Geddington -a life in words and memories – November


November, for many of us, is still a time to adapt to a more indoor life and to appreciate those less frequent visitors who come to call.

It was no different for the Holding sisters in November 1928, though they did not have the access to instant warmth and light we have today

War Memorial Dedication Service 1921
War Memorial Dedication Service 1921

– and they did have the stark memories of loss as Armistice Day was commemorated.

If you enjoy reading about their lives, do leave a comment or, if you too have family memories of this time, please share them with us.


November 1928

Armistice Day Sunday

misty-river-viewWhat a dark dull day! rain, rain, rain. After listening to the service at the Cenotaph we managed to get a short walk up Grange Road. All around fog and mist hung thickly. Raindrops hung from each leaf and twig and the ground was sodden with wet. We were amused at the young farmer we encountered going his morning rounds through fields with a motor bike and side car!raindrops-light

Memories cling and ghostly visions rise before our eyes as we listen to the music of the Guards Bands. The trees stood out gaunt and sombre in the half light. The furnaces in the distance shed a lurid glow all around.

November 12th

The weather was so mild I simply had to plant a few bulbs. I thought as I weeded and generally tidied up my new little flower patch, how easy it must be to keep a small well made garden orderly. My back was aching and I felt disheartened when I looked up and there across the New Road I saw ‘Grannie’ Skelham mendingpan-tiles the pan tiles on her barn – and she 86 or 87!

The air was soft and balmy as I took the children as far as Weekly for a walk. The cottages looked so homely and cosy, their lights twinkling behind the blinds. we imagined what all the various inmates would be having for tea and wished we could take a peep inside. The days are drawing in and we nearly always have a light for tea.

November 13th

The mornings grow visibly darker. Spending an hour in my front garden always means greetings from the passers by and my back is constantly straightened to chat with my neighbours. First came an old school friend, now short of work. He came to talk of my dear big sister. (Editor’s note: Daisy and Carrie’s older sister, May, had died in October 1928) Then along comes limping, a neighbour who has sprained his ankle. he likes to tell me how it is progressing. I hear a quiet step and lift my eyes and peep through the fence; Mrs Fernside! ‘I see you ‘ave got your doors and windows open; yer can ‘ave today, but ain’t it bin wet awful?  I’m just a goin’ fo a walk, I feel ser bilious’ and off she goes to call on her old friend in Grange Road. Again, a quick step and ‘Hello’, Mrs Grafton Road, returning from appealing against her rates.

Here is the new baby a few doors away being taken for his airing. I cannot let him pass without a greeting. And so we go on. Yes, here is the noisy lorry that takes the Duke’s daily milk supply from the Home Farm to the station or Boughton or wherever the family happens to be. This tells me it is half past three.

(If) I could not see beyond the room in which I am now sitting I should know instinctively that it was Saturday afternoon and November, or at any rate, Autumn. I can hear the water dripping from the roof. Buses roar as they rush past one after another laden with passengers, football enthusiasts chiefly,their quickly revolving wheels splashing over the wet roads. Then apart from the buses I hear the chug chug of the oil motor and the chuff chuff of the bread van, and all the special Saturday afternoon sounds.

Newton church
Church of St Faith, Newton

Little sister and I have been to quiet, secluded Newton in the Willows this Lord’s Day Morning. As we turned from the high road to cross the stile to the meadow path we encountered Jock and his master. So soon as we left them we joined forces with the farmer from Croft and his three dogs, one of which was a fox hound puppy, Craftsman. foxhound-puppyI told him we were on our way to pay calls, one of which was to engage the Sweep.

The lady of the Mill was busy by her kitchen door, but greeted us with a smile. Newton was looking so quiet and peaceful, one could almost feel the Sabbath calm. Friday night’s gale blew down the old walnut tree, so familiar to us in our childhood days. Many a walnut have we had from it, for did not Little Sister’s childish admirer live at the house. When we reach the sweep’s cottage we hesitate, for there, over the gate, is a cow. However we venture and reach the door in safety. There opposite the door is a delightful old dresser simply full mind you, of old pewter! Not just a precious specimen or two, but row upon row of pewter dishes, while in the centre is a large round china plate as big as a tea tray!pewter

November 26th

The sweep drove past this morning before it was light. His steady old mare in the spring cart returned at a steady jog trot as I finished dressing. The labourer going to his day’s toil; ‘It’s a little better, but not much. The wind got up again as the moon went down’

November 27th

A strong north wind is blowing and it looks as if it might easily snow!

Just as Little Sister and I were discussing our dinner menu, a gentle tap came on the porch door. The Mole Trapper!


……but that is another story!

We have many images in our Archive but none showing The Bungalow where the two sisters lived. Do you have a photograph we might use to help bring our stories of the sisters’ lives to life? Please do get in touch and let us know.