Advanced search

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.

Teddybeau1988 Tue 26-Aug-14 22:27:42

The really colourful, pattern carpet.
The half moon rug in front of the fire place.
Watching Dads army on her tv on Saturday evenings.
Lots of cakes and buscuits

flatbellyfella Sun 10-Aug-14 13:59:03

The only memory I have of my dear nana, on my mothers side was visiting them as a small child on a train, to a place called Snatchwood, near pontypool in South Wales, they lived in a little tin bungalow & next door was my uncle , a very rough track led up to the bungalow, outside of the back door there was a wooden gate that led up to some woods. I have no memory of inside of the house.
On my Fathers side granny Flatbellyfella did not know who I was when as a 13 year old, I cycled 16 miles from Bath,to Heywood,a tiny hamlet outside of Westbury in Wiltshire, after explaining I was one of their sons boys, I was invited in to a tiny room with an open fire with a big old cast iron kettle boiling away, a large pare of Bulls horns hung above the fire,& a First World War Bugle on a cord, they gave me a cup of tea before I left on my return journey, a visit to their outside toilet was not a nice experience, it was just a wooden shed with a bench with a hole in it, placed over a large smelly hole in the ground.

morchoxplz Sun 10-Aug-14 07:49:28

A money box by the phone (?) shaped like a toadstool. It had s chimney you pressed in and a slot would pop up to put a coin in.

The smell of box hedges and tomatoes growing

Newts and frogs in a tank in the greenhouse

Narrow single beds with diversions in a silky gold colour

A built in cupboard referred to as a 'vim' cupboard

Stringing runner beans outside in the sun

Nan making Mint sauce being made by chopping the leaves holding the knife at both ends

Trifle,milk loaf,fishpaste, v v v strong orange squash,swissroll.

A ticking clock

Polishing 'the silver' which mostly turned out not to be.

daftbesom Thu 31-Jul-14 21:35:18

Mine too had teaspoons with saints on the handle ("Apostle Spoons"), and Sing Something Simple on the radio!

The gas fire actually had a setting called "Miser Rate" - how I longed to turn it up to something that would actually make me warm!

Playing cards.


The sound of a car speeding by on the cobbles outside.

firstchoice Thu 31-Jul-14 10:05:32

My maternal grandmother was a drunk and didn't know who I was.
My paternal grandmother wouldn't have my mother and I in the house (I never met her). I later discovered that was because he wasn't actually my dad at all.
My 'real Dad's' mother I met in my early teens.
Very little time with her before she developed Alzheimers.


2 doors down from us in our terraced street was a little old lady who lived alone. From the age of 4, I used to go round on a Sunday afternoon with a huge bunch of yellow roses (we were dirt poor but had a massive rose bush in our garden).
That lady (Miss Maxted) and I use to play shops, bake shortbread, and she made me a ballet skirt to twirl in (before her eyes went and even though we couldn't afford ballet). I remember the Corona man bringing American Cream Soda she got in just for me. I remember the spidery bathroom and the Izal loo paper. The teeny itichen and the very solid ancient fridge. The picture of her fiancée from WW1, in pride of place all her life. She would tell me about all her long dead brothers and sisters. Playing with a button box.
We used to watch the James Herriot Vet series on TV. And Black Beauty. Later, I got her a budgie with my pocket money and she loved him. I learned to make her (endless) cups of tea. She died when I was 15. By then I'd moved 10 miles away and visited every other week. Her mean cousin who didn't like me (who I think had always been scared Miss Maxted would 'give' her house to me when she died?) didn't tell me she was ill and asking for me in hospital. I only knew she'd died after I was rapping on her door for 15 mins a fortnight later and another neighbour said: 'didn't you know, she's dead?'. I was in BITS.
I was very very upset at the funeral. I felt very guilty I had not said goodbye. I took her some yellow roses.
Shortly after I was standing in the kitchen one night and felt a 'hand' on my shoulder. I looked, and it was hers, complete with marcasite ring and paisley sleeve. When I looked round there was no one there but I felt she had come to say she didn't blame me for not saying goodbye.

I am so grateful I knew her.

My two children have almost no contact with their GP's .
It makes me very sad.

