The Gallery – A family story
Great Granddad and Grandma White are celebrating a wedding anniversary here, I think. I don’t remember if I attended; I don’t even know how old I was or whether I was even born but I do know just seeing his smile takes me back to the little house where they used to live and of our visits on a Saturday afternoon.
I don’t have many memories but the ones I do have are very fond ones and make me wish I could travel back in time and watch my younger self having fun at Great Granddad’s house.
Grandma White died before Granddad and I was very young when it happened but I remember visiting their house before she died and always made a beeline for the child sized chair that stood at the side of the coal fire. I loved that little chair, it felt like it had been made especially for me and I seem to remember arguing with my cousin over who was going to get to sit there first.
I think it had a wicker seat but I might be making that up. I’m going to have to talk to my dad about it now so I can refresh my memory!
There was a table and chairs in the middle of the room and sometimes the adults would sit round it and play cards. I’m sure they played for coppers but somewhere deep in one of my memories I seem to recall matchsticks being used as well.
I think there was also a sofa against one wall and Granddad would sit there while Grandma would make the tea. I don’t think he was a very talkative man and I don’t recall him talking to me much but that could just be another of those missing/distorted memories you have from being so young.
I don’t remember any other part of the house, just that one room. I think the other room was for best and we probably weren’t allowed in there.
We spent most of our time in the back garden if I remember right. There was a wall at the bottom and we’d lean on it, watching some kids ride round on a small motorbike. We would watch with pure longing in our eyes and wished our parents had a field and enough money to buy us one!
I might have been very young and my memories might not be exact but one thing’s for sure, those special people made a lasting impression on me, so much so that I still feel grief at their deaths and wish I could have known them longer.
I do know they loved me; as a small child, I knew that for sure.