Another couple of days spent rooting through the stuff in Pa's house and extracting the bits worth keeping. Yesterday Bro and I started on Pa's bedroom. Between us, we probably put in 12-14 hrs of time. Pa's bedroom is maybe 11' x 9, with a built in wardrobe along one of the short walls. Apart from a rail of clothes the complete width of the room, there was a shelf full of stuff above the rail and a stack 2 to 3 high of crates and boxes all the way along underneath the clothes. There were several references to Narnia as I disappeared inside to haul things out. At one point I collapsed in a fit of hysterical laughter about something, probably to do with camels.
This last few weeks is the longest Bro and I have spent in each other's exclusive company for a very long time and it's been nice just to get back to our old sense of humour. Our childhood was much influenced by the Goons and Flanders & Swann and all the assorted TV shows from the late 60s onwards and those are the things that will still crack us up.
Before we got to the wardrobe, we cleared enough space to move the bed against the wall. Then I worked through the contents of the chest of drawers in front of one of the wardrobe doors.
Amongst the haul from the drawers were:
- a wallet from his student days including several letters from his room mate, his student union card, a receipt from the caterers for a hall party, a receipt for his (plain) monocle, several payslips from a holiday job and a letter from a female who was clearly less taken with him than he with her!
- a wallet from after his student days including 2 photos of Ma, a letter from his mother dated just after we'd been to visit in 1975, several assorted business cards and a receipt from a hotel where he & Ma stayed for 3 days in February 1962 (married for more than 3 years at this point), which Bro thinks may be a significant moment in *his* existence!!!
- An old passport of Grandpa's from 1959 onwards.
- An old passport for Grandpa's parents dated 1929. Both Grandpa and his father were railway agents and traveled extensively on the continent. This contains only the third photo I've ever seen of my great grandmother.
- A bag of lead soldiers that are clearly pre-WW1 and therefore probably Grandpa's
- A pocket watch - probably Grandpa's
- A box of assorted cap badges and uniform badges/patches/pips etc from assorted uniforms that would have belonged to both Pa and Grandpa
- A large quantity of assorted old coins - UK and foreign
- A large quantity of assorted decimal coins of various ages, including 20 or more pound coins
- A quantity of assorted UK bank notes - all now defunct but interesting for collecting.
- A receipt for the burial of Ma's grandfather, who was interred in Keighley cemetary on 10 September 1935. Ma was born on 9 October.
Amongst the other things we found were
- Grandpa's beret and forage cap as seen in assorted war time photos.
- A photo of Grandpa's unit in Italy at Christmas 1943
- A photo of Grandpa's cricket team either just before or just after the war
- A 14" bayonet
- Pa's stamp album with a pretty darn good collection of stamps - including several with the pre-War German Chancellor and one wartime German field post stamp.
- A copy of "The Efficient Use of Fuel" which was awarded to Pa in 1953 for "The Headmaster's Prize for Work of Special Merit" in his last year at school.
and many other things that are equally interesting and a whole heap more things that have been earmarked for disposal. Bro messaged me as I was driving home to say he had finally found Pa's blues uniform, which hung in the wardrobe in my bedroom all the time I lived at home.
I found some marbles, which were probably Bro's, but then found a large bag of marbles which were definitely Pa's. Much hilarity ensued as we discussed whether giving him his marbles back would improve his current situation.
I have brought back another car load of stuff and am continuing to sift and sort it so it can be catalogued and shared with the cousins.