Yama Sun 04-May-14 19:52:24

I was one of four children and I used to escape to my Nana and Papa's flat for a week at a time in the holidays.

Jigsaws, readings books, going for woodland walks and meeting up with all of their friends at a local tea room. I loved it. It seems I have the right temperament for retirement. grin

NigellasDealer Sun 04-May-14 19:36:54

bread soda
the hot press
dark wood
the smell of the river
the smell of the guinness factory
tea and biscuits on a plate

Dancingwiththedrummer Sun 04-May-14 19:35:23

Floral china plates

Smell of onion gravy

My grandad playing harmonica

Blankets with satin edges

Digging for dinner (veg patch)

Dozing in the afternoon with a black and white film on in the background

Big lunches with salmon sandwiches for tea

The coo coo clock

Floral fitted sofa covers

Mutley77 Thu 01-May-14 07:20:37

Yeah the tea trolley - bring back the tea trolley smile

White toast with butter and jam (weren't allowed it at home...)

Bumpy wallpaper, like the stuff DH & I stripped off all the walls in our first home!

The clock going ding dong every hour.

Ahhhhh love love love!

Louise1956 Thu 01-May-14 06:42:05

The things i remember about my grandmother's house are the revolving clothesline she had in the garden, which i found very fascinating, and she had candlewick bedspreads, which I thought very interesting too, and electric blankets. Also when i went to stay with her i got to watch the Tv programmes that my parents would never watch - The avengers and the man from Uncle and Adam Adamant etc.

MackerelOfFact Mon 28-Apr-14 13:02:10

The smell of Superkings cigarettes (to this day the only cigarette I actually like the smell of - and I detest smoke, in general).

My grandad's 'bureau' which he kept locked and seemed to contain endless fascinating artifacts. There was a little toy monkey that sat on top of it.

Their placemats with scenes of windmills and cottage on the front and a map of East Anglia on the back. I would always turn mine over and find the town we lived it.

Being given a little box of Smarties by my Grandma and a pound coin pressed into my palm by my Grandad whenever we left their house.

Special mugs with our names on and their farmyard playset from the Bowls Club jumble sale. I asked to take them home every time. I was never allowed.

The little wooden box on the windowsill of the room I slept in which contained the following: a hologram of a panda, a small plastic fluffy chick, a brooch, a tiny wooden Pinocchio, a coin from New Zealand. I would sneak upstairs and pretend to be looking out the window so I could fondle these secret treasures.

The texture of their patio when I had no shoes or socks on, how the super-short mowed lawn felt to lay on, and the smell of the conifers flanking the steps in the garden as you brushed past them.

goldopals Wed 23-Apr-14 07:33:31

Dad's side- watching videos in the afternoon and then having salad sandwiches and Sno-top for lunch. I remember lots of ducks (Nana's favourite print for crockery), the sound of their doorbell and the HUGE amount of books (that I inherited).
Mum's side- sleepovers and sneaky treats.

NCFTTB Sun 20-Apr-14 00:57:31

We were talking about this tonight. Lots of great memories.

Top 3:

Watching 2 videos repeatedly - Pollyanna and Mr Knibbles
Eating fairy cakes with grated coconut or jelly diamonds on top
Grandmother only ever wearing skirts or dresses

RonaldMcDonald Sat 19-Apr-14 00:48:21

Sitting on the draining board as my grandma was peeling lbs of potatoes. Every day lbs of potatoes.
Listening to her sing 'It was only a bunch of violets'
My grandfather's western books.
Sitting on his knee in the front of the car whilst he was driving, changing gears for him (!)
A thousand wonderful lovely things

Sob, lovely thread

Oh my other grandparents? Least said

Awks Sat 19-Apr-14 00:29:29

Listening to the cars on the road outside (we lived rurally and didnt hear anything at night)
Lying in bed with my nana and the Catalogue, making Christmas lists
The Potty smile
Putting black bits from the newspaper on our front teeth and smiling
Home made chips and stork margarine on bread
People coming into the house all the time for a chat

LyndaCartersBigPants Sat 19-Apr-14 00:28:06

Other grandparents' house, pink lemonade made with Ribena.

Over cooked 'nan' veg and stewed meat.

Slightly batty dogs (they had several during my life time, but they were all barking mad).

