Geddington – a life in words and memories – May

The year is 1930 and the Holding sisters, Daisy and Carrie, like many others were finding it difficult to make ends meet and rural poverty was accentuated because of increasing industrialisation and in many villages poor housing. In 1930 most homes in Geddington had no running water or electricity.

There are three stories from Daisy Holding’s diary for this month, each showing a different aspect of life in the village in May 1930.

Part 1:  May 1stMay Day pole for Janet v1

This has been a perfect May Day. Hope Auntie spent a Happy Birthday – her 79th!

Big Sister has spent her second birthday in the ‘hand that is fairer than day’ .We took our flowers early this morning and found her resting place beautifully cared for… How she loved the violas and forget-me-nots; primroses and polyanthas; lad’s love and ribbon grass; wall flowers and doroniciums; pansies and daisies; we took them all.

Passing through Barton Seagrave we saw the village children with their garland and May Queen singing at the cottage doors.

After lunch we ‘sided up’ the place and walked to the library. Miss Wise chided us for being late. She will press ‘tomes’ upon me. Two bags of sticks we picked up and oh! the delicious crackle under our tea kettle. So quickly they boil up ‘Susan’

Part 2 : May 2nd       Cousin Rose pays a call

I am enjoying Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen. I find that life is much the same in all ages, it is only the ‘trimmings’ that alter. The young girl in her ‘sedan’ or ‘Bath’ chair has just the same ideas of love and life as the girl of today in her smart two seater car. He and her would-be-lovers address each other as ‘Mr’ and ‘Miss’ instead of ‘old bean’ and ‘old girl’, otherwise their conversation amounts to the same thing!

As little sister was clinking the tea cups (most delicious sound) Cousin Rose called. She is down on her luck and had walked to town and back in search of work. Her husband has been ill and his employer has reduced his wages to 26 shillings per week. Not enough to keep two people these days. We felt so sorry for her. I walked some of the distance across the meadows with her and carried part of her load. We gave her the eggs we had packed up for the CA men. I expect she needs them more.

During supper we have discussed asking her to come one day a week to help me through with the chores. I get so behindhand now I am poorly.

Part 3: Saturday May 3rd    Another Lame Dog

This time we were able to give a cup of tea and sympathy! Harry is not a favourite. Somehow he always rubs us up the wrong way. Still! he comes and we bid him welcome.

Heavy showers fell as Little Sister set out to take home her sewing. The Hon. Hughie gave her a lift and some amusing experiences with his car. We laughed during luncheon at the stories he told her.

Coffee and biscuits were another appreciable blessing when she reached Blandford Avenue.

As we were tripping along the New Road before crossing the stile to Newton, Frank asked us to call in to see Mabel. We felt sorry for them both. Betty is a really naughty unmanageable child. Their kindly gift of greens was most welcome. Cousin Rose seemed glad of my offer of a day or two’s work and is to be down at nine o’clock on Monday ready for the fray.

Muffie (the cat) is not herself and has gone away. We are anxious about her and Sister spends a long time hunting around the wood yard calling her. It is dark, eerie and still all night.