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What are your childhood memories of your grandparents' house?

(436 Posts)
ChaosTrulyReigns Wed 02-Nov-11 22:48:51

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.

oldsilver Wed 02-Nov-11 23:42:10

My granma always used to wear those big knee length bloomers grin I have her sewing box - they were going to throw it away when the house was cleared shock

They had a stereogram, no telly, that we used to listen to the Archers on. And we used to play Old Maid, Donkey, Happy Families and Kanugo (no, me neither) - Father Christmas had to get for DS last Christmas the Sainsbury's 3 pack set of traditional card games ... I was stunned, they were exactly the same smile

Getting up reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllllyyyyyyyy early in the morning to go mushrooming with my granpa or just generally strolling round the fields with the farm dogs and him smile smile

PortoTreasonAndPlot Wed 02-Nov-11 23:47:03

Mine are still alive - in fact I was brought up by maternal gps.

Button box - we had a "pouffe" in the corner that contained button delights along with a sock darning mushroom thing that I joke about with dh to this day...My dad always sat on said pouffe when he came round.

Cocktail cabinet - it played tunes when you opened it - only ever at Xmas, famiy wedding etc. It contained all the left over drink from when my auntie got married in 1977. Little cans of ginger ale, bottles of babycham, bols to make snowballs with, glace cherries, cocktail sticks - as children these were things of wonder......

Kellamity Wed 02-Nov-11 23:47:37

OMG what a fantastic thread - has opened up a whole memory box for me!

The yellow garage door.
The sweeping drive with pampas grass either side.
Always a white ford fiesta!
The smell of tomatoes in the greenhouse.
Our initials in the concrete outside the garage.
The gap in the hedge that would lead to the lane down to the horse's field.
Our apple trees planted when we were born.
The lucky rabbit's foot in the pantry drawer.
The homemade curtains with massive hems.
The red stool, just the right height for us to sit on.
Playing mums and dads in the lean-to with the sun beds and pink woollen blankets.
Nanny's Sunday lunch mmmmmmm

DogsBestFriend Wed 02-Nov-11 23:48:59

We had the ultimate solution to not enough chairs, though there were many in my DGPs little flat because Grandad collected antiques. Despite the size of their home there was at times more than 20 of us at Christmas tea. The gatelegged barley twist table would be used, the kitchen table and a formica coffee table for extra dishes. The diners would stretch from far side of the "living room" into the kitchen.

And those young uns without chairs would sit on wooden boards placed across the chairs of two other folk. smile

One pair of antique chairs were rosewood with tapestry covered seats which lifted out, as old ones do. We didn't realise that they had worn a little and the frame had enlarged a bit until Uncle Arthur (a little fella the spit of Arthur Askey) suddenly disappeared downwards, his bum stuck in the framework of the chair seat and his little legs pointing ceilingwards!

PortoTreasonAndPlot Wed 02-Nov-11 23:56:29

I remember being taken to see my ggm. Who lived in the "posh" front room in my aunts house. She had wonderful things in glass cabinets and always gave me 50p - a fortune in 1972.

stealthsquiggle Wed 02-Nov-11 23:57:38

OMG - so many.

Sweet peas
Lime marmalade
"taste of honey"
sewing box
lovely bureau desk
Morning Glories in the sunroom

Strangely, the ones from my maternal grandparents, who we saw more often, are nowhere near as evocative. I am not sure why that is, but I have inherited loads of stuff from my paternal grandparents and it all brings memories flooding back. I determinedly use it all, but have been known to weep over a broken plate or a worn-out teatowel blush.

Right, I have gathered myself <punches Chaos> grin

Cuckoo call from what always seemed to be right outside my bedroom window.

Loving the fact that one of the bedrooms in their house was known as 'RockStock's Room' as I was the first grandchild to stay there after they bought the house just after I was born.

Listening out for Pa first thing in the morning and then running as fast and as loudly as I could to leap into their bed so I could sit next to Grannie when we supped tea in bed that Pa had gone to make.

Playing Pooh Sticks for ever when we took their 3 dogs for long walks through the meadows behind Long Melford.

Making drop scones with Grannie and burning myself EVERY time, but not giving a shit as it was so much fun.

Chopping onions for Grannie with her (what I thought then) amazing onion chopper thingy wotsit.

