|Nana is on the right.....walking with a neighbour.....I'd love to know what they were talking about.|
|Queenie, aged 21|
My parents and I lived with her for the first 4 years of my life. My early memories of her are that she systematically broke every piece of a 110 piece dinner service my mother had received as a wedding present. ( not strictly true, I have about 6 pieces of it left). I can remember hearing a crash from the kitchen, my mother raising her eyebrows, and Nana shouting “ oopps...sorry Joy, that’s another bit gone “
Nana took me for great walks in the park, and always told me how much I would have loved “her Billy” ( her husband who died in 1946.....he’s the one I have since discovered was a bigamist, and Queenie was actually his third, simultaneously held, wife).
|Queenie and her Billy, in 1928|
Her motor bike was her pride and joy, and she would go for midnight rides in north London. The police followed her home one night, and suggested that she should probably stick to day time rides in the future...she was about 70 at the time.
|no caption needed....it's just Loopy nana|
Nana worked in munitions in the war, and then when Billy died she became a factory superviser for the Tilley lamp company. Later in life, she considered retirement, and then decided against it, working as a tea lady for an estate agent until she was in her late 80s. When I was a student ( mid 70s) she sent me £1 every week, in an envelope, with her latest news. That continued for 4 years, she was my most reliable source of income, at a time when £1 would certainly pay for a decent night out at the pub.My father adored her, and she spent every weekend at our house, every Christmas day, and she joined us for a week of every family holiday we ever had. Nana could climb on the rocks, wield a mean cricket bat in any beach cricket game, and was always our favourite baby sitter.
Between being 16 and 18, I would go to her little flat for tea, every Thursday night after school. We had sausages and mash every time. Nana would ask what I wanted “next week” as I was leaving, and no matter what I suggested for a change..... it would be sausages and mash the following week.
I do remember being a little hurt when finding a Congratulations on the birth of your daughter ( me) card, in a box, with the words “ oh well, better luck next time, the train set will have to wait “. However, as she bought me a big red fire engine as a present when I went into hospital when I was 2, I guess, by then, she’d forgiven me for not being a boy.
We started to refer to her as “loopy nana” when distinguishing her from our other, not so loopy nana. It stuck, and she loved it. I am very proud to have inherited that title, and will work hard to deserve it.
|Loopy Nana on the right, not so loopy nana ( nanny) on the left, with their great grandaughter, my daughter Jessie between them. This was taken just a couple of months before Loopy nana died......so glad she met Jess !|