|'Fresh Air and Poverty' quilt exhibited at National Trust's Lyme Park, Cheshire.|
Went to Scarborough, coach trip
One day of a trip in
100 years of charabancs
Granddaddy dug the first grave on Buxton Road
A pound a week
Made his wage up by tending graves
Youngest in a big family
My grandmother walking a basket round Buxton
Jam in, eggs in, cheese, butter and walked it
A luxury would be a new hat
(Hide it from the husband)
It's now a school for naughty boys
The old ones took pride in hats
To church on Sunday
No hay on Sunday
Everyone in black
To funerals, new clothes for anniversaries
My mother's desire was a dining suite that matched
That was the desire: what the rich had
Cut glass and china
Every time she raised nearly enough money
They needed a new cow
And she kept being put off.
My grandad worked on the railways
Their holiday was a day on the trains
Walking to church on Sunday, the preacher said:
"I'm just drowning the dog
and then I'll be there."
A tin of pears on Sunday afternoon
Or shirt buttons that matched.
Grandfather died when I was 3
I had a habit of biting and he cured me
By offering me the poker.
Staffordshire pot dogs
A big table, Grandfather at the head in his
White scarf. Had pudding first to fill you
Then you didn't want as much meat.
Bread and butter trifle make it
A quiet life at Hollingsclough
Idyllic, three sisters rain or shine
Milking the cows in the field.
First war, father fought. Went when he was 18
Got gassed, finger frozen off
"You've know idea what muck is. You don't know
Hunger. When the horses died you'd cut a steak
And love it." When he got home
Mother wouldn't let him in cos of the lice
Stood there like a skeleton in his combies.
Didn't eat a lot in those days
His horse was in foal so it wasn't taken to the war
He delivered the coal cos no one else had a horse.
Mum and dad, their luxury was each other
Hardworking people all their life
Quarry, breaking stone 17 years
A lot of house moving, we were like
Cockroaches had a free run
Mum liked the flitting
Me, I spent 40 years farming and 20 driving trucks
That was my earthly career
My bed to lie in.
My mother made many beds
A woman before her time
Living over the brush, all the old ladies said
"They had a Chance Child."
Didn't want any charity from any
The Teapot Society
Kept money in it for the doctor
Made a wonderful cup of tea but it was
A blithering awful looking thing.
For us, the luxury was electric in 1947
(A job for children, filling the oil lamps
Polishing the glass)
And mains water
Turn the cattle out for the drinking
9 Bob a week and your keep
was the first wage I ever drew and my
Dad stood on a box in the hiring fair
Lived above the hayloft for a year
We weren't putting up with it, it's just what was.
Luxuries: flush toilet, indoor
(Dry Petty outside with white roses round the door
Two seats a biggun and a little)
Some of the desires were
Improving utility, not a diamond ring.
Water bowls so you didn't have to turn the cows out
To the meres. Toilet paper.
I would see strife as the struggle
To feed your children
My mother and father loved each other
(Once a week had a shave
The wife will suffer tonight)
Many children conceived on a
Sunday School afternoon
Dads sister died during childbirth
The doctor said, "You didn't pay
Last time so I'm not coming."
Strife is associated with our relationship
With others. War.
A bag of sugar, 200 weight, butter, cheese
Grow your own veg
Porridge, home-cured bacon, bottled fruit
Milk as a nightcap, bread and milk pobs.
Went to bed on that, sleep for a week
A luxury to lie there and see a blaze.
Borrow an Austin 12 for the wedding
A lot of injustice in the terms of men and women
Me mucking out by hand
Me milking 7 days a week
And my brothers got the farm.
Take it on the chin
I shan't know what to do with me halo.
There's an Act of Parliament called
In Place of Strife
War the solution to how we overcome difference
Sign to say you won't go on strike
In any circumstance
Shopping during the war, everything was weighed
The best of people and
The worst of people.
You drunken buggers!
Best darts team in Tideswell
When they were sober.
My grandchildren for a luxury
Would have a heated tractor cab with a radio
They've never picked up a shovel and brush to
Clean up after the cows
Transponders on their legs, they take
Regular holidays, luxury hotels
Is an important word to them
A few part-time jobs, two cars and a pint
When they can
50 years with one employer, all that's gone.
The world is big to them
Granddaughter works in NYC
Son holiday in Las Vegas hotel
They don't know hardship as I knew it
Farm with no money and a Morris Minor
The Teapot Society funded me
And one grand-daughter went to Thailand
Halfway round the world to get married
Why didn't she just do it at Cressbrook?
A good soaking on Saturday
A few shillings in your pocket and enjoy what you do
That's worth a lot.
Farming Life Centre
For more about the Stitching the Wars project please visit http://arthur-and-martha.blogspot.co.ukhttp://arthur-and-martha.blogspot.co.uk/