The smell of Grannie's Cinzano and whatever it was she mixed it with.

Sneaking into their drawing room to watch Grange Hill. Grannie knew I did but never told my Mum (I was banned from watching it at home!)

Climbing the trees in the garden and falling out of one once, but luckily landing in their pond - pond was pretty big so I splashed rather than hurt!

The thousands of daffodils in what would have been a paddock many moons ago every spring, ditto crocuses and snowdrops peeking through at the end of winter around the garden.

The crunch of the gravel when we drove up the drive. Fighting with my brothers to get out of the car first to swing the gate open.

Afternoon tea, every day without fail.

THE BEST MACARONI CHEESE IN THE WORLD EVER. No has, can or will ever make it like Grannie did. Ditto the best gravy in the world.

The smell of the larder at the end of the house, and then behind another door Pa's workroom with a completely different smell.

Making bottles of sodastream up in what now looks like the most amazing contraption ever!

Helping grannie make her bed up - she taught me hospital corners when I was about 5 and I won't buy fitted sheets just so I can do them on our beds now.

My wonderful grandfather was just amazing. He was a General in the Army but to me he was simply Pa and I wish he could see all that I am my children have achieved. He died when I was just 20, but I still think about him almost everyday.

My Grannie taught me EVERYTHING I know about cooking. It is my true passion and I credit the hours and hours I spent standing on a stool 'helping' her from about the age of 3. She was overjoyed when my DS was born on her birthday and I am so pleased that my three older children have some wonderful memories of her.

<punches Chaos again>

MotherMucca Wed 02-Nov-11 23:58:29

The smell of my grandma's powder and lipstick.
Hairy curlers.
The smell of sprouts.
The cupboard in the hall smell - shoe polish with a faint undercurrent of washing powder.
Ironing knickers.
Dippy egg and soldiers.
The taste of real butter in sandwiches.
The sound grandma made when she kissed my cheek (a proper 'smacker').
The opening credits of Corrie.

Course, I'm living in it now. But, by golly, I miss my darling grandma. sad sad <tears trickle>

ItsonlymeMrsDB Wed 02-Nov-11 23:58:57


Your memories are lovely.


TheNoodlesIncident Wed 02-Nov-11 23:59:01

The smell of the pink china pomander with flowers on. I still have it in a box in the loft, and it still smells the same! (No loss of scent, I mean.)

The linoleum in the space between the carpet and the walls - no fitted carpets for Gran!

The spaniel ornament on the living room windowsill

The drying greens out the back

The display cabinet with photos of grandchildren on

PortoTreasonAndPlot Thu 03-Nov-11 00:04:41

Rock <<sobs>>

My dd is definitely lacking GPs. She has only 2 and they are both useless,

Thanks MrsLovelyDB

Sorry about all my typos/crap proofing, but I blame Chaos.

ItsonlymeMrsDB Thu 03-Nov-11 00:05:42


ChaosTrulyReigns Thu 03-Nov-11 00:06:09



I could go on and on and on with amazing memories of Grannie and Pa. My youngest DC has just one grandparent (my mum) and it makes me so sad that she can know no others.

Laquitar Thu 03-Nov-11 00:06:24

Lovely thread smile, i enjoyed reading all the posts.

Cinnamon smell.

Long red peppers (Spanish), fried, roasted, pickled.

Smell of old fashioned soap.

Drawers of letters and photos from family members immigrants around the world - all the envelopes and stamps were kept too.

workshy Thu 03-Nov-11 00:07:02

we didn't see my grandma often as it was over 2 hours away (a lifetime in the early 80s) so we would go 2 or 3 times a year and we would come out so fat!!!

we would get there about 10 and there would be hot buttered toast
then at 12, roast beef (always beef) with yorkshire puddings
followed by a choice of 2 plate pies! (omly ever met my grandma who made plate pies?) and I always got laughed at because I liked just custard by itself, but she would always save me some!
then around 2 pm the special biscuit tin would come out that was was full of penguins and blue ribbands

then so we didn't get hungry on the way home (as if) at about 4 pm she would bring out a selection of cooked meat, cakes and bananas -and what ever we didn't eat we had to take home with us!

as I hit my teens she decided I was some kind of technical whizz and would send me down to her friends flat (bottom left) to go and sort out her video, alarm clock etc

the first time I drove to her house, I came out and found a £5 note in my pocket -apparently she had been doing this to my dad since he married my mum. They had gone to see her from Manchester to Lincoln and he wouldn't take any money for the petrol, so she snuck it into his pocket! -this went on for 30 years with niether of them saying anything, dad thinks mum still doesn't know lol

ChaosTrulyReigns Thu 03-Nov-11 00:08:13


I'll bet she won't remember them as useless. There'll be memories for her just like we have these. smile

And stealth.

