Friday, 10 July 2015

An item of luxury

What item would you consider a luxury today? what item would your parents consider a luxury, how about your grandparents?  your children? This is the question we took to the Social Group at the Farming Life Centre in Derbyshire for the project Stitching the Wars.

The discussion was lively, informative, at times poignant, often very funny conversations reflecting 4 generations hardship and luxury. Phil has edited a long poem made by simply note taking the conversation- It starts in 1897:

The Farming Life Centre, Blackwell.


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)

Farmed Moorside
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
Easter bonnets

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
Go further
A quiet life at Hollingsclough
Idyllic, three sisters rain or shine
Milking the cows in the field.

Detail of the quilt 'A Bombers Moon'. For the project Stitching the Wars

Thanks to all at the Farming Life Centre for supporting this project and sharing your thoughts. 

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