by Sarah Hay
This article was originally published in the December 2003 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
Looking at the photograph, my grandmother Sarah Ellen Sewell, nee Gall, is standing outside her home at number 4 Waterloo Cottages, Roman Road, Mountnessing, Essex in about 1933. She is holding in her arms her son George Sewell, born 1932. From the left of the picture are her daughters, Dorothy Steed nee Sewell born 1921 and Betty Pallant nee Sewell born 1919, with her elder son Thomas Sewell born 1924.
The date of this photograph is unknown, but the baby in my grandmother's arms is my Uncle George who was born 30 December 1932.
'Waterloo Cottages' consisted of four cottages lived in by four families: my 'Sewells', the Wrights, the Goodeys and the Polleys. The cottages are still there today in Roman Road, Mountnessing. The picture taken more recently shows they haven't changed much, apart from being modernised with a garage added to the side of number four. Waterloo cottages are mentioned in the book published by the Mountnessing Parish Council in November 1994 in the celebration of their Centenary 'Another Miller's Tales, The History of Mountnessing' by Geoff Austin.
Further along the road is the Mountnessing Windmill near the newly built Village hall. There a Magnolia tree grows in memory of my Uncle George Sewell who died in 1997 and worked for the Parish council tending the grass hedges and plants in the village and at St Giles churchyard.
My mother Rose Isom nee Sewell was born at the cottage in March 1928, one of five girls and had three brothers. I remember her telling me the cottage only had two bedrooms and how she had to share her bed with her other sisters and brothers. It seemed a hard life, but she always had happy memories to tell me about the village of Mountnessing.
My Aunt Mary Game nee Sewell is in a picture taken at the Mountnessing Village School. She is in the second row fourth from the right taken in about 1926. This picture appears in the book I have mentioned above.
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