed away in 1983 - he died of 'Chronic obstructive airway disease', a legacy of his lifelong career down the pits.  Grandma moved to live near my mum and enjoyed another 20 years with her grandchildren and great grandchildren visiting, gadding about on foreign holidays with my parents and generally being everything you might expect of a great grandma!  Their ashes are buried together in the cemetery in the village where my mum still lives.

1 comment:

Alex Daw said...

Lots of food for thought here. Thanks for sharing.