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What Do You Remember About Your Grandparents House?

139 replies

RabbitsRock · 26/06/2023 10:31

This popped up on Facebook & I thought it was rather lovely - I have wonderful memories of my maternal grandparents house & my paternal.
When DBro & I were little, we were lucky enough to live close to both sets of Grandparents. I remember the garden at my paternal Grandparents house the most. Beautiful flowers including a bed of stunning cornflowers. And at the end of the garden, over the low wall, was the most beautiful meadow. It really was like something out of an American movie, complete with a white picket fence & horses. I also remember sitting on the stairs & being so thrilled that I could hear my brother talking to me from a little cupboard in the outside passage. Oh & I remember the bureau where Grandpa kept his big bar of Dairy Milk. I also found some Pan books of horror stories & gave myself nightmares!
My maternal Grandparents first house was lovely, with high ceilings & big windows. I remember the old fashioned radiogram in the dining room where we spent most of our time. We would have those mini Kellogg’s cereals whilst listening to radio 4. I remember the comforting sound the pantry door made & I could see Sally’s lead & bags of biscuits inside. Sally was a very cute fox terrier. I remember all the bedrooms, especially the cosy one at the back of the house with the airing cupboard. The biggest bedroom at the front had a magical cupboard full of dressing up clothes & hats. My Grandma used to be in old tyme music hall so I could try on all her costumes. I get my love of music from her. I remember practising my scales on her piano & my Aunty got fed up & asked me to play something else! I also remember a beautiful music box inlaid with pearls, from Israel I think. That was one of the things I wish I could have had after my Grandparents died.

OP posts:
RabbitsRock · 26/06/2023 14:26

My maternal Grandad had hens feathers stuck into his hats.
The bathroom at my maternal Grandparents was all black tiles & old fashioned fittings - the smell of coal tar soap transports me right back there.

OP posts:
tsmainsqueeze · 26/06/2023 14:52

PTSDBarbiegirl · 26/06/2023 11:37

I could walk myself through every room of both houses, even now 45 years later.

I was just about to say the same !
I can close my eyes and visualise every room and cupboard and all the contents 30 years after my lovely nan left the house she lived in with my grandad.
For me too it was complete comfort and security, so many happy memories .
I hope one day i can give the same to any grandchildren i may be lucky enough to have.

UnDruidlyWords · 26/06/2023 15:01

Same here, I can take a virtual tour of both houses and see every detail. I really wish I could go back to visit those houses as they were in the 1960s and '70s.

MyMachineAndMe · 26/06/2023 15:03

Serving tea (or dinner - the afternoon meal) to all of us cousins in batches because there were so many of us.

It was very brown - the wallpaper, the settee, the carpet.

Seashell lamps and toilet roll holder thing.

Downstairs bathroom with dolphins on the tiles.

An open coal fire and the pokers and things being kept in some guards in suits of armour.

Shire horse ornaments on the fireplace.

My nan with her distinctive voice.

MoonlightMedicine · 26/06/2023 15:07

Carpet in the kitchen, a 1970s floral biscuit tin which always had custard creams in it. Really bad paintings of horses on the walls. Bacon pudding, fish fingers and too-dense fairy cakes. False teeth jars by the bed. A car always being tinkered with in the garage. Lemon sherbets.

LadyJ2023 · 26/06/2023 15:17

Unfortunately I didn't know my grandad as he died young but my grandma I adored. I remember she had a teapot collection, always had a tin of ringtons toffees. She was the first person I would go to to talk about everything. She was a plump little lady and had a wide smile and always made me laugh tripping over her slippers as she liked to buy a size bigger for extra socks in winter oh I miss the staying overs and bedtime chats and the giant hug everytime I went over. Will always miss my grandma Josie

slavetothekittens · 26/06/2023 15:40

Didn't know my paternal grandad as he died before I was born and only vaguely remember my paternal grandma as she died when I was very young. She lived in a flat with one of my dad's brothers. I remember she had a small bedroom as a play room.

