What are your childhood memories of your grandparents' house?

(436 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.

spiderlight Wed 02-Nov-11 23:09:55

The teasmade! I never quite grasped what it was as a child but I wish I knew where it had ended up, because I'd love to have it now. Tea! In bed! Without having to get up!
Strange watery skimmed milk.
The orange concertina sliding door between the kitchen and the downstairs loo.
Chocolate my nanna had hidden from herself all over the house. She had a particularly good stash in a hatbox at the top of her wardrobe and would send me up to dig it out for her.
Pickled onions - sitting with a fork each and eating an entire jar between us one evening.
Rides on her Stairlift grin

rubyrubyruby Wed 02-Nov-11 23:11:53

My Mum still uses her teasmade every morning grin

Euphemia Wed 02-Nov-11 23:13:38

I can't see this thread for tears! sad

Grannie's floury hands because she was always baking.
The smell of tomatoes in the "glass place".
The loud TICK-TOCK of the clock on the mantelpiece.
The smell of the coal fire.
How freezing cold it was in all rooms except the living room.
The wally dugs that sat in the front porch.
Rabbie Burns plates on the wall.

Miss them very very much. sad

crazynanna Wed 02-Nov-11 23:13:48

My Grandma was the best sad Truly the best

faverolles Wed 02-Nov-11 23:17:24

Can I go again? This has opened memory floodgates!

Three little glass kittens in a tiny china pot.
Watching Dads Army.
Playing cards (spectacularly memorable game when Grandma flicked her false teeth across the room by accident)
Going for walks and each of us using a walking stick.
Soup that tasted of nothing but ground pepper.
Playing King of the Castle in bed with them before we all got up for breakfast (which was all ready and set up the nigt before)
Grandma confusing the dogs name with mine, and telling friends I hadn't wet the bed at all whilst staying for a week.

CBear6 Wed 02-Nov-11 23:20:10

Dad's side

- sugar sandwiches on cheap white bread with margarine (to make the sugar stick, of course)
- eating our tea on the stairs
- Wogan on the black and white TV (and wondering why they didn't just get a colour one like we had), also snooker in black and white.
- dogs and cigarette smoke
- making gingerbread from the Be-ro cookbook
- ivory ornaments (especially elephants) and an ivory bracelet we would roll along the floor

Mum's side

- teapots, the kind you collect
- plastic floor mats in the hallway
- plastic concertina doors in the kitchen and bathroom
- the worlds weirdest packed lunches (I lived with them for a few months and the first time they made my packed lunch for school I was given four salmon sandwiches, six bags of cheap crisps, five penguin biscuits, a d a two litre bottle of coke. I had to redo it discretely so as not to hurt their feelings)
- my Nana's suntan and jewellery and nice clothes and dyed hair
- Grandad and his ship's bread
- tinned stewing steak! While I was at Nana's my parents were at Grandad's, he bought food for our dog - umpteen tins of stewing steak in gravy grin

I suddenly really miss them sad

MardyBra Wed 02-Nov-11 23:20:37

Another one who played Cribbage.
Grandad smoking roll-ups. Sadly they got him in the end.
Izal loo paper too.
Our tree house in the garden.
Grandad's chamber pot under the bed - even after they had an inside bathroom.
Cats everywhere.
Roasting chestnuts and marshmallows on the open fire.

thatboysmum Wed 02-Nov-11 23:20:40

She always wore house coats, when ever I think of her I remember her wearing a royal blue one.

Always being fed/offered food and snacks, you were not allowed to not eat at her house and she made the best sauce's for dinner.

She always had spiders in her house (the house backed onto a forest).

She had a toy boot which opened up into a house type thing that we always played with.

She had a pair of my late granddads glasses that she used to let me wear when we played schools or whatever because they 'suited' me.

She used to take alot of tablets and vitamins so I used to count them out for her in the morning when I stayed over (doesn't sound like the best thing to do but it was fun! lol) and she used to give the cat cod liver oil capsules.

These are just a few. Unfortunately she now has alzheimers (sp?) and is in a care home but I am very pleased that I have so many very happy memories of her from when she was well.

RufusTFirefly Wed 02-Nov-11 23:20:52

This is about the whole experience of being back in my beloved Gateshead, as well as the house - hope that's all right. There's a lot of it as memories kept popping up as I typed:

Arriving (at last, after 300-odd mile journey) in Nanny and Granddad's street - still cobbled. The tang of coal smoke in the air (still takes me back, that one). Blue and red glass in the front door, which when looked through made the world seem strange and new.

