Having lived in a few different places and Countries, my "home", the home I grew up, in was left behind at the age of 21. I started out on an adventure with my lovely husband, creating a family with two wonderful kids. But it was hard. We left behind parents and siblings, aunties and uncles. Relationships still there but somehow not quite the same, distance makes it hard to be close (an oxymoron if ever there was one!).
But over the years, I had the "constant". The knowing that my parents and the cottage they moved into in 1964, the place I grew up and had so many memories of, the place, but more importantly the parents, whom I could never thank enough for being so awesome, were quietly there. Always supporting, always proud, just there - quietly connecting me, anchoring me to "home".
I lost my lovely, gregarious, hard working, pipe smoking, golf club wielding, one of a kind Dad in 2003. This past summer, I lost my quietly strong, loving, generous, organised, gardening guru and equally hard working stay at home Mum.
My anchors are gone! And I feel somewhat adrift! The cottage pictured above, our "home" for fifty years will also be gone. Not physically gone, just gone from us. My parents have rented this cottage since 1964, firstly from Roger Grey, 10th Earl of Stamford, and since his death in 1976, from The National Trust. This past September, it reverted back to the care of The National Trust. It will be modernised, refurbished and eventually re-rented to somebody else - somebody else will create memories in this wonderful cottage.
I know it is only bricks and mortar, and can in no way replace the wonderful memories of my parents and my childhood - those I will cherish forever. Saying goodbye to Kyrenia Cottage is saying farewell to two people who meant the World to me. They loved this cottage, they loved this village, and more importantly they loved their family.
This is how the story goes.
DUNHAM MASSEY, CHESHIRE -THE VILLAGE
| || |
As I have mentioned a few times in previous blog posts, I grew up in a little Village in the countryside of Cheshire in the UK.
Up until 1976, Dunham Massey was very much like the famous TV series, Downton. Roger Grey, 10th Earl of Stamford was Lord of The Manor, owning the estate which comprised of many acres of land, a great Hall, walled park and gardens , tenants cottages and farms. Dunham is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, so there is a massive amount of history associated with this Village.
The present hall was initially built in 1616 by Sir George Booth, who was amongst the creations of baronets by James I in 1611, but was later remodelled by John Norris for George, Earl of Stamford and Warrington between 1732 and 1740; it was also altered by John Hope towards the end of the 18th century and by Joseph Compton Hall between 1905 and 1908. The hall itself, the stables, and the carriage house of Dunham Massey are all Grade I listed buildings, three of six such buildings in Trafford.
Lord Stamford did not marry. At his death in Manchester on 18 August 1976 both his peerage titles of Earl of Stamford and of Baron Grey of Groby became extinct. He bequeathed his Dunham Massey estate, the hall and its contents to the National Trust. He left a diary which records his collecting activities.
Both my parents worked from the age of 14. Up until I was born in 1962, Mum worked at The Linotype & Machinery Co. Ltd., a printing press manufacturer, in Broadheath, Altrincham. My maternal Grandfather also worked there, and traveled all over the World setting up the printing presses and teaching the care and maintenance of the machines, often gone for many months at a time. The Linotype & Machinery Co. building is now a listed building.
KYRENIA COTTAGE, DUNHAM MASSEY
Now my Dad was quite a story teller. He used to tell us that when he went with Mum to look at Kyrenia Cottage, to see if it would be suitable for them, the garden was full of old apple trees. Dad really thought these needed to come down, but Lord Stamford loved his trees. Mum said "You can't tell Lord Stamford you want to take down the trees! He will never rent the cottage to us if you tell him that" Well, my Dad "apparently" told Lord Stamford that the old trees needed to come down, but he would plant new trees. Yup! A real problem solver was my Dad lol!!
Because their current cottage was tied to his farm job, Dad's change of job required a change of abode. They wanted to stay in Dunham, so they approached Lord Stamford to see what would be available for them to rent.
Kyrenia Cottage was on the verge of becoming vacant, so with the blessing of Lord Stamford, Mum and Dad took up the tenancy in the Spring of 1964.
Thanks to British Airways staff travel, we all got to visit Cyprus and Kyrenia Castle in the late 1960's, luckily before Turkey invaded and the Island was divided between the Greek/Cypriots and Turkey. This division, restricted access for tourists to the Castle for a number of years. We were fortunate to take many family holidays abroad, not only to Cyprus but also to Malta and Spain. Dad would often send Lord Stamford post cards from our trips, being the well brought up Gentleman that he was, Lord Stamford would send a kind note of thanks.
Despite the change of jobs, leaving farming and going to work for British Airways, farming was always in my Dad's blood, as was gardening. From leaving school at 14, he spent 10 years working for a market gardener and pig breeder, called Mr. Whittle in Oldfield Brow. He then went on to work at Little Heath Farm in Dunham before leaving to work for BA. Over the years he also got to know well the head gardener at The Hall, Mr. Gilbert Gillies, and learned a lot from him too, especially about growing roses.
Mum would also help out up at the farm, as well as doing other small cleaning jobs over at the pub and also for a retired army Captain who was our neighbour. She never returned to full time work, preferring to do odd jobs whilst my sister and I were at school, so she could be there when we got home.
The Linotype & Machinery Co. Ltd
The Linotype Machine
Altrincham - A History
The Linotype - a Blog Post from Wire Design
Dunham Massey - History
Booth & Grey of Dunham Massey - History
The Dunham Massey Booths - History