The Matriarchs

See those two old ladies ?

They’re on holiday, Cayton Bay nr Scarborough on the bracing Yorkshire coast, its the first week in August.

How do I know all of this ?

Its my Great-Aunt Beattie and my Grandma thats why, time has erased the reason why they were on holiday with us, I certainly don’t remember them being on any of our Cayton Bay holidays or indeed where they would have slept and in the 1960s you didn’t do Cayton Bay as a day trip, my dad certainly wouldn’t have driven them over for the day so we can only assume that they came for the full week and somehow squeezed into our caravan and our cousins caravan, we shared them out, one each.

The two matriarch’s, sister-in-laws, both of their husbands were already dead by the time this photo was taken, they were lovely old ladies and if you asked any of the four of us grandson’s what their lasting memories of them are these would be some of the items on that list…

“Ello Love” universal greeting of both, reserved for their grandsons.
Old sideboard, they both had big old sideboards in their living rooms
American cream soda, ever present in our grandma’s sideboard
I’m sorry, but both of their houses smelled of old people, it had to be said
Coconut tarts with jam inside, about the only thing our grandma could cook without ruining
Grandma’s treat, taking all four of us to The Lyceum to see both Beatles films
“Pick me a winner love”, our Grandma on the Friday before Grand National day
All of Beattie’s neighbours being old ladies and all refering to each other as “Mrs (surname)” and never their christian names despite all of them having lived on that row for hundreds of years.
Fish and chips on a Friday at our Auntie Beatties
Fish and chips on a Friday at our Grandma’s (how did we manage that ?)
Our Grandma at our house on Christmas Day and Beattie on Boxing Day, reversed at our cousins house.
Gossip, never ending gossip.

And the strange thing about their generation, those coats, its the first week in August for gods sake, they’re going to the beach, that road is the road to the beach, its August, they’re dressed for action on a cold rainy November morning, its bloody August Grandma, take your headscarf off at least.

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2 thoughts on “The Matriarchs

  1. Also Auntie Beatties steak n kidney pie, best shortcrust pastry ever, (its all down to having cold hands)
    Grandmas greeting of Hello Raym..Gar…Howa… oh yes Alan. EVERYTIME.

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