What are your childhood memories of your grandparents' house?

(431 Posts)

I was schrunching some foil today and it reminded me of the Vitalite tub of milk bottle tops for the Guide Dogs (always a concept I struggled to undersand) at my DGP's house.

And the whoosh hit of tomato smell in the greenhouse.

And the tea caddy of buttom at the other DGP's house.

And the duoble loo roll holder for soft paper (guests) and Izal (unfortunate family). grin

And rice pudding with skin on.

And a shiny 5p coin for whomever had the smallest new potato on their plate at Sunday lunch.

Good times. Bittersweet memories.

winemakesmeclever Sat 05-Nov-11 14:27:51

Max Factor Creme Puff face powder, and the "front room" which was only used for "best". I NEVER saw it used!! Hovis bread, cut really thin (by hand) and tinned mandarin segments with evaporated milk for tea. The black and white telly. Her addiction to Crossroads. The goat in the garden. The smell of coal fires (and all the other rooms perishingly cold). Sitting on her knee with her teaching me to knit. One in a million, my nana was....

80sMum Sat 05-Nov-11 15:34:10

In my grandparents' house I remember the outside loo, the scullery, the mangle, the Art Deco ornaments, the smell of mothballs, the cold, the cat, the dingey furnishings, the green chenille fringed tablecloth.
My great grandparents used to boil their kettle on a trivet over an open fire and used an old flatiron that you had to heat up in the fire. They had a front room that they called 'the parlour' and we children were not allowed to venture within its hallowed walls, as it was only used on special occasions; surprising because the house was quite small. When my great grandmother died, in the early '70s, her house was sold for £6,000. I found it on Rightmove for sale a couple of years ago ... for £580,000.

CheerfulYank Sat 05-Nov-11 15:53:55

Properly crying now.

{hugs} Oranges

PinkSchmoo Sat 05-Nov-11 18:46:38

My wonderful, wonderful Granda. The biggest man I've ever known even though he was only about 5ft 6.

Putting his slippers on the wrong feet to wear them out evenly, boiled eggs in the teapot, sleeping under a million sheets and then the arrival of the "continental quilt" , vegetable soup, pocketfuls of coal.

Dead 20 years but my ds sometimes reminds me of him so much.

PinkSchmoo Sat 05-Nov-11 18:51:04

I'm now bawling utterly. So sad to read your post oranges.

oranges Sat 05-Nov-11 19:07:57

I decided, after reading this thread, to book time off work, jump on a plane and go to his funeral. I have to see him once more, and then that's it. He becomes a memory as precious as all those on this thread. Thank you all. x

DrNortherner Sat 05-Nov-11 19:13:32

My wonderful Dad died when ds was just 7 sad It breaks my heart to think he will hardly remember him.......

Euphemia Sat 05-Nov-11 19:18:02

FIL died weeks before DD was born. sad

DrNortherner Sat 05-Nov-11 19:18:07

[hugs] Oranges. Going to the funeral is so the right thing xx

Madly Sat 05-Nov-11 19:22:22

Oranges, Definitely go if possible. You will never regret it.sad

From my dad's dad:
Tick tock of the grandfather clock - it's sitting silently on our landing now.
Freshly sliced bacon from the corner shop.
The manual lawnmower - no motor or anything, you just pushed it (hard!) over the grass.
The very uncomfortable green patterned chairs.

From my mum's dad:
The glass paperweights with coloured glass
The milky tea
The Irish music tapes
The catholic pictures/stuff everywhere
The smell of inner London council estate - everyone's dinner cooking at once!

I never had a granny sad I'm so glad that DS has two n mn

*two who adore him.

negativecreep Sun 07-Oct-12 15:40:45

I LOVE this thread, it needs to be bumped!

My Mums Side:

Nan getting me up at 8am every sunday to to to sunday morning mass.
Going downstairs and Nan having laid out the usual stork butter, toast and choices of shredded wheat, porridge, tea and coffee.
The smell of Grandad's roll ups.
My nan's house backed out to a river and I remember the smell vividly and her taking me for long walks down there then to the park then stopping off at the sweet shop and giving me a pound for sweets.

My Dad's Side:

My grandad always sitting in the same arm chair with his coaster and cup of tea with his two papers and reading glasses.
The weird musky smell in their house.
Nan putting me to bed and letting me wake up when I wanted as a "treat" then making me a huge fry up with piles of greasy fried bread.
My grandad's little pound coin holder that he'd take out every time we said goodbye and he'd pop a pound in my hand.
Sitting round there every saturday watching big break, the generation game, crystal maze and loving being there with them.
My grandad was always a bit of a wheeler dealer and have fond memories of him always buying lots of silly things to sell on for profit.

