Sunday, March 29, 2015

LAWS FAMILY REGISTER Mar 2015 Number 469

(before we start I'd like to apologise for errors yesterday)

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Welcome to the Laws Family Register. 


A Child of the Twenties

A suburban childhood of the Twenties 

seen from the Ninteen Nineties

by John Robert Laws 1921-2008

Part 6.


There seemed to be a wider range of people then than there are now. There was no question or concept of equality. To me Mum was all important but to everyone Dad was 'The Boss'  and this nickname was used all the time between mother and her helper Lottie the maid. Lottie was a sort of auntie to me, having been part of the family longer than I had. This help was much needed by my mother not only on account of the houswork but because catastrophe had struck my parents when my sister Mary had suffered brain damage as a complication of meningitus. This happened at about the age of  threeafter which there was no further mental progress although she grew up physically but dumb.

Standards of living then were much lower then but in this respect we were fortunate, though everyone worked hard. It is my belief that most people were as happy then as now except where poverty and illness coincided. It is the presures of daily life that makes for unhappines and these were just different. In many ways it is the small comforts and conveniences that we would miss if we had to step back in time.

We did not have swarms of relations, the Victorian habit of enormous families had gone just in time. There were two maiden aunts, my fathers sisters, who lived together in the bottom part of a house off West Green Road. They worked in garment manufacture and their smallish rooms were cramed with too large furniture inheritated from my grandparents of the true Victorian era who I never knew. Some of it would be museum pieces now. There was a bed with a half tester rail over it and time to time they would occasionally come to tea on Sunday or to Christmas lunch. I remember a Christmas present of a little purse with two half-crowns in it, the old age pension was then just four of these coins, and although they were still working at that time, this was soon to be their weekly income.

My mother had just one sister, Alice who lived in Manchester, where her husband Jack was a lecturer in zoology. I only met him once, he had a nastly limp as a result of FRC service in WWI and he did not make old bones. Mother went and visited Alice after he had died and took me with her in her little car to help find thne way 172 miles according to the AA routewhich we followed. Alice had a nice house in a pleasant suburb but before long she returned to her roots in Devon and spent the rest of her years in Kingswear.

there was also my uncle Joe, really a cousin of my father though I think he had been brought up as a brother and was part of a trio of sailing enthusiasts with my dad and his younger brother Albert. The three of them used to go sailing in Devon and Cornwall and my father and Albert managed to aquire wives in the process. No doubt this put an end to the sailing but my father still liked to row and after he bought his first car in 1925 he would take me over to the river Lea on a Sunday morning and row from the boathouse at one lock up to the next lock and back. Being Sunday, the horse drawn barges were all at rest and the locks inactive. It was already partly industrial along the river , the canal really, but the marshes were open and flat , crossed by the long new concrete bridge of Lea Bridge Road which led on towards Epping Forest.  

Albert and his Cornish wife Louise were in Harbin, in the wilds of Manchuria  so we saw them very rarely, I only remember two occasions. A slow boat to China really was slow before the airlines and the Trans Siberian railway not a journey for the hurried or the timid though they went that way at least once.

Joe and his wife May  lived in a 1920's new semi in Palmers Green and were the relations we saw most. He was a keen gardener, which my father certainly wasn't but they were pretty good friends and Joe and May had Christmas lunch with us some yerars. To a child, Christmas was important of course and the old time way of feasting in the greatest abundance that funds permitted was still strong. there were no supermarkets and no domestic refrigerators of course but 'nouvelle cuisine'hadn't been heard of either. I do not think thatthere was asmuch obesity then as now, the ignorant did not have the means for it and most of the prosperous were working too hard to get fat. Beer was however proportionately cheaper a nd a few more men could be seen carrying the mark of it in their big bellies or red noses.

Untill school age there was not a lot of contact with adults outside the family. One saw the neighbours in their gardens from time to time but it was not till a little later that a family came next door whith whom we became friendly. The Kembles had five offspring, five daughters for starters the youngest in her late teens, and a son harry a bit older than myself with whom I became quite friendly. For some years we were regular cycling companions.

