Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Treasure those Memories … part 9 … Grandparents' garden and wind-up gramophone ...


 

This was one year … when we, as kids, were in Carbis Bay at my grandparents’ house … I don’t remember my brother pestering me, but he must have been there … and it was almost certainly the year of 'stepping on a snake' ... 

 

My grandparents' house ... that tree is still
there - well it was in 2010
I must have been very young ... as I remember the milk being delivered in churns ... we put out whatever size we needed ... smaller than these shown below ... 



 

The churns were put out for
filling by the tanker - before
milk bottles were the norm ...
Cornwall would have been
behind the rest of the country
… but it must have been one year when the journey was split and we were ‘dumped’ off in Exeter – half-way between Woking (near London Heathrow) and Carbis Bay … to journey the rest of the way with the grand-parents!

 

 

The upshot being … there was room for more luggage – and that year … my father’s sister and her husband (the uncle I looked after in recent years) had given me a wind-up gramophone …

 

 

It wasn't this one ...
but it so reminds me
of mine!

 … my pride and joy – my aunt had covered it with red sticky kitchen-drawer paper – it was just the best thing to be given.  Down it went, with extra needles, to Cornwall …

 

 

… I only remember two records … there was no volume switch … partly overcome by stuffing socks into the hole under the needle arm – it did do some good, but not much … it blared …

 

… heaven knows what my grandparents, neighbours and ancillary visitors thought … as these two records blasted their way out of the house around Carbis Bay … and they were continuously played!

 

Nothing like the Laughing Policeman …

I know a fat old policeman,

he's always on our street,

a fat and jolly red faced man

he really is a treat.

He's too kind to be a policeman,

he's never known to frown,

and everybody says he's the happiest man in town.

 

Chorus

(Ha ha ha ha ha,

Woo ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha,

Woo ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha,

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha,

Ha ha ha .)

 

 

Or The Dambusters’ March by Eric Coates – so rousing …

 

 

Auckland Symphony Orchestra playing
The Dambusters' March
The bedroom was over the sitting room and had a south facing window – with a window seat … so there rested the magnificent red noise-box … only quiet when its youthful owner wasn’t nearby.  Oh I had fun with it …

 

 

My grandparents didn’t use the sitting room during the day – it was the kitchen, dining room, the study and the garden that were in full use.

 

 

Old-fashioned Roses from a card
by Parastoo Ganjei


They loved gardening … my grandmother had the front part of the garden with all the roses, border, cottage plants … while grandpa had the back, where the vegetables were grown … along with sweet peas clambering up the bean poles …



 

Fuchsias ... I used to pop the sepals
… lined with fuchsia hedges – popping the ‘pod’ before the sepals opened … I still love fuchsia … the memories of fuchsia hedges remind me of youth and Cornwall days …

 


Leonhart Fuchs
(1501 - 1566)


The front garden had a potting shed for Grandma – covered with prize certificates from the St Ives gardening shows … where they’d entered their best entries … plants, flowers or vegetables …

 



Happy Days - and I hope you all had peaceful Easters ...


The Dambusters’ March (by Eric Coates) – performed here by the Auckland Symphony Orchestra 

 

The LaughingPoliceman – a music hall song by Charles Penrose (1922)

 

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

51 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Fuschias are one of my personal faves, and I had a personal record player (modern electric kind) - the very first record I had was Holst's Planets - but I also had the Dambusters! No Laughing Policeman (tho am familiar with the song)... I did have Rawhide and played that rather more times than mother was fond of!!! YAM xx

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No volume control? My parents would've hated that!

Sherry Ellis said...

I used to have a record player just like that when I was a kid!

The policeman song is cute.

Elephant's Child said...

MORE precious memories. I grew up with fuschias and love them. No volume control? Perhaps that accounts for the noise the emits from a near neighbour's car. I can hear him well before he arrives...

Liz A. said...

It's like kids having a favorite movie they play over and over and over again nowadays. I suspect even if you had more records, you'd still have played maybe two or three over and over and over again.

diedre Knight said...

Oh, this was delightful, Hilary! I bet you were indeed frightened by that snake. We have too many here, in my opinion. Once, while walking through a desert aviary with my (then) boyfriend, a diamondback slithered across his path and he flat-out fainted! Evidently, they don't have snakes in New York ;-)

I played my little record player till it quit working. Even my little sister threatened to toss it out the window, as did everyone else in the house. I did have volume control. I just liked it turned up loud.