Lying in bed in my tiny slip of a room and hearing the trains rattling past - the London-Edinburgh line ran past the bottom of the street. After a night or two, no longer being woken up by them. Nanny's wise words and Granddad's wisecracks. The Geordie budgie, calling out "Whar's that Smutty? Whar's the cat? Puss-puss-puss!". Smutty the cat opening the back door by banging on the latch with his front paws.

Trips to Shields fish quay with Granddad to buy job lots of fish which he then sold to the neighbours. It seemed to me then that Granddad knew everybody on Tyneside as he was greeted from all sides everywhere we went. Rolling up some tabs for him in his little rolling machine. Or watching him roll a tab one-handed (he had lost his left arm in a workplace accident years before). Listening to Nanny singing "Felton Lonnin" and "The Dashing White Sergeant". She had a voice like a silver bell.

Swimming at Leam Lane baths, and trips to Saltwell Park. Lovely poppy seed bread from the local Jewish bakers. Seeing the Jewish people going to the schul on Saturday, smart in their best clothes. Buses with "Shop at Binns" emblazoned on their fronts.

The most delectable ice cream ever, sold by a man who had a pony and cart and visited once a week, announcing his arrival with a blast of a whistle. I have been looking for ice cream like that ever since.

Purplebuns Wed 02-Nov-11 23:25:01

I still feel raw about losing my Grandad a year ago and both my Grans have Alzheimers sad

My Grandma G, always had a big bag of sweets for us when we arrived, and another when we left (saw her 5 times a year max.) A freezer full of ice creams and a well stocked cake box. She would buy us videos, like a really low rate Thumbelina and had three dogs and worked three jobs until she was 75.

Grandma, was quiet, good for a game of scrabble and made the best toast ever!
She was quite reserved, but really enjoyed our company having four girls herself. The big cuddles we got off her and Grandad on arrival and leaving were wonderful.

Grandad, very tall, fantastic sense of style, smelt heavenly. Would make us laugh by wiggling his ears at us, making funny noises at us whilst tickling with his foot on the way past. etc Would tape films for us off the TV, as did Grandma.

My Grandparents are wonderful, and watching them decline and realising they are getting old has been the biggest shock to me as I grew up. I didn't see them all the time and they were all so consistent, that when they started to change it was a real move away from my childhood.

ghostlytale Wed 02-Nov-11 23:26:07

The (pleasant) nostalgic smell in the pantry.

The (much used) sewing box, containing button box - my favourite. Sewing basic clothes for my little dolls with my grandmother.

Blankets in the spare (my) bedroom, dozens of them, no duvets, but was lovely and warm.

Collecting blackberries and lavender, I always associate the scent of the latter with their house now.

We had a version of 'gran's press' as mentioned by Singingsands, in a (locked) wooden cupboard. Gifts would be produced from here. Notable ones included a treasury of fairy tales and a toy sweet shop with real sweets.

The woodland walks with my grandfather. He would always reminisce about those when I was grown up.

Has reminded me how much I do actually miss them, though they died a long time ago.

oldsilver Wed 02-Nov-11 23:28:48

The smell of lavender bags - everywhere.
The curtains with a bow pattern on, that when the wind blew looked like butterflies fluttering.
Filling the little glass up with water so the nodding ducks could dunk in it.
Margerine and not butter (yum) for me Blue Riband was a treat smile
The paintings on the wall - still remember them in detail.
The cuckoo clock cuckooing (I have my own now) and the race and argument with my Dsis to pull the chain.
Their dentures by the side of the beds grin without the face bit
The taste of the water which was fed by a natural spring.
The smell of coal tar soap in the bathroom.
The fact I felt like the princess and the pea cause the bed I slept in had three mattresses on it smile
Sitting around and singing with them when one played on the piano and the other played the organ.

I could go on and on and on ... I too, miss them so much and they both passed away in the 80's. We holidayed in the area this Summer ((first holiday in 10 years) and although the house and area have changed it was all just too familiar and lovely smile smile smile smile smile

Another one who remembers learning to play crib thanks to her Grandparents here! smile

BerylsSausagePlait Wed 02-Nov-11 23:31:34

Tea from the Teas-maid
Sheets and many blankets and being tucked in very tightly
The orange glow of the street lamp outside the house
My Grans Madeira cake
The smell of my Grandad's pipe tobacco

MumblingAndBloodyRagDoll Wed 02-Nov-11 23:31:44

Her house had long grass and a redundant antique lawnmower. A motorbike with a side car leaned against the wall... there were apple trees and a skullery with odd bits of carvings from my Dad's time at sea. There were pink skilk, pleated lampshades and a coal fire.

