maandag 26 mei 2008

Molly’s tale Chapter 7 - married life

The five months Molly and Baden lived in Whitley Bay must have seemed like an extended honeymoon on the one hand, but the reality was they were there in order to hide Molly’s advancing pregnancy. If she had stayed in Backworth; at No 10 Northumberland Terrace; the whole neighbourhood would have known the marriage had been unavoidable. The street in Backworth was home to several members of Molly's father's extended family, as well as many of his colleagues from the Colliery.

Dick Mowat and his family lived at No 1; he was Company Treasurer, and presumably Henry’s superior. Other members of the Mowat family lived at No 3 and No 8, and were deputy supervisors. Henry’s stepfather and two step sisters lived at No 5, Another half sister Lily, was married to Henderson Gibson, manager of the Eccles/Maude Pit, and lived next door at no 11.

I don’t think she would have been able to go back home on a visit during this time, and she writes that little Jack, who was only four, went to Henry’s office at the Colliery to ask for sixpence for the bus to go and visit Molly in Whitley Bay. The young children must have missed her terribly.

The peace of Whitley Bay, and the lying in at Princess Mary’s Maternity Hospital came to an abrupt end when Molly left hospital to move directly into Pretoria House in New York with the Thompson family. The house and business were constantly busy; The house would have been full to bursting. I am not sure who was married at that time, but Father George and Mother Mattie (Margaret) had seven children, two unmarried daughters, Eleanor and Dora, definitely lived at home, as well as unmarried sons Albert and Charlie. There would have been help in the home and shop too; those people would have had meals at the house.

Molly writes about the bad conditions in the house, as the toilets were outside, and of course there was a lot of waste from the butchery, bones and offal, which attracted the flies. Molly writes:

One hot day I bought 12 fly papers and hung them up on the wooden line in the
kitchen. They were black with flies in about an hour, I think.

Molly’s baby, Joan, was loved by everyone, which was a good thing, as Molly was busy working both in the shop and back shop. Thankfully, the young couple only lived at Pretoria House for one year as Uncle Charlie had started building. He completed two houses in Merton village, and Molly and Baden moved into 2 Hawthorne Gardens, the other was used as the house for the school teachers at New York elementary school.

Chapter 8

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