Presentation on theme: "My Grandma was born on the 22 nd February 1932 to parents James Unsworth and Mary Unsworth. Her mother died when she was just two days old and her father."— Presentation transcript:
My Grandma was born on the 22 nd February 1932 to parents James Unsworth and Mary Unsworth. Her mother died when she was just two days old and her father was invalided because of an injury in the First World War. Consequently, my Grandma was brought up by her father’s brother and his wife in Westhoughton as their daughter.
Because her father was an invalid, the family decided that my Grandma should be brought up by her father’s brother and his wife; Ellen and Arthur Unsworth. They believed that they could not have children and so brought my Grandma up as their own. She lived with them until they died and they became her new mother and father. She was never officially adopted as her birth father would not allow it. On the 11 th May 1936, when my grandma was four years old, her mother and father, (Ellen and Arthur) had a son, Harold who was brought up as her brother. Grandma with parents Ellen and Arthur
Grandma started school at four years old. She was allowed to play in the sand pit if all her work was finished and she was put to bed in the afternoon for a nap. At seven, they moved to Horwich to keep a shop so she changed school. She lived in Horwich until she was eighteen years old.
My Grandma started secondary school at ten years old. She passed a scholarship for Rivington and Blackrod Grammar School and was allowed to go. Her uniform included a skull cap which they all hated having to wear. She didn’t stay for school dinners because it wasn’t the norm. She walked a mile to catch the tram, had her dinner at home, and then went back to school. They only had an hour for dinner so this took up the majority of their lunch hour. At school, they had to take six subjects but my grandma only passed five which meant that she didn’t qualify for a school certificate. Because of this, it meant that she couldn’t go on to do further education. She left school at fifteen.
Grandma wanted to be a teacher after school, but she couldn’t become one because she didn’t get her school certificate. Her mum and dad didn’t encourage her so she feels that she didn’t do as well as she should have done. Her brother, Harold didn’t pass his scholarship so he didn’t go to the Grammar school and went to the local comprehensive. After a year of school, he was advised to go to the technical college but he didn’t want to go. Arthur and Ellen didn’t encourage him so he didn’t go. My Grandma then went onto work after school.
When she was fifteen, my Grandma got a job at the Horwich Locomotive works (the railway) in the machine office at a comptometer (adding machine). She did calculations including balancing wages etc. A few weeks later she moved into the accounts office because she was good at maths. She was brought into the railway because her mum’s friend already worked there so she got her a job. She worked at the railway for fourteen years until she married, became pregnant and therefore had to leave.
Grandma was seven when the war started. When the siren sounded, they had to go to the local air raid shelter. The air raid shelter was the local chip shop that had a cellar which was fitted out like a shelter with enough beds for the local people. There were never any bombs dropped on Horwich because it was rural. They used to stand and watch the fires in Manchester. They had blackout curtains and ration books. Grandma had some cousins who served in the war. One died as a result.
Grandma saw a lot of her birth father. He got married about twelve months after Grandma’s birth mum died. The year after he had another daughter and ten years after that he had a son. Grandma was in close contact with them. She went on holiday with them to Blackpool when she was older. When her birth father got married, Grandma was taken back to live with them. After a few days and a big family row, it was decided that she would live with Ellen and Arthur for the rest of the time. If Gran’s birth mum hadn’t died she feels that she would have been brought up differently. She wouldn’t have been living in Westhoughton and she may not have been allowed to go to the Grammar school. Parents often couldn’t afford for their child to go the Grammar School.
Her father, Arthur, died in 1950, when she was just eighteen. Grandma, Harold and Ellen then moved back to Westhoughton to live next door to her auntie. Ellen, her mother, died two years after Grandma’s father, in 1952 when grandma was twenty and Harold was 14. Because Harold was only 14, he needed a guardian. Their auntie became Harold’s guardian. When Grandma’s mother, Ellen, died, her birth father asked if Grandma wanted to live with him but because she had a job and she wanted to stay with Harold, she refused. When her auntie took Grandma and Harold to the solicitors to hear the will, she was told to leave because she was not part of the family, as she had never been officially adopted. Her auntie insisted that Gran and Harold should stay together as they had been brought up as brother and sister. Grandma and Harold lived together in the family house, next door to their auntie, who was Harold’s guardian. At this point, Grandma was twenty-one and looking after her own house.
All of Grandma’s hobbies were based around church She attended church twice on a Sunday and a youth group at night. She was in the choir and in concerts She was a Morris Dancer and an attendant to the rose queen She was a May-pole dancer She went shopping with her friends and they used to meet in the ice cream parlour. She used to go dancing in Bolton She could go out whenever she wanted with friends Spent days in Rivington Played out all the time
Grandma wanted to play the piano. Her mum booked her lessons and after two lessons her music teacher was conscripted to join the RAF as the war had just begun. She also wanted to be able to swim. Rivington and Blackrod Grammar School had a swimming pool but because of the war it became neglected so it reverted into a pond so it was used for biology when they were collecting frogspawn.
When she was a child, my Grandma wanted to get married and have children. She wanted to be a teacher but you generally had a job for life. She didn’t have any fears because she knew exactly who she was and what had happened to her. If she hadn’t known who her real family was, she would have turned out completely differently. From the way she was brought up, Gran had two loving families and three sets of relations: The Unsworths – fathers family The Dickinsons – birth mothers family The Partingtons – mums (Ellen’s) family My Grandma was always in touch with all sides of her family
Grandma married Derek Meacher from Southampton in 1959 and had two children and now has four grandchildren. She worked as a secretary in schools and colleges and in her retirement has cruised most of the world. She still lives approximately five miles from where she was born in Ladybridge, Bolton.