Fortuntely both sets are still alive but very old and not the characters they were. My lovely Grandad on my dad's side is in a nursing home and is no longer the grandad I knew and my religious nan has very advanced dementia and is no longer the same lady. Miss them all a lot.

Chocolate Xmas tree decorations
The Shopping Game, Avalanche and Mousie Mousie
Dolls house
baby dolls - Jane and Bethany
Cream cheese sandwiches
jelly and icecream
chicksticks and chips
Chanel No 5
Yardleys lavender oil in the bath tub
Soft nice smelling towels
Winnie the Pooh
Made up games

God I miss being a kid. I miss my Grandad so much. I'm lucky I still have my Nana. She's 86. She's the best nana ever, and my ds adores her too.

Campari Thu 25-Oct-12 02:31:32

My gran constantly telling the cat to bugger off.

The smell of homemade chicken soup

My Grandad falling asleep in his chair

Massive full English breakfasts every morning.

My Gran farting when we were in the other room but we still could hear her.

Great times grin

MsInterpret Thu 25-Oct-12 02:42:52

Great thread Chaos grin ...

The chiming of the grandfather clock that wasn't really a grandfather clock

French toast for breakfast cooked in the pan my grandad's bacon had been cooked in, so it tasted all bacon-y.

Bramble jelly on bread for supper.

The warm porch where we'd sit with the sun shining in.

The smell of their caravan we played in & always wanting to use the chemical toilet confused blush

Making fairy cakes.

Granny's knitting needles clicking.

The sliding doors to the sitting room.

Watching Lassie films!

The warm bit under the carpet where the pipe was.

Dancing up and down the 'kitchenette' to Scottish country dancing.

There are millions aren't there?! I wonder what dd's will be of her GP's house- she goes there at least 2x per week.

CuttedUpPear Thu 25-Oct-12 03:30:58

Home made crinkle cut chips

Nat King Cole on nan's radiogram

Ginger beer 'plants' lined up along the kitchen floor that I was terrified of exploding

When 2 of us slept over, nan gave us her double bed and went and slept in the single room. She would wake us up with a cup of tea in bed in a cup and saucer (can you imagine it, we were tiny!). It always had a rich tea biscuit with it, what a treat.

Playing with the 'treasure box' - it was full of her old jewellery. The only thing in the house to play with, but it was enough for us.

Gingerodgers Thu 25-Oct-12 03:42:27

All that button box talk is making me itchy! Anyone else scared of buttons? Or at least used to be, now I just dislike them intensely!

delphinedownunder Thu 25-Oct-12 03:59:14

lambs needing to be fed in the next door churchyard
hairy mint
4711
grandad's flat cap
the smell of a coal fire
mint imperials in a big tin
pink candlewick
tomato plants
crisps sprinkled with malt vinegar
black and white minstrels show
mablethorpe

eyes full of tears now. All my grandparents died in the 80s and my dad last year. Where do all these souls go?

fuckwittery Thu 25-Oct-12 04:29:25

lovely thread.
My mum's mum came to live with us in her granny annexe when I was about 5 so she was just next door.

The heaped mashed potato piles she'd do for me, in special shapes or swirly decorative bits on top.
polishing her silver
making amazing marzipan fruits, taking so much care to colour and decorate them
strawberry plants in the garden with tiny little english strawberries
brown flowery armchairs
click clack of knitting needles
her old tin of material, that occasionally I was allowed to get out and drape over the furniture to make an amazing play world. My favourite was the long narrow navy spotty piece, that was a river in my imaginary play. I need to let my 5 year old do this more with my bedding box.
no real memories of my granddad who died when I was 3 - just some whiskers and a big smiley face
spent lots of time in her annexe by myself after she died when I was 13, how quiet it was, all her things there and no granny.

