She guided an extended family and looked after anyone down on their luck in our neighbourhood (which sometimes seemed like everyone!) during and after the Second World War.
She was given a curtain ring by Grandpa when he proposed on Waterloo Bridge. Too soon he was called up to serve in the Great War and was gassed on the Somme. He came back registered insane. Luckily for all of us he recovered, sending Grandma a letter from the hospital in London every day for over a year. I still have them in an old black wooden box!
The pic above is me and my Gran in 1942. I was born with a cleft palate and could not speak clearly until I was about eight. Gran taught me to sing. The picture on the right is Gran and Grandpa with their first born, Richard Parkin
My mum was pretty impressive too, she met my dad when they were both in a munitions factory making gas masks. She had had attended Barrett School of fashion and Design (later to be called The London School of Fashion) but had to abandon her apprenticeship in a fashion house and do war work. Dad missed most of my and my sister’s early childhood while serving in the Second World War. He had had an apprenticeship with Rolls Royce before the war but he could not face returning to it, so he and my mother became marionette makers and performers.
Why not ask your mother and/or grandmother (if she is still alive) about their lives before it’s too late and tell us all about it?