top of page
  • 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.



Wendy Percival
Wendy Percival
Jun 25, 2019

You’re most welcome to borrow the concept, Gill! I’m delighted that it seems to have inspired quite a few people to try it for their own family members. 😁😁


Jun 24, 2019

What a lovely idea this is Wendy, I may have to 'borrow' the concept.


Wendy Percival
Wendy Percival
Jun 20, 2019

Thanks, Georgia. Yes, life's unfair sometimes!

I realised that having done a 7Up format, you can go back and fill in the gaps to create a fuller story. Going to do Dad next!


Georgia Rose
Jun 19, 2019

What a lovely idea to plot out the history of one person in the family like that, and how sad that your mum’s life was cut so tragically short. Such a loss to you all.


Wendy Percival
Wendy Percival
Jun 17, 2019

Thanks, Caroline. Yes, you're right about identifying the different periods of time - it's been a interesting reminder of the changes in life-style over the decades.

bottom of page