Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Auntie Annie...........................

Auntie Annie was a part of my childhood, a part of my life until I was in my teens. She would visit us every Friday evening. She would bring sweets and give me six pence. My Mum liked her sweets too and she too would buy some to share. So Friday nights for me was something to look forwards to. Auntie and sweets and a sixpence to spend. The Photo below is Annie and Daisy.
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Annie was my Grandmother Jenny's sister. She never married. It was said that she was engaged once but lost her fiance in the Great War. She did not apparently get over that, but it is hear say. I don't really know. I know she was very close with Daisy Swann who lived next door to my Grandparents. Burt and Jenny Hines, my Dad's parents, lived at St Omere in Houghton Regis. My parents lived with them for a time right after the war. Mum and dad married before he went overseas and Mum lived at her parents house until the war was over. I was born in 1946 and I believe they lived at St Omere for a time before they moved to their soon to be permanent home on Bidwell Hill.
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The above picture is of Mum rushing me inside to "clean me up" no idea what was involved there but the stout lady in the black is Annie.
Daisy Swann was an adopted daughter. I have no idea if that was formal or she just lived with the Hines family, but when her mother died and her father and family went elsewhere to live, Daisy stayed behind (probably because she was a girl) and was raised by the Hines family.Her father probably thought it best for her. Life was very harsh then. So basically Annie and Daisy were like sisters.
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The above picture is of my great grandparents with Annie and Daisy the baby may be Jenny.I am not sure at this point as all my pictures are put away, I can correct this later.
Well anyway, Daisy and Annie had to be very close because Annie lived with her and her husband Bill Swann for the remainder of her life. They lived next door to St Omere at The Ferns. Notice so many English houses have names rather than numbers. I love that.
Well Annie was a member of the Baptist Church in Houghton Regis. My parents were Church of England but never went to church. Annie spend a good deal of time involved in church activities. When I was small she would come and get me and take me to tend the family graves. I loved that. I loved the cemeteries and that remained with me always. I was never uncomfortable there, I found it peaceful and pleasant. She showed me where everyone was and we would change the flowers on many graves during our days visit. Some I remember but mostly I just remember loving being with her.
Annie probably was a great influence on me. To all who knew her she was a true Christian lady. She was quiet and unassuming. I can see her still bending to pick lint off the living room carpet. Tidy and fussy. Like me.
She bought me a picture of Jesus on the cross that was in my bedroom above my bed growing up. I reluctantly got rid of that when I was older because I was told it was wrong to have images of our Lord. I regret that now.
Sometimes she would come and call for me and take me with her to visit old people who were shut ins. Sick people who needed groceries of something. I am not sure exactly what she was up to but she took me with her sometimes. I can remember at least two places we would visit. She was a kind lady. A giving lady and she gave of her time to those less fortunate. No one had money in those days, it was all about doing what you could for those who needed it.
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I didn't realize when I was young, that she worked but she did. A picture of her retirement above.
I would love to know more about her life but alas everyone is gone now. I do know that she took my cousins Brenda and Janet on some of the same missions as she took me and they remember her too with much love. She would take us to Harvest Festival at the chapel and I know that when I was older I would go with my friend Jean. I loved the Chapel and the way they looked after people. At Harvest festival the front of the church would be full of baskets of baked goods, vegetables and flowers. All given to the less fortunate in the village.
They told me I look like her. I think I can see it.
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Now if I can be as good of a person as she was, then I would be happy. I would like people to remember me as I remember her. I hope I can achieve that goal before my time is up.


LV said...

Truly enjoyed your family history and the love you shared. It is wonderful that we will always have our memories. However, at my age, I tend to forget more. Also, those golden birds on your sidebar flapping around is so neat. Wish I had them.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Loved reading more about your family Janice !
Your aunty Annie sounded very much like my grandma Ciss, a salt of the earth kind of lady, how opened her doors often, even to strangers.
She was active in her church, and encouraged all the kids in the neighborhood to attend Sunday School, she was like the Pied Piper and always had a baby in a pram, a corgi dog by her side, and several neighborhood children following her to church, an amazing lady.
She owned a bakery, and at the front was a sweet shop and general store, I was an only child, and had a fun childhood working in there serving.....
I see the likeness of you and your aunty, and if I might add, you could pass for being my mum or sister :)
How lovely.

Magic Love Crow said...

Really enjoyed this post! Thanks so much for sharing some of your family history with us! You do look like her! Big Hugs!