CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS POSTCARD
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from Anne Gould
This article was originally published in the December 2007 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
You may remember the photograph published in the August edition of Sole Search sent in by member Anne Gould, showing three persons against a cottage background.
It has now been identified, unfortunately it was not of Anneís Sewell ancestors, but it did spark a few reminiscences for Anne of a bygone age. Although we didnít have any replies, Anne showed the journal to her sister Wendy who became very interested and pulled out the original photograph. Wendy immediately identified their Uncle Herbert James Maycock and his wife Roseina nee Hallett who married in 1905 in Byfield, Nth. Herbert was the x6 grandson of Joseph J Makecock and Millicent Seawell who married in 1718 at Woodford Cum Membris near Byfield. The third person in the picture was their great grandfather Henry Maycock a farmer born 1838 in Byfield. Anne believes the photo was taken at Herbert and Roseinaís marriage, and the cottage is most likely Westhorpe or Westrop End, Byfield. Anne of course didnít remember them when they were young as they were in the photo, she also never remembers seeing Herbert in a suit and tie or Rose out of a wrap-around-pinafore. Although Anne remembers her putting on a hat to go over to Anneís grandmother, with a huge hat pin, that as a child Anne thought went through her head.
Anne goes on to say that uncle Herbertís occupations were a Farmer, Higgler (trader or dealer) and Cottager as well as Byfieldís Road Sweeper. In 1932 he was Secretary of the Congregational Chapel and Anne as a young girl of about 8yrs, helped to pour the leftover Communion wine back into the bottle and drank a glass before anyone could get to her, as it was a shame to waste it. As they were all strictly teetotal there was a stony silence. Anne thinks it is likely it was homemade raspberry wine. Anne also remembers the cottage thick with white down pulled off the fowls as they were plucked and gutted and the smell! Work was of course seasonal and Anne gives an interesting picture of harvesting and pickling walnuts, making stinging nettle wine, and huge pork pies that were cooked in the oven beside the fire. There was also the making of jam with blackberries and damsons and picking out endless stones (I know how she felt as I recently made just a few pounds of damson jam). As children they skinny dipped in the Byfield Pool/ Boddington Lake. Later there was the labour camp for Italian prisoners of war down the Boddington Road.
Perhaps it seems to us a simple idyllic life but it was of course hard work.
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