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One of several reasons I started this website is because I am a sort of "stepping stone" between generations. Almost everyone else in the family is either 20 years or so older than I, and the next in line is about 10 years younger. I am the only one my age or younger to have known those previous generations in my family, and to remember so many old family stories and accomplishments.
Hilda Graham is blessed with an exquisite memory, and has wisely set down her thoughts, poems, philosophy and stories ranging from childhood to present. She's been contributing for some time, and I'm glad to offer her a showcase for further excerpts. Here's her story in a nutshell:
"My name Is Hilda Graham. I was born in Darwen, Lancashire England on the 24th February, 1926. Both my parents worked in the cotton weaving mills which was the main industry in Lancashire. When the depression came in the early 1930's, most of the mills closed. My family eventually moved to Corby, Northamptonshire, where they were building a big steel works. It was being built by a company from Scotland Stewart's and Lloyds. My father found employment there.
We rented a little cottage in Weldon about 5 miles from Corby. Housing was difficult to find at that time, as so many families were moving there from all parts of England and many workers were being transferred from Scotland. The steel company began building what they called council houses for the workers. Each family had to register and wait until a house was available to them. I was about 7 years old at the time we moved from Lancashire. I might mention I loved the little village of Weldon. I have written about that.
This is the cottage in Weldon after being remodeled, It had a thatch roof when I lived there and no dormers. This house was built in either the 8th or 9th century and, is now a medallion home that can not be legally destroyed. If you look closely there is a Pharaohs head, added in the 11th century, over the window, which used to be the back door.
I started writing, mostly poetry, when I was about 5 years old. I had started school in Lancashire when I was 3 years of age, this information is written in my memoirs, and also mentioned was a lot about the foods we liked in my story in Sneaky Kitchen, "Remember When". I might also mention I was reading by the age of 5 years.
We finally moved to Corby when a house became available to us. I was then 10 years old. We lived a fairly normal life getting to know new neighbors and also new schools, and all went well until September 3rd, 1939, when War was declared with Germany. I went to school until I was 14, which was the usual age to be through with High school. Since we started school at an earlier age and had much shorter vacations than in America our education would have been about equivalent to the children in America at that time. Now it has changed in England.
Soon everyone had to do war work. Women who had never worked had to fill jobs that were left open by the shortages of men, who had to join the Armies, Air Force, Navy, etc. I was 17 years old when I went to work for ARPH (Air Raid Precaution Headquarters), plotting enemy planes. I met my husband, who is an American, in 1944. He was in the 8th Air Force. He was stationed near Corby, and then was transferred to near Norwich on the East coast of England. We married Oct 17th of that year.
I have not mentioned food, that was also in my story about the depression etc. During the war food was so scarce we had to eat what was available and the pickings were slim, since much of the food in England was imported such as citrus fruits.
I came to America in 1946. We had 6 children, and now have 18 grandchildren, 7 great grand children, and are expecting another in April. I did most of my writing after our children were grown, in fact mostly in the last few years. But I have so many memories which I want my children to know about, as later in life they will wonder, how did grandmother and grand father meet, etc. I wanted them to know about their grandparents and great grand parents. I was not fortunate as a child to know my grand parents; they were all dead before I was born, and I would have dearly loved to have known them.
I hope this gives you an idea about my life, but there's so many stories I have yet to write. I can' remember exactly how I found the Sneaky Kitchen but I do know I enjoy all the stories and the wonderful recipes and love to read the comments. I think starting this Site was an inspiration and has given so much pleasure and good advice to so many people. It is definitely one of my favourite places.
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