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  • Wendy Percival

Five Minute Memories

I’ve reinstated my Five Minute Memories daily habit. I have a list of grandparents and great aunts on my iPad and each day I jot down something I remember about them.


I’ve recently added myself to the list, to encourage me to record my own childhood memories. It was a subject discussed on #AncestryHour recently - that we shouldn’t ignore ourselves as an important part of our family history story.


Here are a few items from my list:

Grandparent memories


A gathering of grandparents!

My paternal grandmother, Edith Alice Shelley, nee Diggory (second from left)

  • She wore her hair in a bun (although, in the above photo she has it permed, a once-only event!) and washed it in rainwater collected in a tank on the flat roof of the kitchen extension.

  • She called hair tangles “lugs”.

  • She would cut a loaf horizontally, buttering the slice first. Quite a skill!

My granddad, (Ernest) George Shelley, (3rd from left)

  • He smoked Players untipped cigarettes.

  • He generally wore a flat cap and blue dungaree overalls (he was a gardener by trade).

  • He would always smooth out the silver paper from sweet wrappers. I used to watch and be impressed, as I could never do it as well as him!

My maternal grandmother, Winifred Irene Garland, nee Griffiths (2nd from right)

  • She had white curly hair and bright blue eyes. She wore clear-framed glasses and red lipstick.

  • Her Victoria sponges were legendary. Sometimes she changed the raspberry jam inside to lemon curd, which was a speciality of hers.

  • She gave my sister and me each a tube of Smarties whenever we visited.


A childhood memory


This time of year always reminds me of summers spent in the house where I lived from the age of 5 to 9, which were dominated by The Battle of the Ants. 😱


In the garden, somewhere in the bank above the coal bunker, (just out of shot to the left, in the right-hand photo) was a giant ants’ nest.


The larder and kitchen would be regularly invaded by ants looking for food.


Mum took to keeping cake and biscuits in tins under the bed to be safe. Why the tins weren’t secure enough to keep out the ants if she left them in the larder, I’ve no idea!


So... what are your Five Minute Memories and are you keeping a note of them?



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