Hello, I'm Chrissie. I can't get over how lucky I am to be living at the seaside - I still love living at Cleveleys after being here for more than 15 years. I hope you enjoy my slightly cock-eyed look at life - come back regularly for a look at living beside the seaside, our mad family life and my view on local and topical current affairs. The weather often features, along with the very different things that you get to see and do when you live somewhere like this.

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Back to the Past

Remembrance Day, gas mantles, Singer sewing machines and peggy rugs - back to the past in today's blog

Lest we Forget

It's Remembrance Sunday today, and Armistice Day yesterday - time to remember.

On Armistice Day yesterday I was thinking about the grandfather who I never knew, as he was killed in the First World War.

Richard Bishop

So many deaths since then on futile wars that don’t seem to make sense to me, I wonder when the killing and hate will ever end or if it will end. Who knows I certainly don’t.

My other grandfather died before my brother was born who was five years older than me. So I never knew what it was like to have a grandad, which always made me sad when I saw my cousins who did have grandfathers, but ces’t la vie as they say. 

My maternal grandmother was lovely, very happy, warm and with the most amazing twinkly eyes. Sadly the woman I loved was only a grandma for the first few years of my life as she developed Altzeimer’s disease. From me being about 10, I had to watch her start to deteriorate in front of me, to the point that she didn’t know me any more. I can still feel how sad it was, as I loved her so much.

My paternal grandmother was a different kettle of fish altogether. Very strict, dour and definitely not a cuddly person, so as a result I wasn’t all that keen on going to visit her as I was always getting told off for something.

Gas Mantles

She had a big carved wooden table, highly polished with very ornate legs which sat in the middle of the room. It was a necessity as back then, in the good old days, she had a gas mantle lamp in the middle of the room and had to climb onto the table to pull the length of chain that ignited the mantles. 

It looked something like this, with a chain on each side, one for on and one for off. This is from an interesting website I stumbled on called www.1900s.org.uk if you want to have a look.

Gas mantle lamp from www.1900s.org.uk

I was sent up there occasionally to do the deed which seemed very high and dangerous to me but if I got my hands on a gas mantle that needed changing and dared to grasp it a bit too hard, oh boy was I in trouble as they crumbled so easily, many was the telling off I got for that one!

The gas mantle was inside the light fitting, a bit like a lightbulb. The gas burned inside it and produced the light. Looking at this photo and thinking back, I would imagine they were made from asbestos!

Gas mantle

The polished table in the middle of the room that I mentioned always had a heavy almost like a tapestry cloth that covered the whole top of the table. And would you believe, every table leg was wrapped in padded cloths, tied with string and then covered in hessian, for the sole job of keeping us grandchildren from kicking the legs while we were sitting at the table. We still got told off if we kicked the padding so really we couldn’t win could we.

Singer Sewing Machine

She also had a singer sewing machine, the very old fashioned type that was like a piece of polished wood furniture, and it had wrought iron sides and wonder of wonders a treadle at the bottom which she had to treadle with her feet to make it work.

Singer sewing machine

The temptation to have a crafty rock up and down of the treddle with our hands was too much to bear, but oh my goodness if we got caught we were in for a right telling off might I tell you.

Peggy Rugs

She also used to make ‘peggy rugs’ to sell and had a big loom that she would put up in the front room. There she used to make peg rugs out of old clothes that she’d cut up and sorted into colours making the most wonderful patterns. This isn't one of hers, but this is the finished type of effect.

Peggy Rug

Her sense of colour was amazing, even the crotched blankets she made were always so beautiful. The loom fascinated me with the hessian backing and the pieces of cloth being woven into the pattern.

As my granddad died when she was young she had to make money to bring four children up, there was no benefits system in those days, if you wanted to eat you had to find a way of earning money.

All in all, I have lots more memories but didn’t intend to ramble on as I have already done, but needless to say it was only when I grew up and used to visit her that I managed to crack through that stern exterior. I found someone that I grew to love but sadly, I needed that love when I was a child as I only had her as a grandparent.

Blackpool FC Up for Sale

Just a quick mention about the Oyston’s and the latest news over the football ground finally being sold.

What a to do there then, and the news that they have to pay to pay their former director Valeri Belokon £31.27 million made my eyes water, never mind theirs!

It seems like the fans were jumping for joy at the news of the Oyston’s downfall and I can’t say that I blame them, they’ve certainly put up with a lot over the years especially the £42 million to their own companies, what a shower.

Of course the Oyston’s defended themselves by saying that they had acted in a proper manner, but to watch what was once a very promising football club decline like it has done is shameful. But you know what they say, what goes round comes round and the circle is certainly closing up for the Oyston’s.

Is there any wonder that fans are celebrating when they’ve watched their beloved club sink down and down in the tables, they must have been heart broken to watch it but they are certainly getting their turn served, don’t you think!

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Published: 12th November 2017
Modified: 12th November 2017