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Grace Violet Lilian Hulme


Find Grace in the family tree

I have few recollections of my grandmother Grace but as she died before the first of my cousins was born and before my sister was two years old if I don’t record them no one else will be able to.

All my memories are based around the prefab at Porter’s Field, Lea Bridge Road. If you look at the map you will see that the prefab was not far from the Mill Fields Recreation Ground a little to the West which was well equipped with swings, roundabouts, rocking horses and slides; one very high with a small ‘waiting room’ for the timid to pluck up courage and another of more normal proportions. We used to visit that playground quite often.

More specifically I recall a shopping expedition to Hackney with my mother and grandmother and shopping at market stalls. Grandmother bought me a plastic flower which pinned on a lapel with a trailing tube attached to a rubber bulb which could be placed in a pocket ready to squirt water at the gullible.

We returned by bus to 14 Second Avenue where my bulb was filled with water and I was despatched to Fourth Avenue (my grandparent’s prefab) on a mission to squirt my aunt who still lived with her parents. Aunty Win dutifully bent down to smell the flower and I pressed the bulb at the critical moment and…

…the tube came off the back of the flower and I got a wet shirt for my pains.

I recall only two other things, one that grandmother was always generous with her Mars Bar ration but I was told off more than once for keeping them in my pocket for days or weeks until they went sticky and messy. The other memory is seeing her propped up in her sick-bed on a pile of pillows. I suspect I was taken to see her for a final visit, not that I have any recollection that this was explained at the time but as I was only just five years old maybe an explanation was felt to be inappropriate.

The photograph on Grace Hulme’s tree page was a fixture on my mother’s shelves until she died in 1998 and that image is indelibly imprinted on my own memory as being ‘Gran’.

Notes by Malcolm Knight.