Duration: 2:39 minutes
Accession No: TWCMS : 2009.4
This story has been viewed 2543 times
SummaryThis story is about Hazel's daughter, Juliet, and her interest in her female ancestors.
By Hazel Barron-Cooper
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My beautiful , long awaited for daughter Juliet is 10 years old now and growing up
She loves the idea of family and is intrigued by my mother , Winifred Hazel Charlton
who died 22 years ago , 12 years before Juliet was born.
Juliet keeps a photograph of Winifred by her bed in a gold frame. She calls her my
Grandma and when asking about her she always says,
"Tell me all about it, Tell me everything ." And so I try...
My mum was in the WAF during the second world war. She was from Sunderland
but at the age of 17 she was stationed at Mildenhall Air Base in Suffolk.
As a child my head was full of stories of World War 2 as she related them to me
She was on the team of cooks at the air base and she became a corporal. She told
me how one particular airman admirer of hers would sing , "Hey good looking , what
you got cooking..."
Once she heard from the control room at the air base that someone she was dating
had been shot down in a plane over Germany .
She was flown in a Lancaster Bomber over Germany to see the devastation caused
by the famous Barnes Wallis bomb drops.
She would go out in the evening to village dance halls and get the last train back to
blacked out stations .
I would always remind her about this when I was a teenager and she was worried
about me venturing into town late at night!
My father was a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy and in the 60's he would be
away at sea for 18 months at a time , so mum was the main parent.
Whenever I was off school ill she would tell me family history stories about her
mother Eliza Hedley who had died before I was born.
I was fascinated by tales of her grandmother Suzannah who was originally from
Brittany , then settled in Cornwall near Bodmin Moor and thence the family moved to
the North East.
My mum remembers her grandmother wearing Victorian clothing and never losing
her Cornish accent.
Hazel, I have learned a lot about your mum, my aunt Win, from this little piece. Thank you so much. My mum would tell me stories of walking back through the blackout in Sunderland after a night out too. I loved hearing all about her as person in her own right rather than only as ' Mum' & 'Wife'. These stories are so important. PaulinePosted on 19/03/2010 at 09:55:42
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