Lemon Sherbet and Dolly Blue: The Story of an Accidental Family
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
150 Station Road, Wheeldon Mill - a short stride across the Chesterfield Canal in the heart of Derbyshire - was home to the Nash family and their corner shop, serving a small mining community with everything from Brasso to Dolly Blue, from cheap dress rings to Lemon Sherbets. However, this was no ordinary home and no ordinary family. Three generations were adopted - Lynn Knight's great grandfather, a fairground boy given away when his parents left for America in 1865, her great aunt, rescued from an Industrial School in 1909, and her mother, adopted in London as a baby and brought north in 1930. Their story spans centuries and the changing society of twentieth century Britain. But more than that it is a story of community and of love. Full of colour, light and life, Lemon Sherbet & Dolly Blue is a story of what it really means to be family.
customers, my great-grandma was Mrs Nash until she died, though she learned most of their first names soon enough – some on her first day. Several on that first morning just wanted to be neighbourly, others wished to ingratiate themselves in the hope of obtaining tick on favourable terms; some, like Florrie Stokes, fell into both categories. For the first few months of the tenancy, Betsy and her customers exchanged little more than general greetings and replies to requests for a box of Atora
again, my great-grandma placed a hunk of bread and jam in her hands. One morning, Ethel appeared with bare feet. The soles of her shoes had worn right through and even the cardboard stuffed inside them had disintegrated. A new pair of boots cost around six shillings. There was no point in Betsy asking when Ethel’s would be replaced, when Florrie did not have sufficient money to feed her family, let alone the penny for the boot club. That afternoon, when Dick came off shift, my great-grandma
workhouse Master and Matron took charge during the School Matron’s annual leave. The workhouse by any other name… there was only a thin veneer between them. Regardless of which title officialdom preferred, as far as my great-aunt was concerned, she spent her childhood in The Orphanage. Another picture keeps coming to me, although it’s one I’d prefer not to see, of a little girl not yet three years old, sent to that drab institution, with its scratchy frocks, strict regime, echoing stone corridors
was purgatorial, however. Eva developed a strong sense of mischief. One especially vexing girl, conscious that her hair was her best feature, was constantly tossing her head. The ends of her long plaits repeatedly struck the edge of Eva’s desk, until Eva stopped that lark by tying the girl’s hair ribbons to her chair. Eva discovered she could run fast and win races. She also enjoyed recitations and declaiming aloud in class; one rhyme particularly appealed: ‘Curly locks, curly locks, wilt thou be
things were going. There was talk of Willie becoming a partner in the firm. Willie noted all ingredients in his bakery book, a professional tool, a list of proportions only. There are no instructions to encourage the uninitiated to beat or knead or sieve. Sometimes, in the evenings, Wilie baked at home and taught Annie some of the tricks of his trade, such as how to make vanilla slices with melting flaky pastry and perfect crème anglaise, and how to bake the lightest savoury tarts. Occasionally,