30 March 2003

Ullswater Our Family and WW2 Pt.2

My Mother

OldEric says J After my father went away to Chilwell life went on much as it was before, that is to me. I continued on at primary school and in 1942 my brother John started school. He was 5 years old and I was turned eight years.

I’m not too sure how well off we were during the war, Dad now earned much more wages than before but had to pay his board and lodging down in Chilwell and pay for his trips home. We were probably at least a little better off.

Mum and Mrs Nelson took over the cultivation of Sharrow Bay gardens and toiled each day trying to keep them tidy and grow enough vegetables and fruit for our selves. Mum would be 35 years old in 1942 and the Nelson’s a generation older.

On the radio were a gardening duo that offered tips for “Dig for Victory”, the slogan on everyone’s lips on posted on hoardings where ever one looked. The duo were two ladies and Mrs. Nelson with her bubbling enthusiasm christened Mum Anna after the quiet one of the duo and christened herself, I cannot now remember the other name now and with much searching I’m unable to trace the pair of ladies. So my mother Mary became Anna for everyone but to me she was still Mum.

Later, looking after the gardens and tending the Nelson’s mansion was too much for the pair of them and Mrs. Nelson advertised for a cook/housekeeper and a couple applied from Liverpool, I believe, they were Mr. and Mrs. Redman, he a cook and she a housekeeper and they lived in the mansion’s servants quarters. They would be in their late forties or early fifties. The year would be in 1943. I can date this, at the age of eight I received my first stamp album and after asking everyone which country a certain stamp belonged I tried as a last resort Mr. Redman, he didn’t know either.

Late one Saturday early evening Mrs Redman came up to our house looking very upset and worried, Mr Redman had gone down to Pooley Bridge in the morning and had not returned. She said she was going to walk down to Pooley Bridge to look for him and could Mum help. Mum in her quiet way asked a few questions and said she would accompany her down. We boys went too. Mrs Redman knew where to look in the village and we found him in the second of the two pubs, which were in the village at that time. Mr Redman was very much the worse for wear. Now I understood why Mrs. Redman needed help. Mum and Mrs Redman guided him home, he was all over the road swinging his arms and the two of them ducking. I can still picture him and the place draped across the low cut hedge being violently sick and the two pulling him out of the hedge and continuing guiding him down the two miles road home.

Mum never got exited over a situation, her way seemed to be to analyse the situation and then act. Gillian in some respects reminds me of her in her attention to a situation and quietly attending to it without fuss.

The Redman’s didn’t seem to stay too long before they left in the latter stages of the war. A Mr. Orphan came along about this time and took over some of the garden and grounds maintenance and this relieved Mum and Mrs Nelson to attend to the mansion. Mum cooked with Mrs. Nelson helping and Mum also took over the house keeping duties and this situation remained so after the war up to when we left in 1948.

Mum’s WW2 story will continue.

No comments: