Memories and personal history

28 Mar

I spent a good deal of time yesterday going through some mixed paperwork which was found in the loft (attic) of my late mother’s house – she died some months ago. The house is up for sale and her executor, my cousin, found this and handed it to me. There is nothing legally important, but there are several memories and a few photographs. Quite a lot was my late father’s stuff, including several of his paintings, though not the best, and some old photographs.  There is a picture of my father which must have been taken about 1935, with him dressed in a sort of gaucho outfit and holding an accordion. It was about this time when he toured with a variety show in a junior band. The photograph must have been taken in Hereford, near where I now live. Another photo, taken a year or two after, shows him pretending to ride a large motorcycle with his mother riding pillion. This was taken in Blackpool, by the photographer’s mark.

Other papers show something of his employment history, which was a bit chequered after the war, and his health problems. A further set shines a new light on the relationship between my parents. I have both love letters and a threat of divorce.

I have ended up somewhat surprised and disturbed by these challenges to my memories and the additional information I was never previously a party to.

If I was ever to attempt to write a biography of my parents, or include such details in anything from an entry in a family history to an autobiography, much of this would have to be taken into consideration. One thing I am certain of is that I could not rely on my memory alone. Much of what I saw through childish eyes was only a partial truth.


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