Sunday, January 28, 2007
A Little Family History
Recently I've enjoyed seeing old photos on other blogs and reading the stories attached to them. I have very few old photos of my own family which is a source of great regret to me as I'm a keen family historian. I gaze with envy on all the wonderful Victorian and Edwardian photos that other people have. The few older ones that I have all came to me via various cousins of varying degrees but I'll save those for another post. Clicking on the photos will make them clearer. The photograph above is of my parents on their wedding day - 31st July 1938. The bridesmaid is my dad's sister, Aunty Winnie - her full name was Winifred Victory - she was born on November 11th 1918, the day that WW1 ended hence her second name. On her 80th birthday she made the front page of the local paper because of this. The little boy peeping round on the left will be featuring again further down.
I love this photo because almost all my father's brothers and sisters as well as my gran and a couple of cousins are on it - a real rarity as far as I'm concerned. The bride is my Aunty Doreen marrying Uncle George who was in the Royal Canadian Air Force. My mum and dad are either side of the Canadian airman on the back row. Gran is next to the bride. It is 1945 and shortly afterwards Doreen was one of the war brides being shipped across to Canada.She was 18 years old and never saw her mother again. I met her and my five Canadian cousins for the first time in 1999 when I went to Canada to see them. When I came through the Arrivals gate at Dorval she knew me immediately - she said 'Oh it's just like our Bill walking towards me'! Aunty Doreen had never been back to the UK due originally to lack of money and more recently to fear of flying. The year after my visit though she finally conquered this and came home for a visit with two of my cousins after a gap of 55 years. It was quite a homecoming as you can probably imagine. She is still with us aged 81.
This is the little boy in the first photo quite a few years later - October 1952 to be precise. My dad's youngest sibling marrying my Aunty May, both still going strong at 75 and 71.
This is Uncle John's wedding again with my gran on the left and another of my dad's sisters,my Aunty May, carrying my cousin Sheila. At the front on the left is her son, my cousin Peter, and on the right my cousin Terry who is the son of yet another sister, my Aunty Lilian. I have an awful lot of cousins! Aunty May is another one still going strong at the age of 86.
Finally we have the bridesmaids,on the left is yours truly aged 6 and on the right my cousin Glenys aged 7. My mum made our outfits, the dresses, the little Dutch bonnets and the muffs that we carried - all in pale pink. I still have the locket that I'm wearing, it was our present from Uncle John and Aunty May. Three days later I was in bed with chicken pox! My mum caught it from me and was really ill so Aunty May, the new bride, came back from her honeymoon and then spent nearly two weeks looking after me and my mum. Welcome to the real world Aunty May! She's always been my favourite aunt even though she isn't a blood relative, she's never got any older in my head either, I still think of John and May as a young couple. Must go over to Cheshire and see them soon.