Thanks for the smiles!

Natalie Aguirre said...

The record player sounds like such a cool present. I still have my late husband's record player, which is more modern than yours. I would have loved to see your grandparents' garden.

Joanne said...

I'm chuckling as I think of my very tinny crappy record player as a kid. But oh, I wore that out. Fun times! And my grandparents had a lot of big forsythia. You could hide under the bower as long as you avoided bees.
Fun memories, excellent post. And yes, Easter was lovely. Cheers

Janie Junebug said...

What could be better than one's first record player? I'm interested in you using the word churn for the milk containers. Did some people use them to churn butter?

Love,
Janie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yam – oh great … fuchsias are just beautiful aren’t they - colouring the hedgerows. Holst’s Planets is also exceedingly beautiful … oh I loved Rawhide too … our parents must have suffered with these repetitions.

@ Alex – yes … no volume control – we were lucky our neighbours were far away.

@ Sherry – I’m obviously stirring memories – excellent to read you had a similar player … and yes I enjoy hearing the Policeman song on occasions!

@ EC – yes … lots of them – and another fuchsia lover – they are so pretty. Yes – no volume control … it didn’t matter at home, but at my grandparents it was a challenge – we got through! Cars and motor bikes are another noise problem and they are a problem as there’s nought to be done – except taking them off the road. We have one here too … a pain!

@ Liz – yes you’re so right … very similar – but tvs et al do have volume controls – which also are kept turned up …

@ Diedre – the snake for a toddler was a bit much and well-remembered! Your snakes are much more dangerous than ours here in the UK – African snakes always worried me, when I was in South Africa. As you say your poor boyfriend … I feel for him – especially as he hit the ground nearer the snake – which I’m sure had slithered away … I’ll be thinking about this for a while!

How funny that your little sister wanted to toss your gramophone – but as kids will I can understand you keeping the volume control ‘up’ (‘up’, ‘up’ … )

@ Natalie – it was a wonderful present and these two were my favourite records … happy memories. I’m pleased you’ve still got your husband’s record player – it’s useful to have memories of him playing it. Their garden was a hive of excellence … always beautiful … very Cornish in its granite setting …

@ Joanne – happy memories of fun times – I can still ‘see’ me sitting on the window sill, in the sun, playing those records. Forsythia is so so pretty and it is profuse in its growth patterns … wonderful hiding area. Excellent to have the bees sharing their world with you!!

@ Janie – lots of those first memories of yore.
We have butter churns for butter (originally wooden), and milk churns for transporting milk … so different sorts.

Thanks so much to you all for enjoying these snippets of a past life … stay safe and all the best - Hilary

Mason Canyon said...

Great memories. I would love to have a record player like that, volume control or not. Sounds like a fun trip.

Liza said...

Such lovely, heartfelt memories! Thank you for sharing this trip with us.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Another great walk down Memory Lane with you, Hilary. The Dam Busters' March has the seriousness of an anthem about it, very stirring indeed, and with your record player blaring out across the neighbourhood without volume control, I can almost imagine the local residents picking up brooms or walking sticks, toting them across the shoulder, and walking in formation! Hugs from Ontario. David

Keith's Ramblings said...

A proper record player, I like it. I remember my grandparents having one where the sound came out of a big brass trumpet on top!

I often play The Laughing Policeman, it puts me in a good mood. My other favourite is Norman Wisdom and Joyce Grenfell's 'Narcissus (the Laughing Record)'

And by the way, I still can't walk past a fucsia hedge without popping buds!

Another delightful piece Hilary.

Hels said...

I love the fact that grandma's front garden had a potting shed, showing the plants, flowers and vegetables that had been entered into the St Ives gardening shows. What a delight to share a lovely garden on holidays, especially if your parents didn't have a large garden space at home. I remember my grandparents' back garden very fondly.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Those sound like happy days!

I used to love my little record player. It was blue and came in its own suitcase. :)

Jacqui Murray said...

What wonderful memories, Hilary. I vaguely remember the milk cans. Not sure it was my early youth or a story I heard! Love the wind-up grammophone!

Sarah Taylor said...

