Saturday, 28 November 2009

Dad on a Motorbike (or two)

And Dad's nephews Dudley and Walter Dennison on his bike.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

A bargain

My Dad always said that Mum cost him 18 shillings. I reckon he got a bargain!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Family Spoons

Having sorted thought the jewellery I undertook to show readers of my Rambles Blog one or two pieces but before I do I thought I would blog about some of the other things I’ve been cataloguing. I have concluded such postings should also be on this blog so today’s little show is family spoons:-

This is my grandmother’s Christening spoon. Her name was Florence Katrine Spencer and she was christened in 1877.

This is my Mum’s Christening spoon. She was christened in 1909.

This is my Christening spoon. I was christened in 1949.

This is a spoon from David’s first Christmas 1986. Sadly. he was not to live long enough to have a Christening spoon.

This is Richard’s christening spoon – a replica of an Edwardian one – from GB. Richard was christened in 1988.

This is a christening spoon given to Richard by his other Godfather, Paul.

This is Uncle Eric's christening spoon. Uncle Eric was Mum's brother and died childless so GB and I inherited his things.

These are just a couple of many spoons and forks that we have which are inscribed HFB being from Nana and Grandpa’s sets – the HFB stands for Henry and Flora Body. We use them on a day to day basis. Apparently Grandpa won a number of sets playing bowls at the Childwall Abbey pub.

This spoon is a cut above the average spoon that you buy in tourist places being heavier and larger. For as long as I can remember it ‘sat’ in one of Mum and Dad’s sugar bowls.

This spoon is from my Great Aunt Maude’s first marriage to Will Noble. Nana’s sister, born Annie Maude Spencer, she married William Thomas Noble in 1897. The spoon is hallmarked London 1896 and inscribed N for Noble.

This was a wedding gift to Mum from – the E representing her new surname – from a girl in the office. There was much of a guessing game about what the gift was to be and one of the clues was that the gift ‘sat’. It turned out that it ‘sat’ in a sugar bowl, being a sugar spoon.

Caddy spoon used on a day to day basis by Mum until tea bags became the norm. It is of foreign silver.

This spoon belonged to my Great Great Great Grandmother who was born Ann Gomm Young (1819-1916). Note the number 4 beneath the initials AGY suggesting it was one of a set of six and it was obviously a gift prior to 1822 when she married James Spencer and therefore changed her initials.

And a caddy spoon which is hallmarked 1810/1 – late George III. It was a wedding gift to William Lane and Caroline Hows upon their wedding in 1813 and is inscribed WC. They were my great, great, great grandparents. The spoon was passed on to my great grandmother, Louisa Sophia Lane (later known as “Grandma Spencer”) when she was an hour old on 29th August 1849. The idea being that it should be passed on through the eldest girl in the family. She in turn gave it to her eldest daughter, my great aunt Maude, who passed it to Mum. Mum gave it to me to keep safe for Bryony and it was passed on to her some years ago. So this little spoon has come down through six generations; long may it continue to do so.


Monday, 27 April 2009

Things my Grandmother said

I have thought of a couple more things that Nana used to say that rarely get a mention in our house:-

Up the little wooden hills to bed.

This and better might do. This and worse will never do!

I love the second of those two. So often appropriate to my lifestyle nowadays.

Friday, 17 April 2009

46 Queens Drive

When my grandparents first moved into the house where my Mum was brought up the address was 32 Priory Road. This later changed to 32 Queens Drive and then the number changed again – to 46 Queens Drive.

The house was on the corner of Heywood Road and this is the view down Priory Road towards Childwall View and the Rocket.

It was taken around 1908 and if you peer closely you can just about make out the cows in the field on the right. Mum could look out of the front bedroom window and see over fields all the way to the Runcorn transporter bridge.

After Nana left the house in the mid 1960s the house was demolished and the site became a petrol filling station, known to us as The Garage.

(Thanks to jamese for reminding me that I hadn't posted these pictures before.)

Thursday, 9 April 2009


A couple of Mum’s keepsakes.

This little shoe – about an inch high – was presumably on her Wedding cake. Mum and Dad were married at Childwall Parish Church on 6th August 1938.

This was presumably on a cake on their wedding anniversary in 1963.

And was this from when GB was born or was it to commemorate my arrival? Either way, this little chap is around 60 years old! Doesn’t look a day over One.

