Family documents are a tossup- what was considered worth keeping for one hundred years? I have documents that date from 1910 to the 2000s- a school memoir, the draft of a will, travel diaries, photos, ephemera, and hundreds of letters that start ‘Dear Mummy’. Trivia from the past becomes fascinating when a window into a different way of life opens- even if one only gets a peek.
This family history starts in the middle of the eighteenth century when the Hazell brothers left England and ended up in St Vincent, West Indies. My mother, Cynthia, recorded what she and her cousins worked out about the family tree, and also wrote stories about her mother’s life in the 1890s and the early twentieth century. The blog follows chronologically from the early posts with those stories; a memoir written by my grandmother, Carol, when she was seventeen; family photos to illustrate the posts, to the 1920s when Cynthia’s letters begin. I hope you enjoy the twentieth century from her perspective.
When I first thought of reading my mother’s old letters to my grandmother, it was because I had been listening to CBC radio talking about the polio scares of the 1950s. My husband Pat is five years older than I and can remember the public swimming pools in Windsor being closed because of fear of… Read more
This is the second of three letters written to Carol (Dearest Mummy) in St. Vincent by a friend who is in Canada for medical appointments, and has lent her beach-side house to Carol so she and her sister can leave Kingstown and enjoy a local holiday. June 2nd 1956 My dear Carol,I was simply delighted… Read more
This letter to Carol is from her friend Dorée Edmunds, who is lending her St. Vincent cottage on the beach to Carol and her sister so they can get out of town and have a relaxing time, swim, and dog-sit! The Crane HotelBarbados 23.5.56. My dear Carol,I was so sorry we didn’t meet again before… Read more
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