Aunty Eliza And Her Son Alf

A Memory of Buckland

Great Aunty Liza lived in an area called Buckland Wharf in a long, low, white bungalow where time stood still except the Grandfather Clock ticked in her "parlour" to tell us otherwise.  The room was very dark because the blinds were drawn "to keep out the sun".  There was a heavily framed picture of her husband on the wall- a severe looking man with a handlebar moustache - very much the Victorian gentleman.  I cannot remember the furniture but vividly remember the rag rugs on the floor.  In her kitchen she cooked over a range, did her washing in an old butler sink and bathed weekly in an old tin bath.  She was quite the handywoman and on her 80th birthday very proudly showed off her latest creation - a bright emerald green knitted petticoat (my cousin and I were told off for having a fit of the giggles).  

My mother and her cousin would always holiday with Aunty Liza when they were little - one memorable day they had dressed her "Chuckens" who seriously protested about their treatment and were flying round the parlour in a highly agitated fashion.  Poor Eliza hated birds and nearly had the vapours and cried "You wretched children git them chucks out of my best parlour right now".  Mum only had bread and dripping for her supper that night as a punishment.  She used to play with Bill out in the paddock - at the end was a tree which they loved to climb but they had to be careful because the trunk was surrounded with stinging nettles.  One fateful day Bill pushed her into the stinging nettles - she was in agony - tears streaming down her face she cried "it never hurt, it never hurt".  They would take their penny and walk three miles to get a stick of licquorice or a lollipop "from the lady who lived up the hill" and then suck on their treat all the way back.

Her son lived over the road.  Alf more or less lived in his shed, his workroom.  On one visit we tried to winkle him out of his shed and noticed the sign on the door "THE MAN WOT LENDS HIS TOOLS IS OUT".  So we never asked for anything.  On another visit we saw this sign "Plant for hire - hammer 1p, spade 1p - knock for details".  Family legend had it that Alf never took his cap off and even wore it in bed.

A memory shared by Christine Beddows , on Mar 26th, 2008.

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