Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Fresh Air and Poverty

'Stitching the Wars' workshops re-started today at the Age UK day centre in Hope, Derbyshire We made a start at the second quilt- working title 'Fresh Air and Poverty'. The theme for this- 'Poverty and Strife' associated with the 1st and 2nd World Wars and their aftermath. As with the previous quilt, we will be capturing snippets of reminiscence in stitch, this time using 'Crazy Patchwork' technique.

'Fresh Air and Poverty' work in progress, April 2015

We mixed reminiscence with stitching, reflecting on an era when so much of the population in the area was living on so very little:

"Posh living were cheap in those days- my old lady could go to the butchers, buy a load of bones and make broth that tasted the nicest in the world. We're going back 50 or 60 years. She was a marvellous cook, could make meals out of nothing. That was when meat tasted of something." Les

Eileen a sprightly older women with a twinkle (or two) in her eye, born 26th November 1919, explained:

'I went to Great Longstone School, Percy Buggins was the Head Master. We had no school dinners, would walk home for lunch. My aunty had 8 children, they used to come for lunch too. Also I had 1 brother and 2 sisters. About half a mile walk home, halfway back there used to be a fella that would expose himself! we used to say 'will Billy Ball be here today?'.

The press loves to have a go at over zealous 'health and safety, what follows is a reminder why we have such laws:

'I started work at 14 making steel razor blades, it made me hands course, I cut me big toe, it were awful, lots of people got hurt. I chopped my finger off- it wasn't my fault, it was my boss giving me the wrong instructions. After a stay in hospital, then back home quite a long time, I went back to the razor packing machines. He got me £10 compensation, my wages at the time about 8 pence a day. Terrible weren't it.

crazy patchwork, work in progress, April 2015

Jen told of her mother: 'My mum had her leg sliced with steel, A bloke had walked past with his steel toe caps on, dragging a piece of steel, it became embedded in her leg. My mother kept her job- that was her compensation.'

Janet stitching her crazy patchwork.

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