Stiflingly hot rooms filled with cigarette smoke.

Opinionated grandad getting worked up and cross about stuff.

LyndaCartersBigPants Sat 19-Apr-14 00:25:06

A music box on the mantelpiece. I can hear it in my head now. That tune speaks of crackly log fires, Murray mints and safety to me!

Also pancakes on the plates that were kept in the top cupboard so my grandma had to use the step stool to get them out, with Jif lemon and sugar.

Slightly out of tune piano.

Walking up to the nearby paddocks and feeding apples to the horses.

Grandad having a nap with the clock ticking.

Nagasaki Sat 19-Apr-14 00:01:28

Rhubarb patch
Vegetable soup with beef shin
Brown telephone
Porcelain dolly on stand
Scary wardrobe
Cuddles smile

upupupandaway Fri 18-Apr-14 21:50:08

Grandparent had a very smelly Scottish terrier called Mandy.They grew all their own fruit and vegetables. I used to love having a brown paper bag of sugar to dip my stick of rhubarb in

CPtart Wed 16-Apr-14 16:55:24

....I'm in my forties now and have one remaining grandma. Very lucky.

CPtart Wed 16-Apr-14 16:53:20

Twenty boxes of washing powder in the cupboard.
The way she melted the last of one bar of soap onto a new one, to save waste.
The smell of geraniums in the "lean to".
Her mangle.
Hot chocolate in a royal wedding mug.
The picture of my g grandma on her 90th birthday which took pride of place.
The good old tea trolley, men sat and watched the TV whilst the women made sandwiches and served up....then cleared up!
An enormous grape vine in the greenhouse, and the smell of ripening tomatoes.

SquidgyMummysCat Wed 16-Apr-14 16:29:56

My other grandma

Saved the butter packets to use to line cake tins
Made marble cake - we used to help
Always visited loaded up with patties (savoury snacks)
Used to do "bending exercises" to keep her waist trim it worked
only ate half a banana, left the other cut half in the fruit bowl

SquidgyMummysCat Wed 16-Apr-14 16:25:50

Tick tock clock in the background
Learning to Play Gin rummy
Boiled sweets
Knitted bedsocks
hot water bottle in bed

CheesyBadger Wed 16-Apr-14 16:24:05

Wooden egg cups polished by my nan

Thick toast and marmalade with real butter!

Chunky crayons, the smell of them in the tub.

My nans pink powder puff and props brush and mirror set

Potato soup smile

My grandad died in February and I miss him so much it hurts. The smell of his scent brings it all whooshing back. It is amazing what can be triggered by a smell

Bug2014 Wed 16-Apr-14 16:07:21

I was very lucky to have all my dear grandparents up to my late twenties.

Little cut glass pots of perfume with peeling browned labels on Grandma's dressing table which all smelt the same

The constant bubbling noise made by the Rayburn in the kitchen, which was always heated to the approximate temperature of the sun, by the Rayburn

The secret nudie calendar in Grandpa's workshop at the top of the garden

The nativity scene placed under the old well's roof, on top of the boards, so you could see it from the road at Christmas

Grandma's marmalade in an individual tiny jam pot for each grandchild

The rotary dial telephone (brrrring brrrrring) which Grandma answered by saying their location and last 3 digits of their phone number, and the security of feeling like the phone had been there, and she'd been answering it that way, just about forever

My darling Grandma who understood so well how to make children feel special, and how to see the magic in the everyday (_welling up_)

The excitement of turning into their drive after the long journey and tall Grandma with her big smile striding up, usually carrying an ancient bucket full of chicken feed, and bending down to give me a tight hug and say "dear [Bug]" in my ear

The dachshunds rushing for the postman's hands when the letters dropped into the hall

The cavernous cupboard under the stairs, scene of a daring voyage to the back over all the stored coats and boots, by my brothers and I

Letting the dogs into my teenaged uncle who still lived at home's room early every morning of our stay to wake him up, without fail

Grandpa swearing at the cricket

Going round feeding the ponies, hens and geese with Grandma and the enormous sense of responsibility

Sweet peas

All Grandma's beaded necklaces hung over her mirror inviting little hands to select one


Car trips to see Grandma's friends, always interesting people

I just hope I can be half the Grandma she was one day.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: