Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Mothers (05/02/05)
TITLE: My Mother's Mother
By Joyce Gale
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Emma, my mother’s mother was a very small lady under five foot with tiny feet size two English size. She lived with her husband my grandfather Albert in the Mews Kew Gardens. Surrey, England. Having been born in this area in 1868. (When she was a young lady she entered a competition run by a shoe company Freeman Hardy and Willis. and won a pair of glass slippers as they fitted her feet and was the only one to do so. I still have one of those glass slippers.)
My mother’s mother and Albert occupied a small mews cottage one of four. The cottage accommodation was one large living room for everything and One bed room for Emma and Albert and six children. The down stairs of the accommodation housed horses and a carriage, as Albert was a coachman. He transported the gentry around town and to the theatre at night. Albert suffered from Asthma and on foggy nights the horses always knew their way home so always came home safely in the dense fogs of London. But this was to end his life early.
Emma was a skilled needle woman including tailoring and made clothes for the gentry and also he own children were the best dressed children in town. Producing the creations for the gentry and the family in the one room, and doing the cooking and washing in this one room. The children were always well dressed in the most fashionable wear of velvets and the like Ladies of the gentry often took some of the children and my mother out for the day on special treats. They were often sat on tables to look at the clothes they wore and the gentry came and ordered more clothes for themselves and their children. My mother was one of the children went to the zoo with these Ladies and places they never dreamed of, it was a most exciting time for them
Outside of the cottages in the mews were cobbled stones with dung troughs for the horses. All the cottages housed horses and carriages. This mews is from the history of my mother’s mother life what I have been told and that was well before my time and recorded by my mother.
In research I have found that the Mews Cottages at Kew Gardens, Surrey is still there and now made into six dwellings.
-I remember my Grandmother when I was in the air-raid shelter and she was by my side. I was about three years old. She lived with us throughout the war in Richmond, Surrey, on the outskirts of London. We would all be under this shelter during the night to sleep and in the day Emma would get our meals.
While my mother went to work and my father was on duty in the Police Force. God Bless.
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