donderdag 22 mei 2008

Molly's Tale Chapter 4 – Starting work

When Molly was thirteen her father went to her school to get permission for her to leave as her mother, Jane, needed help in the house. She needed more and more rest, although Molly writes confusingly of two different reasons, once that her varicose veins were so bad she needed to lie on the couch with her feet up, and in another part of the memoirs that her eczema was very bad, even on her legs. Whatever the real reasons, from that time Molly left school, and took over the running of the household, whilst her Mother lay on the couch and gave instructions.

She writes
I could only do certain things at first, poor dad had scone and his ginger
every day for his pudding.

Her father went to Newcastle once a fortnight for the ginger, and bought a big piece of bacon, and newly ground coffee from Pumphrey’s at the same time. As a family they had coffee every morning for breakfast.

Washing day was on a Monday, The wash house was over the road and shared by several families, who took turns to use it. Mrs Smith from next door also washed on a Monday, and helped Molly sort the clothes, and gave instructions. Doing the wash required a lot of preparation as Henry put the clothes line up in the front garden before he went to work, and Roy helped fill the boiler and half fill the wash tub before he went to school. Carrying the wet clothes right through the house to the front garden to hang out was a big job for a Molly, so Henry would help too, when he came home for lunch. I guess that Molly would have had to make the lunch in the middle of doing the wash for everyone too.

Since Molly had been ten, her mother always had breakfast in bed on a Sunday. This would have corresponded with the birth of Louie, I think. On Sundays then, Henry and Molly got up first, and Henry got the fire going and tidied up, shaking all the mats as well as making breakfast. On Sundays, breakfast was only porridge, whereas the rest of the week it was bacon and dip. While Henry worked, Molly cleaned all the shoes ready for Monday morning, working outside in the yard. And helped get the rest of the children ready. Then she took Roy, Norah and Louie to Sunday School. On Sundays, Henry did all the cooking but all the children had to help with the dishes. Every 5th Sunday the preacher in the Methodist Chapel was invited to tea, and Molly would bake a cake on the Saturday in readiness for that visit.

Chapter 5

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