I would like you to meet The Lancasters. From left to right: Agnes born 10th March 1886, Cyril born 16th November 1897, Jack born 13th January 1894 and Dorothy born 22nd March 1891.
They were the four surviving children of the eight born to Stephen and Maria Lancaster.
Dorothy was my great grandmother and this weekend I had my first introduction. It came as part of the painful task of emptying sixty years worth of my grandparent’s belongings from their home. My grandfather died in 1987 when I was only fifteen and as a result of him working in London most of the week I never really got to know him. My grandmother passed away two years ago aged 86.
I thought I knew her well, having seen her virtually every day of my life but I was wrong. Despite her friendly, wise exterior she was a lady hiding from her past. From what, I'm not yet sure of. I really hope it wasn't anything too sinister. The people in the photos weren’t her family, they were my grandfathers. There are no photographs of my grandmother before she married my grandfather, neither were there any of her family.
There were hundreds of photographs of the Lancaster’s hidden away in boxes. They looked to be a fairly close family. Not particularly wealthy but happy none the less.
While looking at the photos, one thing struck me, just how different my own family are. Whilst looking at the next particular photograph, myself and my mother were commenting on the family likeness of some more recent generations whereas my aunt, known for her foot in mouth approach said “Wouldn’t you’ve thought they’d have shifted the muck from the lane?”
There are also letters, cards, family Bibles and other documents relating to this part of my family and I look forward to getting to know them better.