Saturday, 25 February 2017

One hundred years of one house in Chorlton part 79 ...... just what you find in your garden

The continuing story of the house Joe and Mary Ann Scott lived in for over 50 years and the families that have lived here since.*

Now I would like to think that these two broken bits of pottery once graced the china cabinet of Joe and Mary Ann and somehow made their way into the garden after they were broke.

They look to be willow pattern but I doubt if they date back to the late 18th century when they became popular in this country and are more likely to be just a cheap version turned out during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and produced in Holland.  Certainly the bigger fragment has what appears to be a Dutch figure staring back at us.

I won’t be alone in having grown up with this range although at the time they never did much for me.

Of course the intriguing question is just why Joe or Mary Ann threw them away in the garden, not that it might have been them.

Certainly the fragment of clay pipe which turned up a few years ago was possibly discarded by someone working this bit of land, or by someone passing along what was then called the Row.

But I like to think it might have belonged to Samuel Gratrix who farmed this bit of land in the 1840s and lived in Bowling Green Farm which stood directly opposite our house.**

All of which might be hung around with more than a bit of romantic speculation so I will leave the finds in the ground and reflect instead on the block of Torrone Morbido Alle Mandorle e Nocciole made by Vergani which is Soft Nougat with Almonds and Hazelnuts and was the last that had come over from Italy at Christmas.

It is a favourite of mine vying with the alternative which is covered in chocolate.

The company are based in Cremona and make a shed load of other similar products and while we will eat them all the year round I do associate them with Christmas.

I doubt that Joe and Mary Ann would have ever come across the products made by Vergani but something similar will have made its way into the house, along with candied fruits and other bits and pieces.

Sadly I have never come across the evidence for any of the things they ate and the one empty tin of Safeway’s baked beans found in one of the cellars will date from the time John, Mike and Lois occupied the house.

So that just leaves me to return to the garden which I know was where they buried many of their pets and admit we too put two of ours along with a Superman figure.

It belonged to our Saul and was a present from Greece.  The figure lasted two holidays and when his head came off we buried him the garden where he rests to this day.

Pictures; from the collection of Andrew Simpson

*The story of house,

**Mr Gratrix's clay pipe lost in our garden in 1845,

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