Friday, August 12, 2011

Grandparents Homes 1 - Richardson

 A Genealogy Blog Prompt - Grandparents’ House. Describe your grandparents’ house.

I haven't been achieving much here - too much research, too little writing so when I discovered the 52 weeks of personal history prompts I thought it might be a good way to achieve something.
My grandparents homes is an easy one as I knew both of those houses well - sadly I didn't know my grandparents at all.

The Richardson Family Home

15 Cuba St (later 415), Alicetown, Lower Hutt, New Zealand

My grandparents, James Harrison and Edith Annie Richardson arrived in New Zealand in December, 1911. There is no record of any other address so presumably they purchased this lovely villa soon after their arrival. It would be their home for the rest of their lives and it was where my father and his siblings grew up.
The photo only shows the front part of the house and doesn't  do justice to it's size - it was a very large house. To the right of the flower bed was a path that went down and behind the hedge you can see to the back half of the house. 

Many photographs were taken against that hedge outside the back door including this one of Clive and myself with our grandmother which would have been taken about the end of 1949, soon after we moved from Auckland. By then the house had been turned into three flats. My grandmother lived at the back with my father's youngest brother, there were two sisters living in the middle and our family took up residence in the front. I lived there until we moved again in 1957 when I was 11.

The big bay window on the left was my parents bedroom - a lovely room and probably the biggest in what, in hindsight, was a very small flat. A door had been added on the far left of the verandah and steps and a path added just in front. The front lawn was our play area - we were discouraged from 'going round the back'.

I remember the garage with the ivy that turned brilliant red in autumn and the three flowering cherries around the front lawn that were lovely in spring - trees I still love. I remember the white picket fence with the red gates at each end and the stained glass window in the bedroom Clive and I slept in but not much else about the interior.

My uncle and his wife continued to live there probably until the late 60's or early 70's when it was sold and pulled down to make way for industrial building. That makes me very sad and is why I've never been back to Alicetown and never will. I prefer to remember it as it was.

The top photograph taken , I'm guessing, in the early 1920's. My grandmother on the left, Auntie Cissie and Uncle Gordon.

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