Gransnet forums

Genealogy/memories

Hairy tales from our parents...

(14 Posts)
MellowYellow Fri 24-Jul-20 21:24:11

My mum, who would have been 100 this month, used to tell how she and her three siblings (aged 5 to 10) were always late for school. They lived in an isolated area and she said, 'Our school kept the register open because we walked three miles to get there and the teacher thought it was the distance that delayed us.' In fact, the truth was that halfway between home and school the children passed the 300 ft deep open shaft of a disused tin mine (this is in Cornwall) and they would lie on their fronts around the edge of it and drop stones in to see if they could hear the stones hit the far depths. Today all the shafts are capped but I often think of what a dangerous walk that was for my mum! Have you any hairy stories your parents told?

NotTooOld Fri 24-Jul-20 21:53:08

That is scary, Mellow. Mostly we say our generation was tougher - playing out in the street, on bomb sites, climbing trees, swimming in a lake, riding bikes without helmets etc. However, lurking around open mine shafts does sound a bit like overkill. Excuse the pun!

MellowYellow Fri 24-Jul-20 22:01:30

Yes, it is scary. Mum absolutely loved to tell the tale! grin

Chewbacca Fri 24-Jul-20 22:21:00

When I think back to my own childhood, let alone my parents, I scare myself to death with the things that we did! Bonfire Nights where everyone took their own fireworks in the paper bag that the shop sold them in! There were virtually no safety procedures like there are today.

tanith Fri 24-Jul-20 22:35:36

My Mum was sent from the Welsh valleys to work in service to a house in London by herself never having left the village before, a year later her sister was also sent to London with a different family, her sister was a bit of a wild child and she turned up one day at my Mums work place, bag in hand and said come on we’re going home. Mum snuck out and the two of them somehow with no money got themselves to Reading where they ended up in the police station who contacted the family in Wales.
Grandad had to come up on the train to fetch them home. Mum loved to tell that story and always blamed her sister.

MawB Fri 24-Jul-20 22:56:40

My mother’s office had been evacuated from Berlin to the Harz Mountain area of Germany towards the end of the war and that was where she and my father met. He came back to Scotland and after about 18 months finally got permission for her to join him so that they could get married.
She decided to hitch hike to Braunschweig to say good bye to her parents and en route managed to get herself captured by both the Allies (in this case British) and the Russians. I never asked what happened but am still gobsmacked at her courage and whatever persuasive tactics she used to be released unscathed.

MellowYellow Sat 25-Jul-20 19:46:10

Lovely stories everyone... thanksflowers

MellowYellow Sun 26-Jul-20 07:34:50

MawB that reminds me of a 100 year old I cared for who escaped from Germany with his wife on a motorbike just ahead of German troops. I so wish I'd asked him about the details now. Your and tanith's tales are like something out of adventure books or Upstairs Downstairs. And yes, Chewbacca, fireworks in paper bags! Yikes.

fevertree Sun 26-Jul-20 07:48:19

Tanith I love that story.

Puzzler61 Sun 26-Jul-20 07:56:29

We lived in Germany in the 1990’s and fireworks were sold for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The fireworks were in back packs and people went on trams down to the Old Town to let them off in the streets.
We went once and it scared me witless - smoke everywhere, rockets flying up, bangs and cracks from all directions. Ambulance sirens seemed to be everywhere and many injuries. It made me think I was in Beirut !

Nortsat Sun 26-Jul-20 08:09:02

My father was an engineer and worked in mining. As part of his training in the later 1930’s (before WWll) he was sent to Germany, to study mining methods there.

He told us about spending an evening in a crowded German Bierkeller, when the talk turned to politics he was expressing his opinion that Hitler was ridiculous and a twerp. His German hosts immediately shut him up, advising that it was very dangerous to discuss such views in public.

Marmight Sun 26-Jul-20 08:53:29

Not a hairy parent story but my late DH whose parents ran a pub some 6+ miles north of Hastings back in the late ‘40s. Aged 8 he rode his bike to school in Hastings, alone, there & back, in all weathers, seasons and conditions, downhill there & uphill home.! The very thought of this small child alone gives me the colleywobbles. One of the pub’s patrons, a bachelor with the same surname, gave J his family’s military sword ‘to play with’. He used to run around the pub gardens wielding it in mock battle. It is lethal and my DC were never allowed to take it out of its sheath and now I have to hide it when the GS visit shock.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 09-Sep-20 12:03:36

My mother smuggled firearms for the Danish Resitance in 1944.

If that had gone wrong, I wouldn't be here.

grannylyn65 Wed 09-Sep-20 12:24:26

I used to sit on the bridge whilst the steam train went under