My Family and Home Life

Betty Drinkwater's Childhood Memories

Betty Drinkwater

Collecting Wood  

My father, though suffering, as I have said, used to take us out every Sunday morning to Church Meadows where our family used to meet.  We collected wood for Mother's copper on washday Mondays.

Photo:Village Green

Village Green

Illustration by Heather Hookey

Once we had collected the wood and left it in our shed back at the house father took himself and I to a little public house where he sat us by an outside window.  This was so he could see us.  We had a large arrowroot biscuit in a greaseproof bag and a glass of lemonade.  Father played dominoes with the village farm workers.  Mother said to him so many times "you are only to have one pint Bert".

Despite his lung problems he always played games with us.  Indoors: snakes and ladders, ludo and card games.


Sunday was our treat days - afternoons we went to Chapel which I enjoyed.  We used to be given a little envelope with colours on to take home to put our pennies in for people in Sri Lanka.  The missionaries used to show us lantern slides all about their country which my sister and I enjoyed.

Father used to play the piano on Sunday evenings - 'All things bright and beautiful' and 'Abide with me'.  We all sang around the piano.  We thought that enjoyable at 9 to 12 years old.  Mother did a large bake on Sunday mornings to last the week, that is, cakes - small and large, homemade fudge, slab toffee and always a Sunday toffee apple.

Jobs in the kitchen  

In the kitchen was a large range which we had to have coal to fuel.  We used to do toast with a long fork and put by embers for toast.  The range had five dogs, meaning a stainless steel poker, shovel and a small shovel.  When I was 10 and my sister 12 we had to clean the fire dogs and fender.  This was a kind of surround to protect us from the heat - this had to be cleaned with emery paper (a kind of cardboard with sand on), this was to keep the shine on.  For the fireplace we used a stiff brush with a tin of zebra polish to shine the black grate.  We both had our jobs to do on a Saturday.  As mother always said "Everything I teach you will help you in later life".

This page was added by Roslyn Cook on 07/04/2008.

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