My Grandma, Lillian (although she rarely ever used her name, her nearest and dearest knew her as Beau), was a remarkable lady. She was born in South London in 1922, and her mother is where my family gets its Jewish heritage. She lived in London throughout the Second World War, and seemingly loved every minute of it! In 1938, she met my Grandad, they married in 1942 in St George the Martyr Church at the Borough. 62 years later, I was bridesmaid for my long-standing friend, Jane, in that very same church.
It's a family joke that my Grandma's Dad was a bit of a wheeler dealer; the King of the Local Black Market if you like, and my Grandad's Mum was the landlady of the local boozer where a lot of his shady deals took place. It's been said within the family that theirs was as near to an arranged marriage as you can get in our culture!!!
Grandma was a truly remarkable lady. She started her working life as a 'clippie' (a female conductor) on the London Buses, and later transferred into the admin section of London transport where she rose from being a Payroll Clerk to a Payroll Manager over a number of years. Bearing in mind this was in the sixties and seventies, an era when women weren't expected to progress in the workplace, and in many ways, they were actively discouraged from doing so, this was no small achievement. I guess you could say she was a forerunner to today's modern 'career women'.
Although her work wasn't a conscious factor in my own career choices, here I am, forty/fifty years later - a Payroll Manager. I like to think that would make her proud!
When my Grandad passed away in 2009, while my Mum, Dad and I were sorting out their house, we came across these beautiful old photos from my Grandma's family which none of us had ever seen before, I can't remember if I've ever shared them here or not, but regardless, this seems like an ideal time to do it ...
This is my beautiful Grandma with my Dad. He was born in 1944, so assuming he's about one here, that would make her around 23.
This was My Grandma's Mum, Amelia (who I knew as Nanny Mill), with my Grandma wearing the bow that gave her her adult nickname, Beau.
Assuming Grandma was about two here, that would date this photo at about 1924.
This is Katherine, or as I knew her, 'Aunt Kit'. She passed away in her nineties when I was in my teens. She was Nanny Mill's sister in Law. I can't be exact, but I think this photo was taken between 1910 and 1920.
None of us know who this lady was, but she was obviously someone who my Grandparents cared about because they kept this photo. Looking at the dress, this looks like it was taken around the turn of the century.
This is a lady I know as Aunt Gin. She died in her late eighties when I was about four. Her name was, in fact, Jane, and I'm named after her. I'm guessing this picture would have been taken somewhen between 1910/20
The little girl in this photo was Aunt Kit, and judging by her age here, we think this photo was taken some time around 1890/1900..