Friday, 1 April 2011

Kathleen Weston - A Mother's Day Tribute

Mum and I  - 1944
 As this Sunday is Mother's Day in the  UK,  I wanted to give a tribute to my mother, Kathleen (Kay) Weston, nee Danson of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, who featured in  a previous posting "Happiness is Stitching" in December 2010.  

I love this photograph above.   Surprisingly  I was 27 years old when I first saw it, when my great aunt presented it to my husband, just before our marriage.  I presume it was taken for my father away during the war, but  a copy  never made it into the family photograph album. I have no memories of Mum other than with grey hair, so it is especially lovely to see her here .    

Mum in 1930's
Kathleen Danson was born in 1908 in the small town of Poulton-le-Fylde, near Blackpool,  daughter of William Danson and Alice English. At the age of 14, she was apprenticed to be a tailoress and was still making her own clothes in her 80's. For her going  into a fabric shop was like going into a jeweller's.   If she sat down, she was rarely without a needle in her hand.  She was a creator in patchwork, crochet, collage, knitting, embroidery, smocking,  dolls and dresses, with dabbles into  rug making, millinery, lampshade making and china painting.

She set up her own dress-making business from home, working in the spare bedroom which was icy cold in winter and hot and stuffy in summer. 

A 1950's Family
Mum  was a typical homemaker of the 1950's and 60's.  She was always making something -  cushions changed their covers regularly, new patchwork quilts appeared on the beds and new curtains at the windows, worn sheets were turned, old bath towels were cut, and trimmed into hand towels, tray cloths and table cloths were embroidered. 

Besides being a stitcher,  Mum  was a "joiner".  Because of my father's work, we moved around a lot,  and Mum joined whatever women's group were in the locality  - Townswomen's  Guild, Mother's Union, Parent Teacher's Association, Women's Rural Institute (WRI) .  Whenver there was a coffee morning, bring & buy sale, spring fete, sumemr fete, Christmas fete, Mum was there,  with her contributions for the sales tables - aprons,  cushion covers, doll's clothes, soft toys and of course home baking. 


Mum and I in 1972

These were the days of coming home from school to home baking, and biscuit and cake tins full, with wholesome cooking at mealtimes.

I don't have Mum's skill, but I have inherited her love of crafts  and she left me with tangible memories of a true homemaker whose family was her life. 


Mum - 1980's


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