Friday, 3 April 2009


Some notes made around 1990:-

Mum's Firsts
First memory - At age 21/2 Being taken into mother's bedroom and being shown newly-born Eric.
First disaster - The day Barry started school - turning around to let him go and falling over a woman bending down to tie her child's shoelaces - consequently tearing a ligament in her hand.
First Wage Packet - 2s 6d for writing an article for the Liverpool Echo and then 15s a week for her first job.
First love - Arthur Mason who lived next door and was older than Mum and \pa. He took her skating (chaperoned of course) at the age of eighteen.
First success - Writing an article for The Guide magazine and getting a nature book for it. Aged about 12 years.

Dad's Firsts
First memory - Walking down Larch road, Birkenhead.
First disaster - Eating apples off a tree in the Birkenhead garden of a man named Cumsty (who was subsequently murdered) and being very ill. Or on a Sunday school treat to Leasowe Embankment, falling into the sea and hearing his brother Frank say "Oh, look. He's swimming." Being rescued and carried to Leasowe Lighthouse.
First wage packet - Miss Sharples newspaper shop delivering newspapers. Then Furness Withy Office but cannot recall the sum.
First love - Myself! Or Rita Nichol later to become Rita Blaycock, financial adviser to Birkenhead Operatic Society.
First success - Lord Knows! Playing for the school rugby team.

GB's Firsts
First memory - The winter of '47, aged 2 1/2, lots and lots of snow.
First disaster - Sticking fingers in a plug (the round 15 amp plugs of those days). (Judging by the ensuing debate about where this took place it occurred more than once - including at Dorothy Penningon's at Moels and in our living room where he shot across the room and nearly reached the other wall.)
First wage packet - Ayrton Saunders - 19s 6d a week which became 19s 11d after five weeks; left after six weeks when told he wasn't paid to think.
First love - Dorothy S******n, from age 5 to 11.
First success - Dorothy S******n....

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Eric Spencer Body

St Patrick’s Day is the birthday of my Uncle Eric who died a couple of years ago in his 90s. He was born at 6pm on 17th March 1912.

This is Uncle Eric as cheeky-looking schoolboy at Prescot Grammar.

After school he worked for Meccano where his picture was used in an advertising poster.

Like Dad, Uncle Eric was a motorbike enthusiast.

He then moved to Vauxhall Motors in Luton before the War interrupted his employment and sent him to N Africa and Italy.

After the War he returned to Vauxhall where he continued to work until his retirement.

He kept a diary for part of the war years and I have spent many a ‘happy’ hour translating them from his notorious scribble to English. So far I am about two thirds of the way through but as the war went on and paper got in shorter supply his writing got smaller and smaller and even more unintelligible. This sample is from the early ‘ easy’ days.

In Mum’s eyes Eric and his wife Doris were notorious for moving house though they probably didn’t move much more than many people. Mum, having only lived in two houses her whole life, could not understand their desire to find pastures new. His last few months were spent in the Hebrides where GB looked after him but prior to that he had lived on Anglesey and he is pictured above in his ninetieth year with Mum.

A number of younger folk knew Mum and Dad and will remember them after GB and I have gone but it seems a real shame to me that once GB and I have passed on there will remain no one who really knew Uncle Eric. Such is life....

Monday, 23 February 2009

The Rocket

Here is another photo of the shops at the Rocket, Liverpool, that I have mentioned in a few previous posts. It was taken in the late 1960s.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Hawkshead again


I featured this spinning loft in an earlier post from the 1930s.

This is how it looked in August 1967, two days after I got my A Level results. I had been in the Lake District on my own on foot, youth hostelling for a week and on the Thursday evening had phoned home to get my A Level results which Mum had picked up from school. She seeemed far more anxious about them than I was and had been waiting all afternoon for my call. Indeed, she thought it strange that I should even think of going away that week. The resuts as I had anticipated were OK but not spectacular. On the Saturday we had agreed to meet up in Hawkshead and then I had a week's holiday with them and Phil at Grange-in-Borrowdale.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

A Rucksack and a Scarf

Two important things I owned in 1970 – my rucksack (which went all over the Lake District) and my college scarf of which I was suitably proud. (Actually the scarf was not as good as it had been the first year of my studentship but I made the mistake of not buying one that year and then it changed to include blue which had connotations of Everton FC – the biggest rivals of my own team Liverpool FC.)

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

GB's cars

Here is another of GB's cars from the late 1960s. Although it looks like a Singer Vogue I have a feeling there was actually something different about it. No doubt GB will comment and confirm or deny.