This page sets the scene for the early
1900s recollections by outlining the family in which my mother (who wrote them)
grew up. Pat Cryer, webmaster
You will be wondering how far the recollections on this website of everyday
life in the early 1900s would apply to your own ancestors. Well, the recollections
were written by my mother, who must have been a fairly typical girl growing
up in a fairly typical family on a fairly
typical estate of the time, the early 1900s around the time of the 1911
She was born Florence Edith Cole on January 27th 1906 to parents
James Claud Cole and
Maria Cole (born Bartlett). Both parents were born in the 1880s but just
missed the 1881 census with birth dates of 30 July 1881 and 11 September 1882
respectively. They married on 19 September 1904, and there is more about them
as individuals on the companion genealogy site
What is significant on this site is how typical the family was so that you can
draw inferences about the lives of your own ancestors.
My mother's family. She is front right; her brother Jim
is front left; her brother Ted is front centre; her mother is back right
and her father is middle left. The others are members of the wider family:
grandparents, great grandmother, aunts and a cousin.
My mother was one of four children - although in a typical family
there would probably have been more. (My grandfather's poor health was probably
the cause.) She had two brothers, Ted and Jim, and one sister, Dorothy, who
died as a baby - an unfortunately fairly
common occurrence in many families of the time. The three surviving children
grew up at 116 Lopen Road,
Edmonton, which is now Enfield.
My mother's recollections of her childhood would have been typical of the
recollections of other children on similar estates. That is where the interest
in this website may lie for you. She attended Silver
Street School in Edmonton until she was 14 years old. She spent numerous
weekends and school holidays with her more affluent
Cole grandparents in their large house at the
Cole Pottery about a mile away in Tottenham and she clearly recognised the
stark contrast between the standards of living there and at home. She wrote
her reminiscences in the 1980s and left me seven
substantial volumes filled with closely
packed, spidery writing which I am still transcribing. As I do so, I am continually
amazed at her powers of observation, the detail of her memory and her dedication
to documenting life as she saw it.
This website Join me in the 1900s is a contribution to the social history of everyday life in early to mid 20th century Britain, seen through personal recollections and illustrations, with the emphasis on what it was like to live in those times. It is © Pat Cryer.