The picture above is of my great great grandparents, John and Mary Stacey, and probably their 4 youngest children.
Their youngest son George was born in 1882 so that would date this photograph mid to late 1880s.
I will start my thoughts with John and Mary who are the maternal branch of my family.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Herbert & Evelyn Tirrell

I have previously written about Herbert William Tirrell, my maternal grandfather, and the tragic loss of his wife Edith and his second marriage to Evelyn Davis.

Herbert, Evelyn and his daughter Kathleen lived in Wickersley, Yorkshire in a bungalow which Herbert built himself.  He worked as a miner and later as a pipe layer for the local authority.

I have fond memories of visits to Wickersley when I was a child.  These were generally in the summer holidays.  Herbert was a very keen gardener and I am sure they must have been practically self sufficient.  He had half an acre of garden and grew all his own vegetables and fruit.  At the side of the house there was an orchard with, as far as I can remember, apples, pears, plums and damsons.  We used to help collect the fruit in the summer and the apples were stored for the rest of the year in a dugout air-raid shelter in the garden.   He grew soft fruit too and I can remember especially the delicious sweet gooseberries.

He also kept chickens and had a pigsty where he had 2 pigs which he fattened up and sold some to the local butcher and the rest was kept for family use.  He had a dog and there were always cats around.

111 Northfield Lane, Wickersley.  To the right of the house you can see the orchard.  The front garden had a flower border and a hedge that was always neatly trimmed.

Here is Herbert with his chickens, I used to help collect the eggs.  I used to steer clear of the pigsty as Herbert's son, my uncle Walter, once tried to put me in there with the pigs.  He is only 10 years older than me and was a terrible teaser when he was in his teens.  Herbert and Evelyn also have a daughter Joan. 

This was taken in Cleethorpes I think on a day trip to the seaside.  Behind Herbert are his wife Evelyn, daughter Joan and her husband Ken.  Unfortunately Ken is the only one visible. 
They all look rather overdressed for the beach. I think this must have been taken in the 1950s.  

Here Herbert is pictured with some of his work colleagues.

Trying out son Walter's motorbike.
 This is my auntie Joan's wedding in 1953. 
I was her bridesmaid, but unfortunately I am not in this photograph as it was taken at a later date because a lot of the wedding photos did not turn out very well.  Herbert and Evelyn are on the right. 

 These two photos were taken in 1967 shortly before my parents emigrated to Australia.  Above I am sitting with my parents and grandparents in their garden and below playing with the dog. 

My grandfather Herbert died on 6th April 1976 just a week before his 82nd birthday.  

Evelyn died on 10th January 1979 at the age of 77.  She had been looked after by daughter Joan for several years following a stroke and eventually was in a nursing home.  This picture shows her meeting her great grandchildren.  At the back is my mother and my auntie Joan and in front are my daughter Sophia, me, grandma and my son Darius.  Although she wasn't mum's real mother I had always known her as grandma and she was a lovely caring lady. 


  1. Oh, Sheila, I enjoyed this so much! Your grandmother's smile is delightful! Send me your posts, like Sheila W-Bruce does. I enjoy family histories so much. Kudos to you on such a great job honouring your past.

  2. Thanks Sheila, I didn't mention in the post that not only were my children meeting their great grandmother for the first time but it they had only just met with my mother as it was her first trip back from Australia since before they were born. I try to post on facebook most days and you can find my posts there ;-)