Monday, 17 November 2008

grayshott days

Here is my mum just before WW2 with Ben (the doggie). And here is Granny, Mum and Ben in the garden at at Jubilee Cottage in Grayshott, a village in Hampshire, England - about 40 miles north of the Royal Navy base in Portsmouth.

These pictures are of Uncle John, Granny and Ben at Hillview. Granny worked at Hillview. Uncle John worked as a telegraph boy before the war. That job was considered an essential service and so he was expected to keep working for the post office until he was called up.

Uncle John had a band before the war. Uncle John played the accordion and the trumpet player was Toby. They played at dances in Grayshott and the villages and towns close by. All the men were called up (John and the drummer to the army and Toby to the navy) but Grandad kept the band going while they were away. He did not play an instrument but he booked the gigs and hired replacement players. The pianist was not called up and stayed with the band all through the war. Whenever any original band members were home on leave, they came to visit Granny and Grandad, snack on Scotch pancakes and jam, and play in the band. All three returned more or less safely at the end of the war and the Playtimers were able to continue as before.

Mum was allowed to go the dances even though she was quite young because her dad was there to look out for her. In this photo she is 13 -- this is what she wore as a bridesmaid that year. We do not have a picture of her dressed for the dance. Once a neighbour, a local store owner, told Granny that Mum had been kissing a boy in her doorway after the dance but Granny knew it was not true because Mum had been walking home with Grandad at the time. For once she had an alibi! Neighbours often told Granny tales about Mum -- especially the Miss Maules who ran the library at the crossroads and could keep an eye on all goings on from their second storey window.

1 comment:

TellingTales said...

Wow! You've been busy! Looks great.

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