I know you've read this before but I'm posting it in remembrance of my Dearest Dad, as I will every year.
were dirt poor, living in a poor neighbourhood but Christmas was always
a magical time for Kit. There was no money for fripperies but Kit
needed a Christmas Tree.
"Joe, make me a Christmas Tree" she said to her youngest son.
"What? How am I supposed to do that?" he asked.
"Use your imagination" said Kit.
did she always demand such things of him, Joe wondered, just for once
couldn't she ask one of the others to come up with the impossible. Oh
well, there was no use in sulking, he would just have to get on with it
and do his best because his mother would not accept anything less.
his way back from work that day he decided to take the short cut
through the park, as for once he didn't have any errands to do for Kit
or the neighbours to whom she so readily offered his services. Busy
wondering how he could fulfill Kit's latest request he was not looking
where he was going and suddenly found himself flat on his face having
tripped over a broken branch off a tree, which had fallen as the result
of the storm the day before. Drat it, he thought as he dusted himself
off, then *ding* a lightbulb lit up in his head - he could maybe do
something with the branch! It was quite a big branch with quite a few
forks and twigs attached so he grabbed it by the thickest part and
dragged it as carefully as he could along the streets until he got it
Once home he found a bucket and filled it
with stones and soil and planted the branch carefully so that it was
secure and standing proud. He searched the cellar and found some white
paint and set to work to paint the branch. Whilst the paint was drying
he searched the house for anything that would liven the tree up; bit of
tinsel from a previous Christmas, a couple of paper chains Kit's
grandchildren had made at school, a small doll one of the grandchildren
had left lying about dressed in crepe paper would make a fairy for the
top of the branch. He carefully moved the branch to the front room and
set it in the front window, it actually looked like a Christmas Tree he
thought when he'd finished dressing it!
"I knew you wouldn't let me down" a delighted Kit told Joe.
word got round the neighbourhood that Kit had a Christmas Tree,
something no-one else had, and that's when the frequent knocks on the
door started. Neighbours arrived asking to see the Christmas Tree
bringing little gifts to hang on it - an odd earring, another piece of
tinsel, a long forgotten fripperie from more affluent times. Before
long the Christmas Tree was shimmering and sparkling and was truly
magnificent. Kit was thrilled and so were the neighbours who claimed
part of The Christmas Tree as their own. On Christmas Eve Kit's family
and neighbours gathered in the front room and sang traditional Christmas
Carols whilst marvelling at the Tree. Everyone agreed it was the best
Christmas Tree they had ever seen and vowed that every year they would
do the same thing again.
This is a true story - Joe was my Dad and Kit my grandmother.
Sorry you will have to wait a little longer for the next part of our Canada trip as I have to tell you about my niece's wedding, which took place on 23rd November. We had to meet at a designated meeting place in Manchester to board the coaches which were to take us to the church. Here we are waiting for the coaches. Youngest son and his family went to the church under their own steam as they live not far from there.
Me and Harry
Daughter-in-Law, Harry and Sam
Eldest grandson Sam
Mother-in-Law and eldest son, Nick.
MWM, his mother and Nick
The wedding was at St. Hubert's Church, Dunsop Bridge, Near Clitheroe in Lancashire.
The Roman Catholic church of St. Hubert's was built to the design of Edward Pugin, from, it is believed, the winnings of the racehorse Kettledrum owned by Colonel Charles Towneley of Towneley Hall, Burnley in the 1861Epsom Derby.
The Toweneley stud was at Root Farm. The Towneleys' agent and patron of
St Hubert's, Richard Eastwood, is entombed outside the front entrance
to the church.
In 1992, British Telecom installed its 100,000th payphone
at Dunsop Bridge and included a plaque to explain its significance -
the plaque reads "You are calling from the BT payphone that marks the
centre of Great Britain." The telephone box was unveiled by Sir Ranulph Feinnes.
Pronounced Man and Wife
The service was beautiful and the church was crammed full, as there were a lot of guests and it's tiny.
Rachel & Dean outside the church
After photographs at the church we boarded the coach again to be taken to the venue for the reception, Browsholme Hall in Clitheroe, where we were greeted with a glass of champagne in the Tithe Barn before walking up to the hall for more photographs. The Hall is an Elizabethan House claimed to be the oldest surviving family home in Lancashire. Since 1954, it has been designated a Grade I listed building. You can read more about it here.
Rachel and Dean
Bridesmaids and Bride's Mother (my granddaughter Gracie the little one in the centre)
Emma (on the left), Rachel's sister, chief bridesmaid
Father (my eldest brother) and Mother of the Bride
Youngest son and his family
After the photocall it was time to walk back down to the Tithe Barn for canapes and another drink before the reception. The venue was beautifully decorated.
We took our seats and listened to the entertaining and moving speeches.
Father of the Bride making his speech
Rachel and Dean relaxing
We had a superb meal after which Rachel and Dean cut the cake.
After the meal we retired to an ante room whilst the staff cleared the remnants of the reception and prepared it for the evening. There was a singer entertaining us and we took some candid shots of the family enjoying themselves.
We were soon able to go back into the reception room where Rachel and Dean had the first dance
before everyone else joined in and we were able to take some more photographs of the rest of the family.
My youngest brother, Stewart, middle child Lauren and his wife, Karen
My youngest brother's children, Bradley, Lauren and Kirsty
Cousins Lauren, Emma and Kirsty
Liam (the bride's brother) and his friend
Nate, our youngest grandson, and his Mum, Fiona
Harry and Kai (grandsons) enjoying a coke
Rachel and Dean have been together since they were 15 years old, nine years to be exact, they met at school. The wedding had been two years in the planning, I hope you enjoyed seeing my family enjoying a very special day.