Gorgeous Grandma

I couldn’t resist making this one personal, though it’s a bit of a cheat because I never called either of my grandmothers ‘Grandma’. They were both Nanna, but I still think this counts for my G posting.

My maternal grandmother was born into a poor family, which just got poorer as time went on. She was educated at the local Church of England (controlled) school, as were her brothers. Before she was old enough to leave school she spent some time in the local workhouse, and her brothers were sent to Cottage Homes.  It appears that the family was destitute – the boys went three times to stay in the Cottage Homes, and the two surviving boys were sent from a local children’s home to Canada in 1909. By this time grandma was old enough to leave school and for some reason she wasn’t sent the children’s home. Instead, by 1911 she was in service over 100 miles from her home town.

She married in 1914.  The earliest image I have of her is the one below – clearly a studio portrait. She isn’t wearing a wedding ring, and guessing that perhaps it was taken as she prepared for/to celebrate her marriage. What a transformation there must have been from a destitute young schoolgirl to the well dressed and presented young lady here.

I wasn’t born until she was over 60, so always remember her as an old lady, but she was still my gorgeous grandma then.

Eliza Jane Ellam

My maternal grandma, whilst not affluent, was considerably better off. She also attended the local school, but stayed at home with her parents and siblings until she married.  By 1911, aged 18 she was helping her mother in the family business as a fried fish dealer. The following year she also married, and looked pretty as a picture in her wedding outfit.

lamb bradley


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