I could spend hours describing every detail of my maternal grandparents house, loved it there. Massive aspidestra pot in the hallway, parkray fire, black & white tv, big dining table with chairs and a bench for any kids to sit at. Rocking chair. Exciting built in cupboard where I had a drawer full of toys and all the photos and most importantly, my gran's button box were in there. Lots of pictures on the walls

Kitchen had a walk in pantry. I remember the wooden drying rack suspended from the ceiling, the twin tub with a mangle. Old gas oven. Small passage to the back door and a very cold downstairs toilet. Storage cupboard where my sand tray was kept and the carpet beater, etc

Front garden was full of irises and rhodedendrons and roses. Back garden was massive with a shed for bikes, outdoor toys, etc and a coal shed. Fruit and veg patch, rockery, all sorts of flowers, big lawn then a little path through to a wild section which was fabulous for playing in and exploring. I'd help pick rhubarb and strawberries with my grandad and mint for my gran to make wonderful mint sauce ( that I put on her amazing chips)

My grandad made a hole in the lawn at the back so we could play golf, lol. Remember lupin pods and sycamore helicopters....Lovely memories, I adored my gran and grandad.

I often dream I am back at their house, just as it was.

Amuseaboosh · 26/06/2023 15:55

Contempt, negativity, abuse of varying kinds, no joy and lots, and lots of anxiety.

It was not a happy place..

HalloumiFries · 26/06/2023 16:03

It was a place of love and warmth. I'd love to go back to see what the house looks like now.

It was, as others have said, different shades of brown throughout the interior. There was a grandfather clock in the hall, just beside the front door - no idea what became of that. There was no three-piece suite or even a sofa, but a collection of sturdy armchairs, which could be rearranged easily - cosily surrounding the open, coal fire, in winter or pushed back against the walls when they hosted hogmanay parties for the neighbours. There was a long sideboard running the length of one wall (G-plan, I think) and their "music centre" sat in the middle of that ready to play Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Andy Stewart and military piping records. On the wall was a sequence of four frames photos, taken by one of my uncles, of the sun gradually setting on a local beach. There was a drop leaf table at the back of the room, extended in full for family dinners. Grandad would always sit next to the fire and smoke his pipe. He'd often have a slab of toffee and would break off pieces with a hammer to give to me, sitting as his feet. I loved the idea but in reality found the toffee to hard and rich.

There was a large walk-in pantry in the kitchen and I loved playing in there. Grandma wasn't a great cook but her baking was outstanding and I particularly loved it when she brought out her huge cast iron gridle which sat across all the gas burners on the cooked and was used to make vast quantities of scotch pancakes.

Upstairs, the bedrooms were sparse but cosy. All the walls were woodchipped. I was always allowed to put the electric blanket on the bed in the spare room (previously my mum's bedroom) when I stayed over. There was a particular smell which I couldn't describe but was very homely. Grandma had a large, wodden jewelery box with three ceramic discs of a swirly blue design, inlaid into the lid and I was fascinated by it and its contents.

The back garden feels enourmous in my recollections. There was a coal bunker right at the kitchen door and a chipped area with a few metal seats under the living room window, where grandma would sit with the neighbours for hours on end on a sunny day. What I remember most is the long bed full of lavender plants - grandma adored lavender and wore lavender perfume every day of her life. The lavender had a glorious scent and there were so many bees and butterflies around the plants. The garden in general was well-kept and full of colour, plus they had a swingball set and a tyre swing (made by grandad) for me and my cousins which was so exciting as I wasn't allowed any "clutter" in our garden at home. There was also a huge apple tree. At the very back of the garden was grandad's potato patch. They were definitely into "zoning" of garden space before it became a thing.

When I visited, we would spend most of the day visiting each of the neighbours in turn along the street. Grandma would put on a nice dress and hat and we'd visit other old ladies in nice dresses and hats, having tea and homemade biscuits or cakes. Although they were all clearly close friends and had been for a long time, they all addressed each other as Mrs X, first names were never used.

Ohjustboreoff · 26/06/2023 18:01

My Paternal Grandmother, don't remember Grandfather, she was born in India as her father was in the army. She was a scary battleaxe and we used to have to ask to use the inside toilet but she had loganberry bushes in the back garden and an Anderson Shelter. We used to steal the berries and sit in the shelter scoffing them.
My Maternal grandparents house was one of warmth, hugs and sweeties. Loads and loads of chocolates and sweets. We had chocolate for breakfast! They were Welsh and served warm Barra Brith and fresh churned butter after church. Also falling asleep to my grandad singing Welsh hymns.

inloveandmarried · 26/06/2023 23:18

I remember lots of snippets from the distant past with my maternal grandmother.

Old Georgian relic of a house. Back stairs and passages always dark and good for hide and seek.

Three story grand staircase that you could see the dust in the air when you slid down them.

Scattered light through shutters onto a huge bed we bounced on.

The smell of my grandmothers perfume I climbed up to play on her dressing table.

And floor boards were sticky from decades and decades of people living and smoking in the house.

Big teapot on the back parlour table with table cloth and open fire.

This was the early 1970's and they had only just had an indoor toilet put in.

I remember being washed in a tin bath in front of the parlour fire, my mother constantly complaining about our dirty clothes and being very cold in bed as they didn't have central heating. Up north in winter was cold.

My grandmother was in very poor health so we rarely spent time with her but were left to amuse ourselves, mostly with mischief. She died in the 1970's.

BiscuitEdge · 27/06/2023 09:57

Being carried up to bed on my grandfather's shoulders. He was a small man but I still had to duck at the foot of the stairs. Having a bath in a big plastic tub in the almost dark in front of the fire in the sitting room. Cutting out pictures from shiny magazines and catalogues and sticking them in scrapbooks of purple sugar paper. The glue was thin brownish stuff in a squeezy white and red bottle with a brush and smelt vaguely fishy.
Later after my grandfather died my grandmother moved to a small flat. It smelt of gas and shepherd's pie. The sitting room carpet was bright orange with a dark orange border. Playing with dolls under a side table which had wide legs which ran almost to the floor and formed 'rooms'. Fishing for sticklebacks which we kept in a bucket in the bathroom for a few days. Stripy brushed cotton sheets so soft with age. My grandmother's teeth in a glass by the bed and her pale pink bloomers on the washing line. Big warm hugs and the parma violets smell of her face powder. She loved us and we loved her.

Brightbear · 27/06/2023 10:03

i only knew my maternal GPS, sadly paternal GPs had passed away before I was born.

their house was the old school house and seemed massive! Grandad would play cards with me, Nanny would cook and bake.

It was very cold on the winter.

they had wallpaper tiles, you know not real tiles, but on a roll. I thought that was ace 😂.

Coastalcreeksider · 27/06/2023 10:06

Dad's parents had outside loo with wooden latch door, big upright piano in lounge and a wind up gramophone in the 3rd bedroom which gave me, my brother and cousin endless hours of fun.

