She was my favourite relative; she was quite small and her shoulder were very rounded. She had a very find face surrounded by soft white hair. Her hands were small with fingers all crooked with arthritis, Gran possessed a very soft voice and I can’t ever remember her being angry.
I was always delighted to take a message from Mum to Gran as I could always be sure of a few sweets or biscuits, or a drink of homemade ginger beer, but it wasn’t just cupboard love I felt, it was much more than that. Gran talked to me – she always found time to listen – even when she was very busy trying to finish sewing a pair of curtains on her sewing machine. She took in sewing and people always wanted them done in a hurry in the whole world and she is going to teach me to sew one day”.
I would return to Gran’s to stand fascinated whilst watching her bent fingers painstakingly pushing the material under the needle, which went up and down at an alarming rate. It really made me feel dizzy. Sometimes I watched her feet pressing up and down on the treadle until my feet were itching to do it for her.
Gran finally taught me to sew with the patience of a saint. I’m afraid I spoilt quite a lot of material and needles for her, but she never grumbled. Visiting Gran’ after my sister and I had attended Chapel was my favourite time. She would always ask what hymns we had sung, then my Grandad, who was going blind, would start singing them and we would all join in. It was lovely! Grandad had a strong, tuneful voice, which he used with gusto. I nearly always finished up crying, especially when Dad arrived and joined in the singing.
When I was old enough, Gran would send me for Grandad’s half pint of beer from the “Duke of York”. I loved this errand, I felt so grown up pushing open the “Off sales” door, walking in, placing the jug on the counter, and asking for a “a half pint of beer please”.
When I returned, a small amount of beer was poured into a glass which was then topped up with lemonade and handed to me. Grandad invariably said – “Drink up lass, but don’t get drunk”.
Incidentally, Gran left me her sewing machine in her will and every time I used it, I felt she was very close to me, watching me, guiding me and listening all the time.