Grandmother Bless her and Granddad
Memories of my Grandmother Bless her wherever she is. And Grandad who was Stern with my mother apparently but he was always ok to me. A little history about her first as much as I can recall at least. Her name oh gosh I have to dig deep here ah got it Emma Suzanna Guy, I can’t recall her maiden name sorry; she did tell me one night down the Pub as after Grandfather passed away who was also jolly just like Gran; she came to live with my parents; but sadly I have forgotten now She spent years in service it was called in her day just a live in underpaid servant for the idle rich really. Dusting, cleaning answering the phone; only the wealthy had phones then as it was a new thing; it was beneath her employer to answer a telephone it seems from what she said lousy jobs terribly underpaid but she got a room she said as I recall. On one of her days off which would have been rare she actually told me she saw Buffalo Bill or William Cody when he brought his Wild West Show to London, this was oh before the turn of the century 1887 I think so Gran would have been only a young girl but she lived to a good age I know that. I was only about 17 when she passed but by golly we had some laughs the pair of us. I lived in what was known in the UK as a rural country village then; she would never go out in the day; frightened of the livestock on the common as it was called she used to say but around 7 PM she was hankering me to take her to the Pub; I did not need to be asked twice in those days so off we used to go. I vaguely recall her in the war as well when we were being bombed, always cheerful way back then; but I digress a little as the first time I ever took her for a drink (frowned upon by my Mother) she always wanted a Scotch but I changed all that and got her on to Irish whiskey; from that day on she always had Irish. She would even come for a ride on my motor cycle in a sidecar about the only time I could actually persuade her to come out in the day amazing lady really always had rosy cheeks. She told me she was born within the sound of the Bells of Bow in London in 10 Chepstow mews which at once denoted her as a Cockney; how I recalled that address has me baffled. In the war I recall she had a huge tortoise which we both held up to the outside tap (faucet) for a drink, my grandfather got on one of his numerous trips over the world. Just like a Cockney she never lost her accent she married a sailor and went to Portsmouth still its only 70 miles by rail from London. I think I will mix the two together as I got on well with Granddad as well; the pair of them was so different to my other two on my Father's side He was in the Royal Navy for 39 years; served in the Mercantile marine when he left and actually was part of a skeleton crew that sailed warships to Japan prior to the war which Japan had purchased and he had a few yarns I can tell you. One I recall was that apart from being paid he also got a free trip back on a P&O Liner and you wouldn’t read about it he broke his Specs so six weeks on a liner and no reading drove him up the wall. On one of his trips overseas in the Royal Navy he met up with my not then Father in some Eastern country and I guess they celebrated prior to the war of course. I guess he was in WW1 that fact has just occurred to me. When the war began in Europe and the UK ports such as London and Portsmouth etc were being bombed he was a volunteer Air Raid Warden known as the ARP; I recall it quite well as it was the only time Mother went into the Air raid shelter as she wouldn’t at home; (see my memories of wartime Britain in the Archives of my blog) the jokes came fast from Gran who always seemed to defend me when I had done something wrong; I was a bit of a terror then I guess! Both of them were bombed out in Portsmouth so as far as I can recall they both moved across the harbour to Gosport, a worse spot in some ways as the Royal Navy had their Submarine pens that side. Gosport was also known as Turk town as a Turkish ship from WW1 was discovered in the harbour and sunk and was still visible at times depending on the tides. We lived that side then so maybe they decided to be nearer us as Dad was away naturally; the war saw to that. I recall fairly well stopping with both of them while Mother went into hospital in Winchester Hants in 1942 to have a brother of mine Tony sadly deceased now this year in Australia. I must have played up terrible as Grandad was always looking for me as I was out and about all hours so I guess they were relieved when Mother came back from the Hospital. On one of my trips to the UK in 1994 their house was still there in either 18 or 22 Anthony Grove Gosport Hants. (How I remembered that I just don’t know) although I did find the house Mother and I lived in at 42 Chancery Road Gosport Hants. I never had much trouble finding my way around either even though it had changed a lot. I had so many laughs with Gran when she came to live with us I know I had to help her home at times. She was game enough to travel on my Father’s Motorbike I know that; I really think she enjoyed it as well. I do hope my immediate family and my Nephews here read this as I do know that one of them was very interested; I was asked by his late father to tell him things like this but he lives so far away from me at the moment. I may do more on this if I recall it as I know a few folk who are interested.