Grandma

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today.

It’s been 10 years since my Grandma died and she was such a lovely lady.

She was an old school Grandma.  Born in 1907 she died at 96 years old.  I remember her always being a lot older than other peoples grandmas but that was just the way my Grandma was.  She was over 70 when I was born!

She was the second to youngest of 13 and born into a working class family in Tunstall, Stoke on Trent.   She had to leave school at 13 to go to work and trained as a lithographer in the potteries.  I guess that’s partially why my family all have such an affinity with china and always have to check under plates in restaurants to see where it was produced!!

I’m not sure totally how she met my Grandpa, but he was a bank manager and considered out of her league!  His two sisters tried to persuade him against her but they married and had two children before WWII and then two afterwards as Grandpa was in Africa for a lot of the war.   My mum was the youngest born when Grandma was 45 (thus the older than most Grandmas).  I never knew my Grandpa as he died before my parents got married.

She was such a constant in my life and we used to visit every Tuesday whilst growing up.  My parents moved back to the midlands to be nearer our grandparents when I was born as they wanted us to have our Grandparents in our lives.  When she got older and I was working at Wedgwood I would go for my tea once or twice a week and do little jobs for her.   And we had daily visits nearer the end once she had to go into hospital.

She was a very gracious lady and I remember we would get to her house before lunch time to find homemade soup ready on the stove, or sandwiches all made and cut into triangles with fillings like tinned red salmon and cucumber (Grandma would pickle the slices first) mock crab (carrot and cheese mixed with salad cream) and corned beef mashed with ketchup and horse radish, and lots of homemade cake,   Afternoon tea would consist of freshly made drop scones and sitting round the table with a pot of jam and real butter, a tea pot with leaves so we had to remember to use the strainer and proper Royal Albert cups and saucers.   It may seem like a fath now in todays society where a bag in a mug is the norm, but learning to pour tea properly certainly makes a more special occasion.  And when I visited The Ritz for afternoon tea for a friends hen party I was the only one who seemed to know the etiquette behind the ceremony for which I was very thankful to Grandma.

I do feel sad that she never got to meet Steve, or see my wedding, meet Joel or this new baby.  Joel’s middle name of Lewis is for Grandma as that was her maiden name.  She was so supportive of all my extra curricular activities.  She encouraged our music lessons, and thats how I learnt to play the piano and violin.   She loved that I enjoyed guides and the outdoors and singing in choirs.  She always came to my concerts and had strong mints in her handbag to give me afterwards!!

She believed in education and due to having to leave school early to work made time later in her life to make it up and was gaining higher education credits from Keele University to work towards a degree.   She used to go away for writing weekends and loved writing poetry, painting and she had her own little kiln to paint china.   We had many lovely weekends away with her in the Lake District and Wales.

I guess you never stop missing the people who had a big impact in your life.   She was a wonderful Christian lady and helped make me who I am today and I hope that she would be proud of where I am now.

 

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