My mother has always been known for her beautiful flower garden in South-West London, but during the Second World War she worried about finding enough material to maintain her compost heap, the source of her rich garden soil. Kitchen waste such as fruit peelings, vegetable leaves and skins that could not be used for stews […]
One frosty December morning in the 1920s my sister and I were bundled into the cupboard under the stairs while the deed was done. Mother had such tales of chilling drama to tell about almost everything, and on these occasions it was about someone she’d heard of somewhere who’d bodged the job and the bleeding animal had run amok, […]
In 1937 my parents moved to Swindon from Luton when there was a slump in the straw hat trade. My father had managed a Singer Sewing Machine shop in Luton, and all the ‘home-workers’ who had been buying sewing machines and electric motors on hire-purchase returned them when the slump came, father’s income depended on […]
I’M now 92, and I suppose my earliest recollections of Grandfather Preston would have been when I was six or seven and his family celebrated his birthday. At 64 or 65 Grandfather was an old man to our generation, but he still worked at his trade as a boot-maker. I remember playing with the lasts, […]
During the 1930s my childhood in Gatley, Cheshire, was punctuated by the annual grand jam-making festival. Years later I discovered that this primeval event was linked to the yearly fete on the recreational ground alongside Gatley Brook. At the fete many friendships were lost when the results were announced for the best baby award, the […]
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