Far As I Can Remember: An Immigrant Woman's Story, 1888-1975
Publication Date: June 15, 2010
This book tells the story of Minnie Rose Lovgreen, a 19th-century English farm girl with next to no education, who narrowly missed sinking with the Titanic. It tells her story, tape-recorded in her own words. Minnie Rose was born in 1888 and was the 9th of 19 children living on her family’s 200-acre wheat farm in Norfolk, England. Aged 11, she left home to work as a housemaid and never lived at home again. Aged 24, she emigrated to Canada shortly before WWI. There she worked as a cook, maid and mother’s helper, manufactured ammunition, married, had a child, raised chickens, sold eggs, worked in a greenhouse, divorced her first husband and worked in a fish and chips shop. In 1920 she moved to Seattle and then to Bainbridge Island, Washington, where she lived and farmed for 55 years and became a widely-respected author in the last few months of her life.
Perfect Paperback: 168 pages [Paperback]
Publisher: NW Trillium Press; 1st edition (June 15, 2010)
Minnie Rose Lovgreen's Recipe for Raising Chickens: 86-yr-old farmwoman's lively advice Minnie Rose Lovgreen (Author)
Publication Date: May 7, 2009
Out of print many years, then recently republished to show a new generation the joys of backyard chicken-raising. Sixty years of observations and know-how. Care for broody hens, raise baby chicks, build coops, promote quality egg production, calm irate roosters. No nonsense, straight forward. A classic for chicken enthusiasts.
Unknown Binding: 31 pages [Paperback]
Publisher: NW Trillium Press; 3rd Edition edition, (May 7, 2009)
Robert Wadlow: The Unique Life of the Boy Who Became the World's Tallest Man
Author: Jennifer Phillips
Publication Date: November 8, 2010
Imagine being the tallest person in the world. As a child you just keep growing and growing and growing...six feet...seven feet...eight feet up. The world is made in miniature and you must constantly endure. The crush of public attention is relentless. Some people are kind, some are mean. All are curious. This is the true life story of Robert Perching Wadlow. The victim of an overactive pituitary gland, Robert lived from 1918 to 1940. He stood just shy of 9 feet tall by the time of his death at age 22. Robert didn't choose his situation, but his accomplishment was in how he handled it. Biography includes historical images.
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (November 8, 2010)
Over a Hot Stove A Kitchen Maid's Story
by Flo Wadlow
Flo's life in full-time domestic service provides a fascinating story of a world that has disappeared. Flo started, aged 16, as a young kitchen maid in South Kensington and at the almost unheard-of age of 23 was appointed cook at Blickling Hall.
Her story is told with no resentment that the lowly position of servants, such as herself, supported the privileged life-style of her employers `upstairs'. Flo made the most of every opportunity, and after her marriage, continued to enjoy her cooking in every capacity possible, based around the village of Heydon.
Aprons and Silver Spoons
Author: Pam Norfolfk
Aprons and Silver Spoons is the memoirs of Mollie Moran.
Her rise from a 1930s scullery maid to ‘big house’ cook is charted in this lively, evocative and wonderfully perceptive and intelligent memoir which lifts the lid on a world that vanished with the onset of war.
She takes us through the toil of scrubbing steps, lighting fires and polishing pans to the fun of flirting with errand boys, the comforts of companionship and the exhilaration of sneaking out to dances. Through her marriage to a man who became an army officer, Mollie went on to run her own household of servants but she has never lost sight of her humble beginnings, never envied those born to wealth and privilege and never forgotten the debt of gratitude she owes to domestic service.
Born in 1916, Mollie was raised in the Norfolk countryside near Downham Market on the edge of the fens where she ran wild and gained a reputation as a daring tomboy. Her father was gassed during the First World War and thereafter struggled to provide for his wife and two children but, as Mollie reveals, with ‘an iron will... and a healthy disregard for the rules, you could always find food.’
At 14, she jumped at the chance to become a scullery maid for the Stocks family who owned Woodhall, in nearby Hilgay, as well as a five-storey townhouse in Cadogan Square in London’s fashionable Knightsbridge. The new maid’s 15-hour day began at 6.30am, ended at 9.30pm and involved back-breaking work like blackleading the grate, lighting the range fire, scrubbing floors, laying tables, washing up mountains of pots and preparing the vegetables.
By the end of the first week, Mollie admits she was filthy, dizzy, exhausted and so homesick that it hurt. She was 14 and her childhood was officially over. She soon discovered that a strict hierarchy governed life downstairs and was more rigid and enforced than anything that went on upstairs. It wasn’t her employers she feared most but the head housemaid and the obsessively loyal butler.
But there were compensations which mainly involved ‘boys, dresses and dancing’ but also the bonds she forged with kitchen maid Flo Wadlow and their extraordinarily close friendship which lasted over 80 years until Flo’s death aged 100 in January this year.
Mollie’s book is brimming with fascinating details of her life both in-house and in London as the capital teetered on the brink of seismic changes. She gives us a tantalising glimpse of Wallis Simpson, with her ‘hard face and whippet-like body’ leaving a Park Lane hotel with the Prince of Wales ‘scurrying after her like a lapdog’ and Nevile Henderson, Britain’s notoriously pacifist Ambassador to Berlin, taking shelter from the pre-war ‘storms’ at a Woodhall shooting party.
Down-to-earth Mollie Moran lives on her own now in Bournemouth where she regularly hosts Scrabble parties and cooks for 25 people. Age has not wearied her and she still regards her ten years in service as some of the happiest times of her life.
‘Service may seem like a class struggle to some and slavery to others,’ concludes this grand old lady, ‘but to me it represented adventure and freedom beyond my wildest dreams.’
(Published by Penguin, paperback, £6.99)
The Waddelow Society is a non profit Family History Group, established in 1988, interested in reasearching the Waddelow/Wadlow name.
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