Penny Post subscriber Christine pays tribute to her parents Mary and Bert Edwards from Hampstead Norreys:
Mum’s life began in 1922 of humble stock in Hackney Bottom at Hampstead Norreys and she left school at 14 to work in service. My father was born in Wootton Bassett in 1917. His mother put him in a children’s home at Purton because his step father was cruel and knocked him about. Then he was put with a family at Grove but the same thing happened so he was sent to the work house at Wantage. From there he went to two maiden ‘aunts’ who lived in a “grace and favour” cottage on a farm near Hampstead Norreys – he was just 5 1/2 years old.
Dad started work on the same farm at 14 and met my Mum in the late 30s when she was in the big house and Dad in the dairy opposite. Both were employed by the same farmer. All through WWII they corresponded almost daily. Mum lived with her sister right opposite the church at Hampstead Norreys during the war and she and Dad were married in 1941.
When Dad came back from the war all they wanted was a home to themselves. Luckily Dad obtained a house in Banterwick, an isolated homestead near Hampstead Norreys that went with his farming job. They purchased their furniture as and when they struggled to save up enough money while raising three children.
Dad worked long hours despite being wounded in France but Mum and Dad loved their home and family life. There was no waste, she cared for and cherished her hard earned belongings and now we are selling those pieces that were her pride and joy.
It was the early 50’s when the dressing table was bought and how Mum loved and polished it. The same with the Ercol – how that’s been polished and loved over the years, bought in the 60’s.
Sadly, Dad died in 1998 and now Mum is in a care home and unfortunately we have no choice but to sell her home and belongings to pay for care home fees. But we will always cherish these photos and our happy memories.
You can hear Mum reminiscing about life in Hampstead Norreys here:
If you might be able to offer a good home to Mum’s Ercol dining room suite, Welsh dresser and dressing table with mirror we would be very grateful. For photos and details see here.