Sources for the early 20th Century material
This group of pages is based on a number of sources:
- Seven substantial and closely written volumes penned by my mother, Florence Edith Clarke (born Cole) 1906-2002.
- Contributions from other family members and visitors to the website.
All contributing individuals are acknowledged on the pages concerned.
- Old documents filed away by my father.
- Information that my mother talked about but which she omitted from her written recollections.
- Original research
This has involved me in numerous visits to museums and re-enactments, studying books and records and informally interviewing older people.
- Editorial work by me, her daughter, the webmaster.
My mother, like most children of the time from similar estates, left school when she was 14 and received no formal education afterwards. Although her excellent powers of observation and memory are without doubt, as is her obvious enjoyment and satisfaction in what she called 'jotting things down', her punctuation and spelling were not all that they might have been. She also had the habit of taking her recollections off along sidetracks as thoughts occurred to her. So not only was I faced with transcribing volumes of the spidery writing of her generation and social class, I also had to identify recurring themes and edit them together into topics which I thought would be interesting as web pages. The work took over a year, but I regarded it as worthwhile because although quite a lot is known about life above and below stairs in the big houses of Victorian and Edwardian England, very little, as far as I know, encapsulates so comprehensively the lives of the working classes who lived on Victorian and Edwardian housing estates without paid help. The reasons are not difficult to see because anyone with such knowledge would be an unlikely author.
The process of making available the full scope of my mother's recollections is still on-going, and all help with additional information and pictures will be gratefully received.
To find your way around the topics, either use the search box or the top menu which links to further menus.