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
July 2nd 1954 Darling Mummy, I have just finished writing to Nan to congratulate her on the birth of her daughter – isn’t it fun? I am so glad as I feel that they will be so thrilled & Mrs. Allan will be over the moon to have a little girl to pet. I expect… Read more
25th June. 1954. Dearest Mummy, I said I would write you a great long letter while Cec was away & here it is, he’s been & come back & been home a week & I still haven’t written! Actually I was kept busy while he was away & we gallivanted off in the car, so… Read more
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