To be continued tomorrow

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Family Events from our database for today March 29

1730 - Marriage: Edward LAWES-1644 and Xyian HUBBERT-1645, Norwich NFK UK
                                                              Norwich Cathedral

1749 - Birth: Thomasin WHEATLEY-117009, Lanchester DUR UK
1751 - Christen: George LAWES-331, Martin WIL UK
1770 - Baptism: William LAWES-122180, Tilshead WILTUK
                                                              Tilshead Wiltshire 

1799 - Death: Susan WIFFAM-5798, Feltwell NFK UK
                                                                Feltwell Norfolk

1808 - Baptism: Robert LAWES-2864, Felthorpe NFK UK
                                                        St Margarets Felthorpe Norfolk

1817 - Birth: Samuel LAWS (Innkeeper) -7940, Ditchingham NFK UK
1825 - Marriage: Richard POOR-8551 and Elizabeth LAWS-8550, London MDX (St GHS) UK
1850 - Death: Hannah LAWS-5409, Ditchingham NFK UK
1857 - Baptism: Mary Jane LAWES-43262, Coombe Bissett WIL (St Michaels)UK
                                                          Coombe Bissett Wiltshire

1859 - Will  Proved: John Milligen LAWS (Navy Rear Admiral)-3030, 
1861 - Burial: Hugh Willoughby LAWS-116948, Ovington NBL UK
1872 - Birth: Junius Eugene LAWS-41019, Kansas USA
1880 - Birth: Ida LAWS-124321, Jersey City Heights NJ USA
1883 - Marriage: Benjamin Taylor LAWS-7113 and Della O BANKSTON, Carroll Co TN USA
1884 - Death: William Gordon LAWS-117033, Prudhoe NBL UK
                                                 Prudhoe Castle Northumberland

1884 - Death: George  LAWS (Coal Miner)-47355, Westoe DUR UK
1893 - Birth: Frances DAVIES-44242, 
1896 - Death: Beatrice Maud LAWS-48788, Cowra QLD Australia
1902 - Birth: Vera Amy LAWS-3496, 
1904 - Birth: Harry Augustus LAWES-123793, Wallsend NBL UK
                                                 Wallsend Roman Fort, Northumberland

1906 - Birth: Phillip Saxelby LAWS-33451, 
1915 - Military: J W  LAWS (Army Captain)-41129, 
1915 - Will Proved: Georgiana LAWES (Spinster) -397, 
1917 - Death: William Frederick CLEGG (Clockmaker) -7565, Manchester LAN UK
1918 - Death: Ernest Alexander LAWES (Army Private 9710) -44979, 
1927 - Death: David R LAWS-49198, 
1928 - Death: Dudley G LAWS-41476, Boone Co KY USA
1939 - Miscellaneous: Frank James LAWES (Artist & Designer) -37010, 
1939 - Miscellaneous: Edgar James LAWES 
1940 - Miscellaneous: Charles Cecil LAWES (Farm Manager) -24406, 
1943 - Immigration: Hugh Douglas Willoughby LAWS (Merchant Navy) -38660, New York NY 
1943 - Miscellaneous: Frederick LAWS (Tutor) -122924, 
1943 - Will  Proved: Henry Donald LAWS (Joiner)-3171, 
1945 - Military: George Edward James LAWS (ARMY Sgt  2593116 ) -51907, BEM Medal
1950 - Death: Jane CHEAL-36322, Bexley Heath KEN UK
1952 - Marriage: Stanley Walter DORMER-43391 and Ivy Irene LAWS-43390, East Ham ESS UK
1952 - Birth: James Irvin LAWS-40326, TX
1957 - Marriage: Fentriss M LAWS-114874 and Doris L COOPER-114875, Clark NV USA
1957 - Marriage: Walter CLELLAND-42055 and Florence Alice BENT-41859, Barnet HRT UK
                                             Toll Gate Hadley Wood Road Barnet HRT

1963 - Death: Mary Belle LUNSFORD-31088, 
1966 - Death: Fred LAWS (PFC US Army) -37954, 
1969 - Death: Bertha N LAWS-41450, Jefferson Co KY USA
1973 - Birth: Dermont LAWS-40569, TX USA
1975 - Death: Doris ELLICK-35405, Erskineville NSW AUSTRALIA
1975 - Death: Norah Daphne QUIGLEY-35240, Erskineville NSW AUSTRALIA
1980 - Marriage: Michael Graeme LAWS-125290 and Kim WARRINGTON-125291, 
1982 - Birth: Melanie Patricia LAWS-55012, 
1982 - Birth: Travis LAWS-40693, TX USA
1982 - Birth: Sarah Elizabeth LAWS-40692, TX USA
1997 - Death: Kathleen Lutrelle DESENIS-115432, Aurora IN USA
2003 - Death: George LAWS-35221, Toukley, (formerly of Leumeah) NSW AUSTRALIA
2005 - Death: Hazel Mildred LAWS-122256, Mounds, Pulaski, IL USA
2005 - Burial: Thomas LAWS-57233, Rippleside Cemetery, Ripple Road, Barking ESS UK
2005 - Death: William L LAWS-42571, Orlando FL USA
2014 - Death: Albert Wayne LAWS-124895, Spartanburg SC USA

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With grateful thanks to Simon Knott for permission to reproduce his photographs on this site see :-