The Laughing Policeman! I remember my Dad playing that for me! I hope you're well Hilary and that the weather in Cornwall is warmer than the weather here in Essex xx

Deborah Weber said...

Fabulous memories! The record player is delightful, and I imagine you DID drive everyone crazy with the two records playing too loudly - LOL.

retirementreflections said...

Such wonderful memories, Hilary!
I also had a portable record player like the one that you showed here.
Loved, loved, loved it@ (Although it did have volume control!) :D

cleemckenzie said...

What a lovely reminiscence, Hillary. And that record player was a treasure, for sure. You were able to entertain everyone around Carbis Bay.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mason – yes it was treat to be given that precious gramophone; and being away from home always adds an extra happy edge to being with grandparents …

@ Liza – thank you … it’s been fascinating thinking back … and then sharing, which brings the comments and thoughts in …

@ David … thanks yes – the Dam Buster’s March was a rousing serious march … I loved, and still do love, hearing it. Our home was a detached house in its own grounds – not enormous – but pretty spacious. My grandparents – again … it was smaller and at that stage not surrounded by other properties – now it’s been swallowed up though … and I agree I’d be considered a nuisance today.

I’d be really devastated if I’d caused a mini stampede of the elderly residents of Carbis Bay back in the day … that thought is a little worrying! The hugs I could do with … it’s jolly cold over here!

@ Keith – I don’t remember a trumpet type gramophone – though I ‘m certain the grandparents would have had them. That’s great you still play the Laughing Policeman … and it is such a fun song … I was not aware so much of the Grenfell/Wisdom song … I’ll need to listen to it again.

Oh excellent that you too cannot walk past a fuchsia hedge without popping a bud or two … thank you!

@ Hels – the potting sheds were a necessity for ‘early’ modern gardeners – light relief after the War. We were extraordinarily lucky – we had a very large garden at home … much bigger than my grandparents – theirs was more compact than ours … so pleased you can remember your own grandparents’ back garden …

@ Elizabeth – lots of happy days … while yours sounds much loved – yet was blue and had its own case – they were compact units …

@ Jacqui – do you too remember the milk cans – and yes what exactly do we remember … I’m fairly certain about these milk churns though.

@ Sarah – good to see you … another who remembers The Laughing Policeman … what fun. All well here – but I’m in Eastbourne – these are memories of many times in Cornwall, particularly early on. It is mighty cold here too – but I’m sure not as chilly as Essex – stay warm!

@ Deborah – I’m quite certain I drove everyone potty! But I do have many happy memories of my red wind-up gramophone … kept my biceps well in tuned up!

@ Donna – wonderful to read you too had a portable record player similar to the one I posted. You were lucky yours had volume control … and I can see from your comment that you ‘loved, loved, lovedit@!!

Thanks so much everyone – I’m so pleased my memories are bringing your own to the fore … I’m thoroughly enjoying your happy comments – cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Sorry Lee – hadn’t realised you’d left a comment while I was writing my replies up …
Thank you … the wind-up gramophone was a real treasure to be given as a present … and you might be right – I might have entertained the whole of Carbis Bay – thankfully it is a ribbon development village … so that wouldn’t have happened: I’m pleased to say!

Thanks for commenting – cheers Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

The garden sounded wondrous. I can remember my grandparents garden too. They did veggies and he did sunflowers and she did zinnies.
That gramophone is great!
Take special care.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Thia poat made me smile and feel good

Anabel Marsh said...

I chuckled at your sock stuffing method, and even more when I got to your choice of music! Your grandparents must have been very tolerant! For the record (pun intended!) my first disc was an EP of HMS Pinafore. I’m not sure how I acquired it, or why, but I now have Little Buttercup in my head.

Dan said...

I can only imagine a phonograph with no volume control. I like the description where you talk about the rooms that are used.

Botanist said...

