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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Granny's China Cabinet

I only ever knew one of my Grandparents, my Granny Cox, dad's mum.  I have a very vague recollection of my Granddad Cox, sitting on his chair in the corner of the kitchen, but can't remember any more of him than that. 

My Granny's name was Cissie and when I was young I spent lots of time with her, I always spent the weekend with her, not because I had to but because I wanted to.   She let me help her around the house and do little jobs for her and she was always patient and very appreciative, telling me I'd done a wonderful job.  If ever I didn't turn up at home after school mum knew that I'd be at Grans. 

In the afternoon she always went for a lie down and sometimes I would sneak in and lay the table with tea and cake, (there was always fruit cake in a tin in the pantry), then go and wake her and tell her I'd laid the table for tea.  I never felt in the way or that I was doing something I shouldn't or doing it wrong, I hope I was never too much of a hindrance.

When you're young you just don't appreciate how hard it was back in the day, but  as I've got older I realise how awful it must have been for her.  She had 3 sons, my dad was the youngest, Uncle Jack, who's real name was Elijah John was the oldest and Uncle Ralph in the middle.  Both my uncles fought in WWII, Uncle Ralph was in the Middle East, Uncle Jack was in Singapore when it was taken, and was captured and was put on one of the so called Hell Ships as a prisoner. He was a Japanese Prisoner for the rest of the War, working in (we think the salt mines.  I have a few details of the camp he was in and his release papers).  There was a time during the war when my Granny and  Granddad didn't know if their two sons were dead or alive, like thousands of other parents.  

My dad was in a reserved occupation but wanted to enlist never the less, but, he had an overlapping toe and none of the forces would take him except for the Navy but he must have his overlapping toe amputated first.  The legal age for anything then was 21, and as he was under-age had to have his parents consent, which my Gran refused, saying that she didn't know where two of her sons were and she wasn't going to sign for my dad to go as well.

Both my Uncles came back from the War but it had already done it's damage.  Uncle Jack who was well over six feet tall came back weighing a mere 6 stone, he married and had a son but he died aged just 34.  Uncle Ralph also married but divorced, there were no children, sadly he to died in his early 50's .  This is not the way things should happen, my Gran must have carried that heartache around with her every day, yet she was never angry, not outwardly anyway.

I was around 13 when my Gran died, she had a stroke one Saturday night while we were watching TV.  I'm glad I was there and that she was not alone.

So, Granny's China Cabinet.  It always sat in the same spot in her living room with various bits and bobs in, including a china tea set of course, in those days people didn't swap and change furniture all the time, they looked after what they had, and the cabinet was polished and loved.  
After Gran died my eldest sister had a lot of her things, the cabinet being one of them, but for the past, oh, I don't know how many years the cabinet has been sitting in her garage and when she had a recent clear-out she was going to throw it away.

Considering how old it is it wasn't in bad condition really.

The back board was a different matter, this had definitely seen better days

 I couldn't let it be thrown away, so took it back home and gave it a new lease of life.





It's now in my bedroom with my treasures inside.



Sitting in the corner looking like it has always belonged there.

 And I've got something to remind me of my Gran, who just wasn't around long enough.

Thank you for letting me share a little of my Granny's story and, If you are watching Gran, I hope you like what I've done :-)

-X-
~~~~~~~~~~

ps. For those who are interested  the cabinet is painted by me using Annie Slone chalk paint, waxed and then distressed.

13 comments:

Von said...

What a beautiful story! I'm so glad you got your grandmother's cabinet and have given is a lovely new finish and life. :)

Carole said...

You are so fortunate to have this treasure.....I'm sure your Gran is thrilled with what you have done with it!

butterfly said...


What a beautiful story, I loved my nan to and would spend all my free time with her she was a beautiful person.

Love what you have done with the cabinet you made a fab job.

cucki said...

Such a lovely story
You so lucky to have this great treasure
Big hugs x

chickenchupacabra said...

Thank you for sharing that touching story with us! You did an absolutely gorgeous job on the cabinet . . . when you said the cabinet looks like it's always been there, I thought,"EXACTLY!!!"

Clare - Aimetu said...

It's gorgeous Maggie - a family heirloom :-)

Dee said...

Your Gran will LOVE what you have done! You made a beautiful change in the cabinet. I love the print inside too. Gorgeous.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your uncles at such young ages. My dad was sent to German and France during WWII, but it was after the hostilities. He helped liberate Jews from a labor camp in France. Not sure what he did in Germany other than "drive a truck". Dad was not much for talking about his experience there.

Melanie said...

Oh my goodness, what a change! I love what you did with it. And now it's ready for another generation.
Thanks so much for sharing. :)

Isabelle said...

I am sure your grandma is very proud of you ! and this little cabinet is absolutely gorgeous... and thank you for sharing your story ! my grand mother is still alive, and she's 93 and was proud and very happy to be with us for the wedding of my daughter !

Julie said...

A beautiful blog post Maggie, vey moving.
You did a wonderful job on the cabinet, it looks right at home and full of such pretty things too.

Anonymous said...
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Linda K's Stitching Corner said...

What a Treasure to have and to hold and to keep...wow....that is so beautiful. Your Curio Cabinet is just so gorgeous.

I am now a follower of your Blog and I would like for you to be a follower of my Blog as well. Here is the link:

http://lindaksstitchingcorner.blogspot.com

Have a Beautiful Day
Linda K, Railroad

Carol said...

What a truly special piece, Maggie--you have given it a wonderful second life :)