Not so much the adults though 😆

Mummytolittleones92 · 27/06/2023 10:12

Both of my Nans lived in council housing on the same estate. Their gardens had chicken wire waist height fencing so everyone chatted in the gardens. All the cousins used to go to my Dads mums on a Sunday after church for a full roast. We’d play out on the street with the other kids before and after then between 15-20 of us would be sat all over the house, round the dining table, a few with lap trays in the living room all eating this big dinner my Nan cooked week after week. Then off to the outside freezer to get the puddings. Always so much laughter, chatting, kids everywhere. Someone always had a baby and we’d take them for walks in the pram. My mum was young when she had me and her mum was young too so I remember when I was little thinking she was still quite ‘cool’. She wore jeans, chain smoked, big gold hoops, had a black leather bag, I just loved her. I was her shadow. I went everywhere with her. We’d have sausage and homemade chips at her house every Thursday. Then I’d sleep over and we’d watch all the soaps together. Little 6 year old me knew all about Den and Angie and the entire cast of Coronation Street haha. I just remember it being the happiest time of my life. My life has changed a lot since then. Sometimes I like to sit and just go back to that time in my mind. Some of the best days in those houses with all those people. So many of them dead now. Time goes too fast, you blink and thirty years went by. It breaks my heart really.

Zipps · 27/06/2023 11:21

One set had a great big open fire, huge garden and loads of dogs.
The other set used to always have those french fancies cakes and pots of homemade jam a big farmhouse kitchen where everyone in the village was always welcome and anyone needing feeding got fed including stray animals.

musixa · 27/06/2023 11:36

One set had a very traditional northern redbrick terrace with a ginnel. I used to sleep in the room over the ginnel when we stayed, and it had a curved ceiling like train carriage had at the time. They'd never had the house rewired since they bought it in the 30s, so it had round-pinned sockets until they died in the 1990s. There was a display cabinet in the front room with some beautiful pottery. They lived in the back room, which had the smallest kitchen I've ever known attached to it. Everything was yellow with tobacco.

The other set lived rurally in a dormer bungalow with a beautiful galleried landing and incredible views out of the window. Their garden was on multiple levels and the best place ever to play 'hide and seek'. They had a shower upstairs which was a novelty to us back then. The living area was immensely spacious.

I've seen at both houses on Rightmove in the last few years and the interiors have changed beyond recognition. The terrace layout is an improvement as they have extended to make a spacious kitchen-diner. The bungalow, on the other hand, they've made a pig's ear of in my opinion by dividing the spacious living area into two smaller rooms.

merryhouse · 27/06/2023 11:39

the smell of coal and freesias
the bagatelle board
the particular tone of the piano, and uncle playing The Holy City for us to belt out
the Friendship Books in the bedroom
the lino in the kitchen
the not-quite-outside loo with very cold seat (bakelite?)
the photo of my cousins on top of the piano
extended family Christmas dinners
playing I-Spy and me finally getting the "p" word when everyone had almost given up (I was fed up and being silly, and said "photograph" as a joke - this is how I discovered photograph is one of Those words... Grin)

the trinket holder on the telephone table (you know the one)
the smell of the soap
the alyssums in the garden
the pile of girls-magazine annuals
the photo of my aunt on the sideboard
the magazine rack with a tabletop, with Women's Weeklies
the ubiquitous knitting
playing rummy, or twos-and-threes; or Floundering
banana custard with coconut (yum)
mushy peas (yuck)
the Sunday matinee film
the time a bird crashed into the window, and I went outside and held it till it recovered from its daze and flew off

EmmaPaella · 27/06/2023 11:45

I loved my Gran’s house. It was a small bungalow but everything looked and smelled perfect. Hornsea pottery, those push along vacuum cleaners. Ornaments from around the world with a story. A twin-tub. Ercol furniture. Her Christmas tree.

Thelnebriati · 27/06/2023 12:08

They had a high rise council flat on the sunny side and with a fabulous view. I used to love being out on the balcony. Nan would be sat sewing and Grandad would be watching the telly. He was deaf and couldn't read the subtitles fast enough, and he'd ask me to sign what was happening on his favourite program. I remember the day he realised I was making it up to pull his leg Grin

Titsywoo · 27/06/2023 12:12

One grandma I spent more time with so remember her house more clearly - her kitchen smelled like Bovril and her bathroom like imperial leather soap and lavender bath cubes. She had a lovely garden full of flowers. In the bedroom me and my brother slept in there was a huge knitting machine and we loved fiddling around with all the controls (it probably drove her mad!). Also the pink candlewick bedspread.

