Doris Allen is my aunt who took enormous pleasure in telling me stories of our family life in the very early 1900's. She had a long and interesting life and died peacfully at the age of 99. Towards the end her sight failed so she spent a lot of time talking. I wrote these stories down as she spoke and this is one of her first memories of life around the Croydon area. She told me that her own Auntie Tilly (her real name was Matilda) was part of my Great-Grandad Allen’s second family. Tilly looked after her brother John when his wife, Aunty Ann (nee Prior) died. Tilly never married. Auntie Dorrie was fond of her. Tilly would come and visit my Grandad Allen each week. She was a quiet woman, very quiet, and would never start a conversation. She is remembered by Auntie Dorrie as a little old lady with a long umbrella. She lived in the road opposite the old station at Woodside.
Auntie Dorrie attended Woodside for six months to have her cookery lessons. After each cookery lesson she went into Aunty Ann for her lunch – once a week.
As Auntie Dorrie was born in January 1908 and left school at the age of 12 to go to work in a drapers shop I think she must be describing cookery lessons at Woodside in the First World War years. She remembers her weekly wage at the shop was just five shilligs! She chose to go looking for shop work so she could avoid having to stay at home to help my grandmother with housework and cooking for her eight children!
A memory shared byon Apr 30th, 2012.
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