Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Mother Always Worked So Hard

Mother Always Worked So Hard (1945)

Mother always worked so hard, to rear her brood of kids,
As we grew bigger and in our teens, we must have cost her quids,

Back in the 1950's there were six of us to sit round the kitchen table for meal times, plus for a few years dads brother, uncle Jack, that made seven. It was around this time that mother had to have some help in the house each morning for about three hours. It was not like we were away at work all day, we were all in for every mealtime and no letup. For quite a while we came home from school at lunch time, before the days of school dinners.

Mother Always Worked So Hard (1945)

Mother always worked so hard, to rear her brood of kids,
As we grew bigger and in our teens, we must have cost her quids,
Four of us lads and our dad, Uncle Jack as well,
Looked after all of us, knitting socks and jumpers she excelled. 

Big appetites we had, and thrifty she had to be,
Most things grown about the farm, including all the poultry.
Eggs and chicken, more often old hen, regular we had,
Potatoes beans and cabbage carrots, all grown by our dad,

Rabbit pie most every week, killed a pig and cured,
Only thing she did buy, big lump of beef well matured.
Bottled all the fruit she could, and salted down the beans,
Got the meals and baked the cakes, did washing in between,

Baker came three times a week, six loaves every call,
Corn flakes she also brought, lot of boxes I recall,
Through the war and rationing, never seemed go short,
Well fed, we all worked hard, and not much time cavort.


At our peak before any of us left home the baker called three times a week and dropped of twenty loaves of bread The breadman took mothers grocery list on a Thursday and delivered the order on Saturday morning, this included five boxes of Kelloggs Cornflakes per week. There was no sliced bread in them days, and as we got older so the bread that mother got thicker and thicker slices.

The old thatched cottage up the road was the Woodman's Cottage. And he had a son and two daughters, and it was the middle daughter Dorothy who helped mother for getting on for twenty years, her brother Colin he worked as a fireman on the steam express trains

This is the woodman Arther Lawson with Colin as a little lad and Dorothy standing in front of him also their dog, the younger daughter Audrey would be younger still.

This picture would be around 1930. This old house was taken down when the new council houses were built in the village, and Dorothy got married she and her husband Bill moved into one and Arther her dad moved with them. The family lost their mother when they were still quite young.

I Remember Breakfast

I remember sitting down, all six of us to breakfast, (7 including Jack)
Father always sat upon a bench; he made it so it would last,
We all sat round with our chins, ledged upon the table,
And watched as mother lifted out, boiled eggs with a great big ladle,

The bread was hand sliced all in doorsteps, a whole loaf at a time,
With scrape of butter, and cut into fingers (not mine,)
Double yoked eggs we could not sell, all boiled to a tee,
Salt and pepper for the oldest, not including me.

Top chopped off the eggs we scoft, all waiting for our porridge,
A two gallon tub of best raw oats, (said to improve our knowledge)
The lid had tilted with the froth and glued it to the stove
This had boiled two hours or more, and into it we dove.
(No instant porridge them days had to simmer a long time to cook properly)

The bowls were deep the spoons seemed small, as mother delt it out,
With fobs of stale bread in the bottom there to fill us up no doubt,
Some had syrup some had sugar, with milk the lot we floated,
But when this had gone, we had no space, full to top and bloated.

When bacon breakfasts we did have, cut from flitch in pantry,
Mother armed herself with carving knife, the flitch hung from a gantry,
Twelve slices she would cut all thick, no shrinking up or curling,
The lean and fat was of equal portions, it didn't need much turning.

The doorstep bread as I have said will float in fat from frying,
When turning black, it filled the kitchen, with haze beyond denying,
It smelt good and tasted good, with eggs, bacon, and black pudding,
This went down with mugs of tea, the kettle was always boiling.

Out we went to work it off, all satisfied and jolly,
Come hail or rain or sunshine, we always knew that we,
Were waterproofed from inside, top of head to feet,
With mother's special breakfast, it kept in all the heat.


I Remember Mother taking us to Bed,
It was 1943 when there was only three of us.

When it came to seven o'clock, and we all started yarning,
We had milk and oveltine, nothing else till morning,
She carried us all up to bed , eldest on her back,
One each hip up the stairs, enough make her crack.

Up the wooden hills we went, she struggled to the top,
Flannel flashed around us, and into bed we flopped,
First she made a great deep furrow, deep in feather bed
Snuggled under, eiderdown with worn out fluffy ted

Central heating not invented, only one room warm,
Bedroom bove the kitchen, where the pillow fights were norm,
Father up the stairs he came, in bed were we real quick,
Feathers floated round the bulb, all snoring he would quip.

When father took his slipper off, we knew he must be slow,
He chased us round the bedroom and under bed we'd go,
Like rabbits down a bolt hole, he couldn't get us out,
He never really hurt us, but he had a dam good shout.

Don't be afraid of growing slowly, be afraid of standing still