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How it all started

My grandfather had died in 1986 and it wasn't the first time that I found myself asking my father, ten years later, to lend me the tape Grandpa had made of the story he had been writing. I wanted to type it up and present it to various family members and friends of my grandfather.

This time though, Dad gave me the handwritten book.

We all knew that Grandpa had wanted to write an account of an event from his youth and his reel-to-reel tape machine was replaced with a casette player one Christmas in the late 1970's.

Some decade and a half later, here I was typing it up with fond memories re-kindled.

It was the story of The Long Walk - a journey Grandpa had made, aged ten, with his father, walking the 100+ miles from Birmingham to London.

I had questions though. I knew he had siblings but they weren't mentioned. He referred to aunts and uncles and cousins of whom I had no knowledge. And there was 'Mrs Rags' a lady who gave lodgings to them both, but who seemed to hold a special place in my grandfather's heart.

Dad was able to answer some of the questions. Great Aunt Alice would have been in service, but Uncle Fred and Aunt Maud? He remembered relatives from Ealing. But more memorable was the family at Watery Lane.

The electoral register of Spring 1920 would show how Liz Thorpe (Mrs Rags) was listed as Elizabeth Beeson, qualification to vote accorded by her husband's occupation.

I was hooked! Now I had to find out more ...


Aldridge | Baker | Barnes | Beeson | Bradley | Brindley Price | Hill | Hull | Readsway | Shillingford | Smith | Watton

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