My dad's parents (lived in america):
catholic iconography everywhere
dollar bills being pressed on me all the time (the smell)
flying as a small child, airport goodbyes, the teddy they bought me to replace a much loved one I left at the house (howls at the airport)
sleeping upstairs and creeping downstairs in the middle of the night jetlagged to find my mum
I didn't go there between the ages of 6-10 after my Dad died, my mum never went back after his death but I flew there by myself at 10, vividly remembering going into my grandparents' house and how I felt seeing lots of pictures of my dad and our family on the walls, as in our house we had no pictures up of my dad (my mum was v odd about it)

My great aunt's house also holds loads of memories as she lived 30 minutes away still in the house she and my gran (her sister) and their other sister had grown up in.
having proper teas, the best cutlery, thinly freshly sliced bread, spread and cut into dainty triangles
the amazing cheese egg marmite spread, made by softening hard cheese I think by melting, mixing in egg and marmite and resetting it in a little earthenwear pot
tick tock
sitting in front of her dressing table, playing with the heavy silver brush and mirror

The great thing is when my great aunt we bought her house, which has been in my family since my great grandparents bought it in 1919. They brought up three little girls here (my great aunts and my granny) and I really want to have another girl so I can bring up 3 girls here as well, 4 generations later.

Long post, sorry, thinking a lot about grandparents as my last one, paternal grandmother is dying.....

maternal grandmother:
Saturday or Sunday tea from the trolley in the sitting room, always had to have open sandwiches of egg and cress or tongue made with white bridge rolls, then 'something to butter' aka tea cakes, scones or crumpets, and 'something to cut' aka lemon drizzle or coffee and walnut cake.

Sunday lunch in the dining room where never a pan could darken the door - all the veg etc had to go in special china dishes that had been warmed beforehand.

The little bag of soap pieces that she hand-made that used up all the last little bits of bars of soap so they didn't get wasted - that was in the bathroom. Thrifty from 2 wars

the TV that had an embroidered cover which she had made

antimacassers on the armchairs and sofa

sleeping bags on the sofas for dsis and me when we stayed the night

watching granny getting dressed in the morning and marvelling at how complicated it was - what with stockings hooked up to a corset, plus vest and hoooooj knickers, seemed to take forever to get into! Then she wouldn't dream of going out of the house without gloves and a hat.

sitting on her knee and stroking the incredibly soft skin of her cheeks and chin - I must have spent hours like that

having grammar, pronunciation and punctuation corrected endlessly - oh the pain for Harrogate Granny having dgds with scouse accents grin

then paternal grandmother - actually my DF's step mum but always treated all of us (14 in total) as the same, whether DGC or DSGC, just a lovely woman

lying on my stomach on the bed in the tiny room I stayed in - called the rabbit room becuase it had a rabbit door-knocker - reading tintin books that had been my dad's

scaring ourselves peering over the bannister on the top floor and looking down 3 storeys to the groundfloor

scaring ourselves even more playing murder in the dark with older cousins in the basement

hiding out in the summer house at the bottom of the garden - huge long garden so nobody in the house could see us

playing frantic games of racing demon at the dining table - we could get 15 of us round the table standning up and you each needed a pack of cards for the game to work.....madness. My DGF made that table out of a door in about 1957. Saw it at DGM's house the other day when we were clearing it out for sale - would have loved to give it a home but no space here so it will probably go with the house clearance people sad

being amazed when, at my aunt's wedding breakfast which was back at the house, DGM produced box after box of M+S choc eclairs as pudding for 100's of people - this was the height of sophistication to me!

so much love and laughter

playing pelmanism on the carpet at maternal dgm's - that's what she called pairs, you know the card game where you spread a load of animal picture pairs out randomly, face down, then turn them over 1 at a time to try to find the pairs?

freddiefrog Mon 29-Oct-12 14:38:08

Mostly from my mum's side. Dad's side weren't very welcoming when we were kids

Jumping out of her understairs cupboard and scaring the daylights out of her
Making jam tarts
Making dens under her dining table with table cloths
Her Quality Street tin full of buttons
How my grandmother could make a Mars Bar last a whole week by cutting it into slices and letting us have 1 piece a day
My grandfather used to wait until my grandmother has dozed off before untying her apron strings and tying them back around her chair
Whenever I went to bed my grandfather would make a crumbling movement with his fingers and say 'oxo'.

My grandfather was such a tease and would torment the life out of us. I'm gutted he didn't get to meet my children

My grandmother is still going strong. She's 96 and when she visited us this summer gave us all a run for our money - playing football on the beach, etc.

VintageNancy Tue 30-Oct-12 21:33:17

Oh this thread is bringing back lovely memories

Grandma's button tin and emptying them all out to sort them

"the fairies" visiting and leaving sweets for us in grandad's coat pockets

Conker tree in the back garden - was very sad when it was cut down. Oh and loads of snails used to congregate in the garden too.

Discovering treasures in the bedrooms like old photographs

Dressing table mirror in my mum's old bedroom that you could angle so you'd see your reflection infinitely

Roast dinners - the best in the world

Visiting grandad at his allotment

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