By on January 15, 2011 in Thought

My mother, Louisa Jane Granter, nee Tranter, was born 100 years ago tomorrow, 16 January 1911, in a small terraced cottage in the White Lion pub yard in Bedworth [probably not the White Lion Yard where the library is now, but the one off Market Place where the old White Lion Pub used to be, now demolished; information on the old yard from my cousin Margaret on 9/4/15 from her memory of her Dad’s history. Image of the cottage might still be accurate], West Midlands (as it is now).


She was the last child of Louisa Tranter, nee Green who had had seven sons survive up to then. Most of them were underground coal pit miners and by all accounts my Mum was a bit spoilt by all those quite well off working young men.

The cottages and the pub are no longer there [see note above about this probable confusion of mine], replaced now by a pleasant town library. The librarian there was delighted to show me pictures of the cottages when I called in a year or two ago [but she didn’t know there had been an earlier WL Yard up off Market Place].

As a child I used to go on the bus with my Mum to visit these uncles and their families in Bedworth and Bulkington. Their children were all older than me so they didn’t relate to me much, as I remember, that is, we didn’t “go out to play” while the grown-ups gossiped. I sat quietly looking at books or something. Can’t really remember that part, though I remember all their faces.

After I got to be a teenager I didn’t go to see them much any more and eventually lost touch with every single one of them and their families. [Reunited March 2015 with Margaret Sainsbury, nee Tranter, my cousin, daughter of Aunt Doll and Uncle Herbert].

For years we, my brother and I, thought our Mum was born in 1910 but when she died in 1985 we discovered the truth. She was born in time to be on the 1911 Census aged 3 months. We also found that her Mum was born in Darjeeling, India in 1872, while her Dad was in the Army.

I shall visit her grave in London Road Cemetery, Coventry either tomorrow or very soon after. It’s a good grave, close to a big yew tree, with a headstone we had made a few years ago, showing her with our Dad, Alf, his parents Elizabeth and Alf and his little sister who died in the 1918 ‘flu epidemic.

She was so proud of her two sons. I hope she had a good life in spite of my miserable grumpy Dad who was usually ill with respiratory trouble, though he was rarely off work with it. She had a good friend to talk to, Mrs. Stone as we knew her by, who also had a son, Raymond; she had to be gone from visiting before Alf got in from work!

I remember rubbing my Mum’s frozen fingers when she came in from hanging out the washing in the winter or from getting it in, with shirts and everything keeping their shape, frozen stiff.

I’m glad she got to see her four grandchildren for a few years before she died.

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