Geddington – A life in words and memories – January

As January draws to a close and we begin to look forward to spring and the cycle of life in this New Year, here is a glimpse of the start to the new year of 1930 through the eyes of Daisy Holding and her sister Carrie.

Daisy reflects on Januarys gone by, including the one of 1911 when her mother passed away; the one from 1914 which turned out to be such a significant year and the one in which she started her diaries and the annual celebration of her birthday.

Daisy had a special talent, through her writing, of preserving the images of people and places, some of which have gone forever, some have altered with the times and a few which are still part of the fabric of the year.


January 1930 – As a Birthday treat Auntie took us to the Talkies. Little Sister sat up sewing until long past midnight and it is a pouring wet morning. Not the best beginning.

Our good grocer, Mr Lewin, informed us we were in the best place and he certainly seemed loth to leave us! ‘A cheerful fire, flowers, a glass of sparkling wine and choice biscuits to say nothing of a cigarette and a bevy of beautiful ladies’ (??)

I wonder how it is our feet nearly always turn towards Weekley fields on Thursday afternoon in the hols! But so it is. ‘Adam’ our gardener showed us round his nurseries and we came home richer by a sheaf of golden and red chrysanthemums.

Little Sister and I trip into town to espy sale bargains…in the afternoon we all sally forth to buy more bargains. Auntie is bent on visiting the great Shoe Sale. And we did! What a boon it is to have small hands and feet especially when one’s income is small too! Little Sister and I purchase a pair of lizard shoes each, greatly reduced. We are not quite sure if they are a pair, but they’ll do us a good turn!! Last week it was gloves we were gloating over.

Daffodils and Rhubarb in the shops!

I go to call on Grace Hipwell during the evening. She is so ‘just so’ and dainty in her appearance and home I feel quite homely and hefty in my pullover, tweed and brogues! It is amusing when I remember that Grace, a widow and only a wife for a short spell in wartime, and I ,an old maid, were discussing marriage problems!!

This morning we were up betimes getting ready for Mr Sweep once more. Saturday and yesterday I almost abandoned the idea of having the Parlour walls decorated. This morning now the sun is shining I am all anxious to interview Mr Lewis and choose shades. So many repairs need doing, I tell him I shall be ruined. He laughs and says ‘you’ll get over it’.    Our ‘Tea Rose’ room – doesn’t it sound delectable?   Well! It really does look nice. I tell Mr Lewis I ‘may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb’ and I’ll have some window sills for my precious plants. Now I am informed my outside needs painting!

24th January 1930

A bird is singing sweetly as we prepare breakfast.   I   go to town to buy Seville oranges for marmalade – 1s 3d per dozen ( approx new 6p )         Auntie buys us golden daffies for Mother Dear. Little Sister and I take them this afternoon. The snowflakes (snowdrops) are blooming.

January has flown and we have been much blessed. We are certainly cleaner and dryer than we were at the commencement of the month. The roof has been repaired, the parlour decorated,’my outside’ painted and lots of odd jobs done. School has begun and we have got though a certain amount of needlework.  I can see I will soon be getting busy in the garden.

The first month of the year is generally trying but I always feel it is a new beginning. The ‘waking up’ is already evident. Even though we may yet have wintry weather, Spring is on its way with the hopefulness and freshness.

A ‘Glad New Year’ to all.