Friday 24 September 2010

Washing and Rainy Days of long ago

 Jane Elizabeth Johnson (Ward) 1874 - 1950)

As I picked up the pile of washing to put away I could not help thinking on how lucky I was. What brought this on was 5 days without my tumble dryer. I do love technology unless it goes wrong!

In the late Victorian era and up to her death in 1950, my great grandmother was not so lucky. A day of washing per week. Living in back to back houses for most of her life with 8 children and a violent coal miner husband, who was either down the mine, drinking in the pub or beating the living daylights out of her. She would boil the water, wash all the clothing by hand, mangle the water out and dry. If the sun shone she would be able to dry them on the line otherwise it was on the dryer in front of the coal fire.

 Jane married Robert Ward - Stafford 6Th January 1902

Every time she became pregnant she left him and walked between Yorkshire, Shropshire, Stafford and Birmingham. Her children survived pregnancy and one day he arrived home from the pub intent on another argument. What he had not noticed was that his sons had grown up. Now able to fight back, they threw him from the house and my great nan lived her days in peace. There was no divorce in those days.

Blackpool with Jane Ward, Nell (Beatrice) Ward and my mom early 1940s

So the washing neatly stacked away and I counting my lucky stars that I was born almost a hundred years later. Here are a few jewels full of brightness and sunshine to drive away the rain and thunder storms that have made the last few days dark and dismal and an absolute pain to hang washing out to dry.

    Large angel brooch that was pre owned and modern - sorry now sold.

Above are a beautiful light blue diamante brooch, fried egg clip earrings and a real turquoise chip gemstone necklace.

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About Me

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Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
I preserve the past. Researching family and local history. Finding about mine and other people's ancestors, is just one of my passions. I also love vintage costume jewellery made here in the UK. I write about my finds and like to research.