donderdag 22 mei 2008

Molly’s Tale Chapter 5 – was there any fun?

One thing that must have been quite fun, and a break from the housework, was helping Aunty Lily with the Backworth Cricket Club teas. When Molly was about fourteen or fifteen, she helped put up the the sandwiches, and carry the china, doilies and tablecloths down in a clothes basket. Then she helped put up the tables and set them ready for the cricketers coming at tea break. The food must have come from the Co-op as Uncle Bob was manager there, as well as playing for the team but should they run short of anything Molly had to run to Mrs Taits at 30 Warkworth Street to see if she could help. (Its not clear whether this was a shop, or another players wife) Molly always loved cricket, and loved to watch it on TV as she got older, She was very proud of the cricket club and writes

"we had a very good team and we had very good teams coming to play so everything had to be spick and span.”

When Molly was nearly sixteen she had a period of illness, and was taken by her father on the Stanhope and Tyne Railway to the farm at Stanhope. They were met at Stanhope station by the farmer and she rode a huge horse bare backed up the long railway to the Farm. Molly developed a friendship with Francis, the daughter of the house and has fond memories of her time spent there, just relaxing with someone her own age, going for walks and to chapel together.

That same year, in the October, Molly’s youngest brother, Jack, was born Molly took on the care of a baby, as well as the household chores. She writes that her mother only had strength to feed Jack, and she did all the rest. Jack as baby of the family was the “apple of Dads eye” and they got on very well. She writes very briefly

“the next 3 years were just looking after Jack and I made two new “Proggy” mats.”

What she mentions in another part of her memoirs is the fact that around the time of Jack's birth, was there was another addition to the family. Her father, Henry, had a family of half brothers and sisters, the Todds, and many of them lived in the same street in Backworth. His half brother Albert, and family lived at no. 15.

In 1919/1920 there was a global flu pandemic, and sadly, Albert and his wife Jenny died of influenza within three weeks of each other, leaving three orphan children, Mary aged 6, Albert aged 5, and Thomas, only three years old. The children were taken in by different families. Mary went to her Aunt Lily, Thomas went to his mothers brothers family (they were called Robson),
and seems to have lost contact with the rest of the family, and Albert moved in with Molly's family, at no 10 Northumberland Tce.

Molly writes that she felt Mary was never happy at Aunties Lily's, which implies that Albert was made very welcome at their house, even though an extra small child must have made a lot of work for her.

Chapter 6

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