A day full of work: starting with father lighting the range. Mother would head for the shops as early as she could: in war time she had to make sure that she had sufficient coupons. Trips to the grocer’s, butcher’s, baker’s, greengrocer’s, haberdasher’s, fishmongers – picking out whatever was needed, and whatever she could carry. When she got home, the oven would be hot. The kitchen table would be cleared again and floured before the rolling out could begin. And there were the meats and vegetables to prepare. She would soon have the pies and puddings ready. In autumn, we might have collected blackberries or have other fruits to make jams and chutneys so the house would be full of steam as the jars were sterilized in boiling water. Then in afternoon, mum would finish the ironing folding the sheets carefully, and taking time with dad’s shirts.
In spring, there was Easter to look forward to: we would play hunt the thimble, and then get ready for May Day. It was always fun watching the Maypole, and finding out who had been chosen to be her page or crown bearer!
On Whit Sunday we were allowed to wear our new best clothes, we would visit friends and neighbours to show them off, and sometimes we were given a coin for them! I remember one year Grand-dad gave me sixpence.
Then the big day. Whit Friday with Walks in the morning when we wore our new best clothes again. Our shoes had to be polished ‘till they gleamed. We were supposed to be able to see our faces in them! The girls’ baskets of fresh flowers were beautiful. Oh the disappointment when we hadn’t got a ribbon to hold but didn’t we admire the men who carried the big banners! We would watch in awe as they struggled to hold them against the wind. We would follow the band and stop for hymn singing several times and the banners were leant against someone’s wall. When we got back there was a glass of orange and a biscuit! In the afternoon, there were games like sack races or walks with our parents. Later on in time, the villages organized brass band contests which were held in the evening.
From a book of Memories compiled by Kathryn A. Booth.
This book of memories is compiled from the stories told about life around the time of World War 1. It is used in some Senior Citizens homes to help recall memories of times past. If you would like to add any of your families memories from this time, please use the contact form below.