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To get rid of china that was my parent's wedding presents

(46 Posts)
Cicatrice Tue 22-Jul-08 19:50:04

My dad is going into a care and I have to clear the house. He is fairly senile and my mother has been dead for many years.

There are, amongst many other things 6 tea sets that were given to them as wedding presents. One of them is nice and I will keep that one (I can get my in laws to store it) but the others are not the kind of thing I like, not something I would use, and I don't have storage space.

And it was never used at home, so there is no sentimental attachment to any of them.

My aunt is outraged that I want to get rid of them. Actually she seems to want me to keep the whole house, including the carpets.

I just can't see why I should keep 6. I won't use one. I know its not really about crockery but I'm losing my perspective. Am I being spoilt?

beansprout Tue 22-Jul-08 19:50:36

Could she keep it?

nickytwotimes Tue 22-Jul-08 19:51:39

I agree with beabsprout.
If she is bothered about them being kept, then she can keep them.

Keeping one is perfectly reasonable.

Clayhead Tue 22-Jul-08 19:52:49

I have been here but with grandparents and not parents - we had six tea sets too!

We kept one and the other six were sold/went to charity, it just isn't possible to keep everything and, IMO, you shouldn't feel guilty about it.

I am sad for you that you have more stress when already clearing out the house which is sad and stressful enough on its own!

Cicatrice Tue 22-Jul-08 19:52:55

No. She has "more than enough stuff of my own thank you. And I suppose you'll want to put that in a skip when I'm gone."

I'm not putting it in a skip though.

beansprout Tue 22-Jul-08 19:53:39

I would give it to a charity shop then.

Marina Tue 22-Jul-08 19:56:01

Offer her the chance to choose a set for herself and make it clear that the rest of the china will have to go
If they are complete and little used, you might want to check on eBay or one of those china-finding sites to see if someone is longing for the tea sets out there...(thinks eg of MIL's unattractive, stashed-away but apparently now very valuable Susie Cooper 1960s wedding present)
I feel for you clearing a house in these circumstances cicatrice, especially with other rellies around to put their oars in.

Tinkerisdead Tue 22-Jul-08 19:56:03

We've just had this with grandparents. My mum sold it on ebay and used the money to buy a new dinner service that was liked and would be used.

expatinscotland Tue 22-Jul-08 19:56:05


If she wants them, she can have them. Tell you if you had space for two houses full of stuff, you'd have two houses and that she's welcome to the china.

expatinscotland Tue 22-Jul-08 19:57:37

Tell her you need to sell it to pay for your father's funeral.

Clayhead Tue 22-Jul-08 19:57:45

If it's Susie Copper I'll look after it for you grin

Marina Tue 22-Jul-08 19:59:48

Paws off clayhead
She has some Clarice Cliff too

Cicatrice Tue 22-Jul-08 20:02:04

They are completely untouched! Some have never been used. But they are not particularly rare or very much of their time so not valuable.

It's very sad opening presents from 40 years ago that were given to them when they were starting their lives and now they are both essentially gone.

Made me get the crystal out that I got for my wedding and if the baby breaks them so be it.

RubyRioja Tue 22-Jul-08 20:02:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Clayhead Tue 22-Jul-08 20:02:39

[Clayhead drools at the prospect]

unknownrebelbang Tue 22-Jul-08 20:02:47

Oh this thread tugs at my heartstrings, my mother had a coffee set (it's not even that nice, but it was my mother's iykwim). I don't fret over possessions, but for some reason I'm anxious about this set because it's in the possession of my dad/stepmama and I'm not sure what they'll do with it, but would never broach the subject with my dad.

YANBU at all, but please do dispose of it carefully, either on ebay or a charity shop or whatever.

RubyRioja Tue 22-Jul-08 20:02:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Clayhead Tue 22-Jul-08 20:03:54

Cicatrice, I know what you mean, I actually got quite cross that my grandparents had saved so much 'for best' and not just enjoyed it whilst they had the chance.

expatinscotland Tue 22-Jul-08 20:04:26

if you don't have the space for all of it, you just don't.

that's how it is.

i'd gumtree it.

we plan on keeping some stuff of my parents' once they are gone, as we can.

fortunately, my sister has bags of space in her house and loads of storage space.

Marina Tue 22-Jul-08 20:07:22

Cicatrice - are you in London by any chance?

If so, the Age Exchange in Blackheath might indeed want it for reminiscence sessions with senior citizens, as Ruby suggests

My parents have adopted a scorched earth policy with all material possessions except books and personal papers, all their lives, which means that a lot of their wedding service, their clunky 70s ironstone goblets, their vintage Pyrexes, are gone already. They are a funny pair hmm

slalomsuki Tue 22-Jul-08 20:08:20


please do find the courage to bring this up incase something happens to your father and your stepmother gives it away without your knowledge. I speak for experience here. He(they) won't know what it means to you unless you tell them and perhaps they could will it to you.

Cicatrice Tue 22-Jul-08 20:08:41

You're right. I just have to keep saying that I don't have space. She knows the size of my flat, but chooses to believe that it has a hidden wing when it suits her.

I have kept some ornaments. Other ornaments and photographs will go with my Dad when he is settled in.

Clayhead Tue 22-Jul-08 20:09:24

unknownrebelbang, it's not 1960s, black with Greek keys on the top is it? My mum has one like that and I am strangely attached despite its appearance. There is even one in the City Museum just the same.

[I spent many an hour sheltering there waiting for films to start in the Cannon as a teenager)

Clayhead Tue 22-Jul-08 20:11:19

Cicatrice, despite your aunt's reluctance to let you dispose of any china, she doesn't seem to have any alternative ideas, does she?

I feel for you but you are doing the right thing.

Marina Tue 22-Jul-08 20:11:27

My aunt had a bottle of Chanel no 5 for her wedding day and put it away afterwards "for best". I don't think she ever even used perfume again . I could not agree more clayhead. At least my parents used (and quite possibly hurled, in my mum's case) their china well before dispensing with it.

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