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My ‘Victorian’ Grandad.

Posted by Big John on August 19, 2006

During the recent disruption in my house I had cause to climb into the attic for the first time in years and discovered a box containing a wonderful collection of old postcards and a few family photographs, one of which is this picture g-d-new.jpgof my grandfather taken in the 1940s (Note the wartime ‘blackout’ blind at the window). The object hanging on the wall to his right is an old fashioned carpet beater.

I remember very little about my grandfather as I was fairly young when he died. I do however remember him sitting up in bed when he was very ill and teaching me how to hand roll a cigarette; which sums him up rather nicely as he was a very keen ‘backy’ and beer man. 

In the 1901 census he is recorded as a sixteen year old ‘labourer printer’. He remained in the print industry all his working life. He must have married rather young as my mother was his first child and she was born in 1904. She was followed by a further nine children.

He may not have been the last of a ‘breed’ but he was very much the working class ‘Victorian’ husband. He provided for his large family, but apart from that, his life seems to have revolved around his mates and the local pub. 

As well as looking after ten children my grandmother ‘waited on him hand and foot’. She even laid out his clothes and polished his boots. To repay her he would stagger back from the pub wearing those same boots and leave his muddy footprints all over her……

……… freshly scrubbed floor and ‘hearthstoned’ doorstep.


5 Responses to “My ‘Victorian’ Grandad.”

  1. Jeremy said

    My Garnddad was a backy and beer man too: which is perhaps why he only lived to 54, more’s the pity.
    Good post.

  2. Terri said

    Great post, John. I love reading old memories.
    And I especially loved seeing those black-out curtains. I’d sure heard plenty about them, but had never actually seen any.
    Your granddad was quite the distinguised looking gent, wasn’t he? Probably all thanks to your grandmother and her good care.

  3. Betty said

    I enjoyed reading about your grandfather, John. In the course of my genealogical searching, I recently discovered that my grandmother was born in Middleborough, and her father was an iron worker. So interesting, this family search!

  4. mick in the uk said

    Nice place you have here John.
    It looks much more proffesional than the old place.

  5. Terri said

    Came by looking for a new post, but alas, there’s none.
    I DID just change your new URL on my blog, so we’re all set.

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