Sunday, 27 September 2009

Tiny Dancer

These are my Mums words, from notes that she wrote on her young life and it talks about the making of, what I believe, is this dress not long before her father died in 1927.

……. As a child you are not really aware of how well off your family is but I suppose we could be described as being comfortable, yet mother would rarely buy anything that she could get cheaper else where and she revelled in the sales. Maybe mother’s careful management of money was how we afforded to have help in the house. Mary came in everyday until I was about ten.

Some of her sale bargains were lengths of material, which would be put away until there was a use for them, either by her or a dressmaker. Sometimes the fabric was really not suitable for the garment that was required but if that was all that she had at the time, it would be made use of.

Once I needed a special dress for a dancing exhibition so she pulled out yards of a horrid drab material and proudly announced, “That will do nicely”.

My heart sank and I suddenly did not want to be in the exhibition at all. There still was one hope left and that was Father. Mother rarely did anything without checking with Father first and so she went to show him her find.

“What do you think about this for Marjory’s dress?” I heard her ask.

I had followed close behind and arrived in time to see Father shaking his head slowly and giving his reply.

“ What ever you do Jean, do not make a fool of the child.”

Mother had her answer and the next day she came back with some beautiful pale pink satin and some other bits for frills and decorations.

Hope you like my stories

Take Care xx

Family Gathering

In Bella’s Garden

Bella, who was actually Agnes Isabella, was the older sister of my Nana, Euphemia Jane aka Jean, by five years. They both lived in Fife, and their families would gather together, often in her garden. Her garden brought her so much pleasure and she even kept a couple of chickens down at the bottom of it. Her husband, James Kidd Brown, was a gardener and worked away from home for a large part of their married life, in some of the large houses …and even in England.
This gathering is in 1925, not long after their niece Lily was married, where both Ella and Marjory were Bridesmaids. (Marjory is wearing her dress as a Best Dress now)
This tag shows who's who

James and Bella had three children Ella, Oswald and Helen.
In 1918, when Helen unexpectedly collapsed in front of her mother while dancing around the kitchen, both the doctor and Euphemia were called for. Immediately Euphemia answered the call for help .... even though she had year old twins at home.

Sadly Helen died less than a week later, of the flu that spread through out the world and claimed so many lives. She was only ten years old.
It was said that Bella never got over her death … I can see the sadness in her eyes.

The other significance to the top photo is that it is the last picture I can find of Horace, my grandfather, who died less than two years later.

Take Care xx

Great Uncle Bill and family

William Crombie Ritchie … the middle name I believe was added in later life

b1873 ….m1902 ….d1951

At the outbreak of WW1 he was a Lieutenant in the 18th (Reserve) Battalion Royal Scots. At the age of 40+ and the fact that he was in a reserve battalion, it was thought that he was unlikely to have seen action, possibly behind a desk, but in a piece I found, that he had written about his mother at the time of her death in 1922 … he mentions the war

“….. We were forced to make long night marches, and in our attacks we had to leap wire entanglements and trenches, but never once did any of my young comrades say, or even give it a thought, that I was double their age ….” …obviously he was not behind a desk.

At the time of writing this he was engaged in …. “... squaring accounts and details of the Great War ….” and was now the rank of Captain.

Family was important to him but sadly this line ended with his children.

William and Doris never married but Betty and Sybil did … as can be seen in the LO below.

Sybil apparently had no children and I know there was a story told to me about the reason but I have forgotten …maybe I will remember when I’m not trying.

Betty’s tragic story I do remember .....

She miscarried a child and soon after they found she had a problem with her heart. She however fell pregnant again and everything was going well. She and her husband lived in Glenluce where he was a teacher. It was a very remote area and one doctor covered a large area. This doctor also has his own problems to cope with … the tragic death of his only son … and his patients felt that that his mind was not on them … and it proved to be the case with Betty.

She became very tired and sick but it was put down to her heart …then strange marks appeared on her body, which were ignored. Finally, when she was actually bed ridden, it was taken seriously and it was discovered that the twins she was carrying had been dead for sometime. She was taken to hospital but died of blood poisoning a week later, aged 33

.Take Care xx