Evocative. That's the word I have been searching for the whole thread. Cheers bud.


MotherMucca Thu 03-Nov-11 00:12:35

My Norn' Irish GP memories are:
Grandma smoking in the bathroom.
Granddad playing his banjo on the loo.
Relatives pressing folded-up notes (£) into my hand.
The smell of powder in the room I shared with an auntie.
Egg and onion sarnies.
Copious amounts of food.
Watching V the alien tv series.
My grandma's wheezy laugh. (see remembrance .1).

WitchOfWoo Thu 03-Nov-11 00:17:41

Granny taking a shovelful of burning coal from the fire and running through to the bedroom to have an instant fire on.

Grandad's shed which smelt of creosote and had stacks of kindlers and a picture of Betty Grable on the wall.

The pantry with jars of jam and pickles.

DuelingFanjo Thu 03-Nov-11 00:27:12

At my dad's parents:

Dead flies in the conservatory.

The serving hatch between their kitchen and dining room.

Not being allowed to read at the dinner table or to get down until everyone had eaten.

The smell of the empty scrubbed sink in the kitchen.

Po-going on my grandpa's lawn at christmas.

My granny on the piano.

Books about the royal family.

Grandpa's walking sticks.

Placemats with hunting scenes.

At my mum's parents:

Spiders in the cereal cupboard.

The patterns on the ceiling.

Boxes of matches and granddad doing magic tricks.

Watching Haley Mills films.

The door to the stairs.

oldsilver Thu 03-Nov-11 00:35:53

Wow, mine also had placemats with hunting scenes on and some others with very old Devon and Cornwall historical pubs on Jamaica Inn was my favourite smile

thecatatemygymsuit Thu 03-Nov-11 00:42:30

Brill thread. Like Proust or something!
Ok I really miss all my grandparents, 2 died within a week of each other 20 years ago (romantic!), thankfully both well into their 80's:
Smoked salmon for tea
Lovely art deco house with a special shelf lined up with miniatures collected from all over the world (booze that is)
Tomato scented greenhouse
Raspberry patch
Baby frogs in the garden
Large lawn for clock golf and croquet (!)
Nosh house (larder) packed full of Corona and just about everything else
Sasha the black lab who used to let us ride on his back smile
Thimbles of whiskey
Tiger Tim/Rainbow annuals in my dad's old bedroom.
Colour TV on all over the house (that was shocking for us - we had B&W)

I'd better stop... this could go on all night and I haven't even got on to my other grandparents yet.

happybubblebrain Thu 03-Nov-11 01:00:02

I have lots, I always loved going there.

I remember my grandma feeding the birds and us all watching them from the kitchen window. The amazing cakes my grandma made and the smell from the electric mixer. Wholemeal toast with lime marmalade. The shaggy carpet in the attic bedroom and the orange foldout 1970s bed that we sometimes slept on. I remember my grandma singing songs to me and the daytrips she planned for us around London. Lovely homemade soup. The lovely garden with the rope swing at the bottom of it. Lots of great fun times and everyone really happy to be there.

WeepsInPaleDew Thu 03-Nov-11 01:03:43

A big old apple tree I used to climb. I loved being surrounded by blossom.

The summerhouse in the lovely garden and the homemade swings. Lying on the grass with a glass of ice cream soda with an ice cream float.

Making toast at the coal fire, lovely homemade bread, proper farm butter and homemade jam.

The china shire horses.

My grandad's shed, he was a joiner and I loved just sitting there watching him work. I remember the smell of the wood shavings and my grandad throwing offcuts for me to whittle.

My lovely grandma, never without a cup of tea or a cigarette. She used to give me a little sip of Babycham or Snowball in a special glass, I felt so grown up. She displayed my art everywhere, she was so proud of my work. When she died, a big chunk of me died too. I hope I make her proud.

<sobs like a baby>

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