Meet the Family - 1960's Style
Written in Answer to a Question
I have written this hub in answer to Terri Meredith’s question
I had already given a short answer to this question but when I read wychic’s answer, it reminded me of an event that took place some 46 years ago which I now want to share with you.
Because you can only answer the question once on the answer page, I have decided to write a hub about it so that I can share it with you.
This is about an event that happened when I took my fiancée to meet my Grandparents for the first time.
I had recently become engaged to my boyfriend who was a sailor in the Royal Navy and my grandparents who lived about 150 miles away wanted to meet him and give him the once over.
In those days, it seemed that it was more important to us that our family approved of our choice of husband as the expectation was that we would only marry once and that it would be for life.
Both my parents and my grandparents enjoyed reaching their Golden wedding and I am now only about four years off reaching mine.
Families seemed much more involved in one another's lives back then maybe because they often did not move far from where they were born and so normally lived quite close to their relatives.
Some of the family
Nervous of meeting the family
My fiancée was a little nervous at the thought of meeting my grandparents and the rest of my family on my mother’s side.
I can understand why as there was quite a lot of them as my mother was the oldest of ten children most of whom at that time still lived in the area.
The photograph is of my grandparents my mother on the left and one of her sisters and two of her brothers.
It was taken at the time of my grandparents Golden Wedding which was about a year before this event took place.
The Street where my grandparents lived
Staying with my grandparent
We stayed with my grandparents in their new flat, which they had moved to recently after their old house was demolished as part of a redevelopment plan.
They had lived in their old house for over fifty years and raised ten children in that two up two down house.
My grandparents house was the first house in the row of terraced houses on the left of the photo. The actual house is out of shot but the houses on that side of the street all look the same on the outside.
They had only been in the new flat for about a month or two and were still getting use to it. Their flat was brand new, it had been built to rehouse those displaced by the demolitions.
The flat had all the mod cons, which was very different from their old home. Their old home still had outside toilets and working gas light fittings etc.
A Shadowy Figure
The flat had two bedrooms so I slept with my grandmother in their bedroom my fiancée slept in the spare bedroom and my granddad slept on a bed settee in the living room.
The next morning my fiancée told me that his bedroom door opened in the middle of the night and awakened him. A shadowy figure then came into the bedroom and walked across to the wardrobe where it opened the wardrobe door, went in and shut the door behind it.
My fiancée still half-asleep was little alarmed and wondered what was going on, there was a muffled commotion and a little swearing now coming from inside of the wardrobe.
The wardrobe by now was rocking a little, which was quite alarming in itself, and then the wardrobe door flew open and the shadowy figure re emerged still muttering and exited the bedroom.
This is a photo of me
Granddad and the wardrobe
The next morning my fiancée told me all about the shadowy figure that came into his bedroom during the night, he was baffled as to what had taken place.
I spoke to my grandmother later that morning about what had happened during the night in my fiancée’s bedroom. Grandma nodded as she listened to my tale and then told us what she thought had happened.
Grandma said that my granddad had probably woken up in the night needing to go to the toilet and while still half asleep had on automatic pilot taken the path that he had walked for over fifty years to where the toilet had been in their old house.
Unfortunately, this route did not lead to their nice new inside toilet but to the wardrobe in the spare bedroom.
Fortunately, granddad had realised in time that he was in the wardrobe and not in the toilet where he wanted to be before he made a mess lol...
As my grandmother told us both this, we nodded sympathetically not wanting to laugh aloud at what my granddad had done. Granddad was already embarrassed enough by what he had done and we really did not want to add to his embarrassment by laughing.
It turns out that this was not the first time that he had done this but it was the first time that there had been a guest in the spare room to witness it.
Later that day when my fiancée and I were on our own we laughed quite a lot and nearly fifty years on it still raises a smile when we recall this event.
I am now about the same age as my grandparents were then and I can now understand how hard it must have been for granddad to get use to the new place after being in the same house over fifty years.
I am so glad that we did not laugh at my granddad at the time but it was funny.
More by this Author
Working Class life in England in the 1930's. What life was like for a typical working class family in Birkenhead during the 1930's.
what wash days were like sixty years ago before there were such things as automatic washing machines. Read this first hand account of what it was like in a working class home in Britain on wash day.
This story of incest is written from the perspective of a child born as a result of incest. Today I doubt that a twelve-year-old girl would have gone full term but this was the 1940’s.