My bedroom had been my Dads and it had his artwork on the walls. I loved it all so much. xxx

MumblingAndBloodyRagDoll Wed 02-Nov-11 23:33:06

ooh and she taught me to play whist and how to work out the form of race horses! And told me ghost stories!

Fifteen 2, fifteen 4, fifteen 6 and one for His Nob is 7.

grin

I have my Nan's button box. It was the one thing I asked for 10 years after she'd passed away, when we lost Grandad too.

And what IS it about Nannys wanting to make sure you eat when you visit?! No-one was allowed to leave without having had at least several cups of tea and some home made cake!

Making ballerinas from pink fuschia (sp?) flowers.

smile

crazynanna Wed 02-Nov-11 23:35:44

My grandma refused to wear any knickers if she wore tights grin

Signet2012 Wed 02-Nov-11 23:37:07

aww my grandparents where amazing and Im still lucky to have a nana.

My granda was my favourite adult growing up.
things that remind me of him - barbershop singing, by my heads itchy (he used to scratch our heads as he said it) cheese sanwiches, "wee's supper n bed" "bonny lass" scruffy cardigans, holey slippers, tweed flat cap, button box, capitals of the countries, the "surgery" (table in dining room for broken toys and grazed knees) cigarette cards.............. Why dont we realise what we have until its gone? Wish I could turn back time and chose seeing him over hanging out with my mates when I could still spend time with him.

I have the DGPs' button box as well. smile

I had started to create one of my own for the Chaotic4 (well one of them wink) from all their old buttons from clothes. My mom borrowed it one day (she did actually ask to borrow this time grin) and for some friffing unknown reason she just threw all these significant buttons nto a big box of buttons that she had bought from various charity shops. WTAF? I fumed. angry

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDoom Wed 02-Nov-11 23:38:22

The white three tier cake tin with the blue lid, and gingerbread and rice cake fresh out of the oven. Toast with Nimble bread and Lurpak butter, which we never got at home, only at Nanna's. She had a "New World Rangette" that was old when I was small and was almost 50 when it finally went bang and gave up the ghost, and her washing machine, in the wash-house out the back, had an enormous "thing" in the middle that sort of threshed the clothes and a mangle attached to the top. Tomato plants in the greenhouse, and the rain barrels outside it.
Granda and nanna having "forty winks" after dinner and the TV always being on Tyne-Tees because neither of them dared change the channel in case they couldn't get it back and missed Emmerdale Farm or Corrie.
Nanna sewing up ladders in her tights, which she called stockings.
My mam's old china dolls, Jane-Anne and Rosemary sitting on the bed in the little bedroom, and we were never allowed to touch them because "they're as old as mam and you might hurt them".
Nanna's silver eidelweiss brooch, and the sparkly treasures (which although I now know were just costume jewwellery from Woolies) were like the crown jewels to us.
Granda taught me the first three verses of Vitae Lampada when I was about 6 and I can still recite it now, and my DCs can chime in "play up, play up, and play the game" in the right place. And we can all sing the Paratrooper Song.
I could go on for hours. Granda has been gone 30 years now, but Nanna is 93 and still going strong smile

And... and..more! The smell of Max Factor powder compact which Nanny used, a rich, sweet smell.
And a trail of sawdust across the floor when Grandad came home from his shop. He always wore a tailor made 3 piece suit with silk backed waistcoat under his white butcher's coat and always had turn-ups tailored into his trousers, which caused the sawdust trail. smile

When I was a kid, about 7 years old, and he was in his 50s he'd lift me into the air by one hand on my stomach as if I was flying and could do chin lifts on the top of the kitchen door.

The candlewick bedspread on the bed.

yy to sitting on the stepstool because there weren't enough chairs

Enormous sliding doors on one wall of the kitchen that hid pantry shelves

Glass window between the hallway and the kitchen. It had ornaments on the narrow sill.

All the china trinkets in the display cabinet.

Copies of the People's Friend

The funny smell....

The black and red pouffe

Those antimassacar (sp.?) things on the sofa and chairs

Making pancakes with my Gran

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