The other grandmas house stank of fags and grease Grin

AlwaysTheGoodGirl · 27/06/2023 12:49

This is wonderful!

My grandad lived in a big 50s council house, and we would get the bus there every Saturday, plus other days in the school holidays. Never gave holidays abroad a thought, we just went to Grandad's, all of ten miles from home. The journey was half the fun, and the smell of the stuffy old bus station mixed with Tic Tacs and my mam's Flair perfume, magic.

The house was huge but he lived on his own as my grandma died young and I never knew her. I remember my uncle and his family moved in for a while, and I've got a few photos of a massive party we had there in 1981, but apart from that it was always just grandad. He was always quite an 'old' grandad so he lived downstairs, and the upstairs was a slightly scary mystery. I hardly ever went up there, but when I did, all the rooms smelled of mothballs and old fashioned lavender talc. The bathroom was beautiful with a blue china willow pattern toilet and high wooden cistern with a chain which I was terrified of, so I never used it.

Downstairs was a big hallway with a toilet, cloakroom, and a massive dining room which had french doors and a piano. The piano had a leather stool with really ancient sheet music under the seat. I only ever tried playing it a couple of times as it seemed untouchable, not that I was told not to touch, but I felt like it was something so special I should leave it alone! So the only part of the house we spent time in was the front room and kitchen - about a quarter of the whole house. He had a tv which had three buttons - BBC1, BBC2 and BBC3 - who knew that would be a thing in the future! When you switched it on you had to wait for it to warm up, so he always got it ready for Final Score on a saturday afternoon and we'd write down all the football scores in the paper. The kitchen had a pantry where he kept all his tins, mostly red salmon for sandwiches when we visited, and the door led out to the coal house and the garden which had those chicken wire fences someone already mentioned, and was always full of 'darts' which were long grass/wheat things that we used to throw around and stick to each other's clothes. The back of the house looked out across miles of wheat fields which are now long gone, but I remember it the way it was. I remember his phone number as well. But the thing that will always stick with me is him standing at the front door waving us off when we left for the last bus on a night, his hand twisted with arthritis, keeping on waving til we reached the top of the street which was quite a long way, until we turned the corner for the bus stop. We'd give him three rings to let him know we were back when we got home. Just a lovely man and lovely days.

UnDruidlyWords · 27/06/2023 12:54

Mention of the huge knitting machine brings back an incident at one set of GPs. They were market gardeners and grew various things for sale, amongst them potatoes. Grandpa had a big potato washing machine in one barn which had shoots, tubes and rollers that the potatoes would rumble along as they were being washed. It was just the right size for a small child to fit into and we slithered through it when grown-ups weren't about, until my older brother got stuck one day and we were late going in for tea. When questioned, we told the truth, that older brother had got stuck in the potato washing machine. I've never forgotten the looks of horror on the faces of the adults and the huge telling-off we got.

Related to that memory is the smell of rotting potatoes as there were always one or two mouldering away somewhere in the barn. I can detect a rotting potato half a mile away.

NotAMissionPriority · 27/06/2023 13:02

The snoring, the teasmade, the constant gifting of money from random old people "have an ice cream on me," the formica kitchen, the flyscreen. The constant eating of food past its sell by date from their shop. And these Lynch paintings on the wall.

What Do You Remember About Your Grandparents House?
What Do You Remember About Your Grandparents House?
lancastercourt · 27/06/2023 13:09

The house my paternal grandparents lived in had an old hollow fire surround in a bedroom. I'd sit in it and play all kinds of games like it was an elevator or a shop or whatever I wanted it to be. When we went to bed grandma would sneak a plate of treats for in the morning beside the bed. We always pretended to be asleep and ate them as soon as she left.

My maternal set had a small holding and we ran around naked with the animals just having the most amazing childhood... we now live in that house and hope one day our grandchildren have the same amazing memories

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