Wonderful memories! I remember seeing lines of milk churns like that by the farm at the corner of our lane when I was young. I seem to remember the milkman at that time used to fill up a pottery jug that we'd leave out, but then we switched to tetrapaks - triangular pyramid cartons that you had to snip off the top corner to open.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Those memories are so special. You had me smiling from ear to ear as I read this post. (Love using socks as volume control,lol)

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary! My Easter was spent on the road travelling through the middle of nowhere. First time I've had internet in a week! EEk! I love the old gramophone. Got one somewhere and stacks of records!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandra – thank you … we were lucky having wonderful gardens with lots of flowers and shrubs – your grandparents’ sounds delightful – sunflowers and zinnias – beautiful. Oh the gramophone brings wonderful memories …

@ Jo-Anne – thank you …

@ Anabel – they only had us for a couple of weeks!! But it must have been something for them to escape from into the garden – they knew where I was though – safe with my gramophone! Yes we used to love Gilbert and Sullivan operettas … wonderful memorable songs too … I’d forgotten the Buttercup song … it is an earworm isn’t it …

@ Dan – yes … it was pretty loud – thank you re the description of the house … I can still see them – and the photo of old house is fun (for me) to see …

@ Ian – excellent that you can confirm the milk churns for me – we’d already converted to bottles in Surrey … but those very early 1950s the milk churns were still the norm in Cornwall. I don’t remember how the milk was decanted.
I remember tetra-pak cartons in the late 1960s in London … and over the years have watched how they’ve developed here, in South Africa and then in Canada. Now we just need to work out how to recycle them … especially now I’m back in England.

@ Lynda – thank you … it was fun to write – while the socks as volume control needed to be remembered … it seems to have brought smiles to many …

@ Denise – oh how lucky you were … without the internet for a week. Wonderful nature. My gramophone went years ago … and over time all the records too – at some stage you’ll enjoy your memories too …

Thanks everyone – socks will take on a different dimension now … volume control. These posts are bringing happy times back for me … lovely reading your comments - Hilary

bazza said...

Such fabulous memories to have! I was reminded of Sunday afternoons at my Grandparents farmhouse in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. They actually had a wind-up record player with a sound-horn! The only thing I didn't like was when everyone gathered around to watch Liberace on TV in the afternoon!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s absentmindedly adroit Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Deniz Bevan said...

I've been to Exeter!
Aww, I wish I had a gramophone like that one.

Deborah Barker said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post Hilary. What a trip down memory lane - thank you for sharing. Love that there were only two records as far as you remember. No Spotify back then or indeed, any technological help! :-)

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Your policeman sounds like Santa Claus, Hilary. I always love all the photos you share here. What a pleasant trip down memory lane. Thanks for taking us along. Stay safe, my dear!

Nilanjana Bose said...

How fun! I had a record player too but it did have a volume control...

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sounds like a great time. I listened to the songs. My granddaughter loves marching songs. We march around the house to them. This will be a new one for us. Your grandparents must have been very patient to listen to those so many times.

J Lenni Dorner said...

So that's what people used before the Boom Box was invented. And now they have those tiny iPods and such that hold thousands of songs, and earbuds so no one knows what's playing. Guess we've stopped forcibly sharing our music with others.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Time spent with grandparents can be so very special. Mine had a wind-up gramophone and I remember some of the raucous songs as well as the Scottish music my Grandma wanted me to learn and love.

Elsie Amata said...

I love those beautiful flowers!

I had a record player - well, it was a jukebox my parents bought back in the 80s that played records too. I loved that thing.

I'm enjoying your precious memories!

Elsie

S.A. Larsenッ said...

A windup gramophone . . . how cool! (I didn't know they originally were windup. LOL) Sounds like you have very fond memories with your grandparents. <3 If we could only realize how precious a gift that is when we're young. <3

Erica/Erika said...

I greatly enjoy reading your reflections when you were a young child and about your grandparents, Hilary. I have fond memories of my grandparents, too. And a brother, pestering...ha, ha. Oh, my goodness, a wind-up gramophone...a treasure. The Laughing Policeman, very funny and another treasure. Even the phrase “sitting room” conjures up memories. Thank you for sharing and helping bring back my fond memories, Hilary. Take care and stay well.🙂




Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Hilary!
I haven't popped in for a while; but I see that your blog is as busy and as vibrant as usual.
I love the gramophone and the vinyl pictures... reminds me of the turntable we had at home back in the late 70's and we always had to buy a diamond needle for the records.
Take care.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Those are some happy day memories!
Happy Easter!

Pradeep Nair said...

O, those gramophone discs. The experience that they gave, one never gets in this digital age, is it not?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bazza – thank you … oh gosh a wind-up player with a sound horn – wonderful memories at your grandparents’ farmhouse – yes .. I’d agree with you re Liberace – not my favourite either …

@ Deniz – I have to say … I’ve usually by-passed Exeter: we were dashing to Penzance!

@ Deborah – thank you … yes lots of trips down memory lane via the post recently. I’m sure there were a few other records – but these two certainly kept me occupied. No Spotify or other … the ’heady’ technological age was ahead.

@ Victoria – this policeman was pretty raucous, but an interesting thought comparing him to Santa Claus – I’m sure he’d laugh! Thank you re the photos – they do bring posts to life …

@ Nila – lucky for your parents you had one with a volume control … I used lots of socks! Didn’t do much good though …

@ Susan – oh that’s great to read that you and your grand-daughter will be playing these as you spend time together – wonderful. I expect my grandparents disappeared into the garden, or shut the door in the kitchen!

@ JLenni – thank you – yes it was very early days.

@ Pauleen – my other grandparent (my father’s mother) terrified me! It sounds like you had a lovely time with your grandparents … appreciating Scottish music and songs – the more raucous the better, when we’re kids. I hope you have learnt to love and appreciate them …

@ Elsie – thank you … I enjoy putting flowers up … excellent you too had a jukebox – I’d no idea about those, or how they worked. Delighted you’re enjoying my memories …

@ Sheri – yes … my biceps improved – it was hard work winding it up each time! Yes … I do have happy memories of those days … days without worries.

@ Erica – thank you and I’m so pleased these posts remind you of your own happy memories with your grandparents - and pestering brother!
That wind-up gramophone was a real treasure … just that noise! I loved some of my childhood music – especially being as ‘unmusical’ as I am …
I can’t stand the word ‘lounge’ … so sitting room it is – or drawing room for posher places! So glad you’re remembering things too …

@ Michelle – so good to see you … yes the blog plods happily along – thank you. I know I forgot to put in the bit about having to go out and buy ‘diamond’ needles so the records wouldn’t be worn away with blunt needles … I’m sure I got mine from Woolworths back in the days …

@ Tyrean – thanks – yes happy days, without worries …

@ Pradeep – fascinating to read you also had records like these – and as you say … the experience is definitely much loved my many – that’s why records aren’t going away … thanks for that reminder.

Thanks to you all and it’s great to read that these posts are stirring your own memories … cheers Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

Loved seeing where your grandparents lived.
Have a wondrous weekend.
Hugs

Jean Davis said...

Wow, that's quite a landmark tree by the house!

It sounds like you made a lot of fond memories with your grandparents. I can't imagine getting milk like that. Times sure have changed. :)

DMS said...

I loved my record player growing up- but it definitely had volume control. I can't imagine not having it! I am sure your neighbors got the tunes from your records stuck in their heads during the day. :)

Great memories!
~Jess

Marja said...

Oh what a wonderful present We still had a gramophone till quite recently.
I saw that you stepped on a snake in the past. I did too on an island in Malasia Scariest thing ever. I also ran and screamed lol
Hope all is well with you. At least it is Spring in the UK so hopefully nice warm days are coming

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandra – thank you … I hope we got rid of the really cold weather – so the weekend was good!

@ Jean – yes it has grown … and it wasn’t small when I remember it sixty years ago. It’s been interesting thinking back to those very early days – we spent a lot of time in Cornwall whenever we were free of school etc …
The milk churns must have impacted on me – though delivery … I’ve no idea. We had bottles in Surrey …

@ Jess – you were lucky to have a record player with volume control - we were in detached house … so the noise at home wasn’t a problem – but down in Cornwall, it definitely wouldn’t have been popular for long. I rather hope the neighbours, who weren’t that near, coped – they had to! My grandparents another matter …

@ Marja – I know a few people who’ve still got their gramophones … and records are much appreciated – there’s a good trade in them. Mine went a long time ago …
My snake stepping was relatively safe – I really didn’t want to step on a snake in Africa … so can imagine your snake escapade in Malaysia would have been terrifying for all concerned – at least it didn’t bite you …
It’s been ‘freezing’ here and with snow and cold winds – not too bad on the south coast … but I do look forward to warmer days – without the north wind pounding down! But yes – summer is on its way.

Thanks so much to you four – excellent to see you and to have your own comments and memories – all the best - Hilary