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  • Writer's pictureWendy Percival

7 UP #familyhistory style

1964 saw the start of a fascinating project inspired by the quote: " Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man." Granada TV began "UP" a series of programmes which followed the lives of a number of children from diverse backgrounds, beginning when they were aged 7 and revisiting them every 7 years thereafter.

I would have been too young to have seen the first series - meeting the 7 year olds who would feature in the future programmes - but I've been an avid viewer from 14 Up onward.

63Up was shown on our screens last week and it set me thinking about 7 year milestones in our own lives. I wondered how easy it would be to chart those milestones in a family history context. So I decided to start by looking back at the different stages of my parents' life history.

I delved around in my family photo collection and dug out a number of photographs dated as close as possible those milestone years.

While it only creates a very brief summary of their lives, it was fun to do and a good excuse to browse through all those family snaps which often don't see the light of day!

So, here's the "Bite-size" version of my mum's "Up Story", along with associated photographs.

7 UP

The family have a lucky escape when a WWII incendiary bomb drops on their house and into Mum's bedroom.

(You can read the full story in my posts, Terror of a WWII bomb and WWII bomb nightmare - my aunt's story ).

14 UP

Mum leaves school and begins training to be a Nursery Nurse.

21 UP

Mum marries my dad in 1956, having met him at a dance 2 years earlier.

28 UP

7 years on and she now has two children - me and my sister.

35 UP

By now Mum is a "Brown Owl" of the local Brownie pack.

42 UP

Mum is again working with young children as a Nursery group leader and is an active member of the local operatic society.

49 UP

Mum becomes a grandmother!

Sadly, the 7 UP story stops here. Mum never reached the next milestone of 56. She died of ovarian cancer in 1989, aged 54. Needless to say, we all still miss her.


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