It wasn't long before I realised that the most important part of my journey, was not the names and dates, the who married who etc, but finding out about "who they were", what their occupations entailed, their living conditions and the gathering of as much information as possible to get a glimpse into what their lives were really like.
One example of this is when a lovely man, called Terry, got in touch with me via a message board, asking if I was Tommy Flucker's grandaughter. Tommy (Thomas), was my grandfather, born in 1904, in a fishing village called Newhaven, which is now part of Edinburgh. He was a joiner in Henry Robb Shipyards in Leith and had met my grandmother while working for a short while in the Vickers shipyards in Barrow-in-Furness, before moving back home with his new wife and having a family of his own.
|Newhaven Harbour today|
I don't have many memories of him as he died when I was 7. He suffered a brain haemorrhage at work and never regained consciousness. I remember him as a very quiet man and can
still picture him sitting in his chair, wearing one of the many jumpers my gran used to knit for him.
After confirming I was indeed Tommy's granddaughter he sent me a lovely email, which brought my grandfather to life and am so grateful for him taking the time to do this.
Here is part of the email:
After reading this email, I remembered seeing a whole shelf of log books at my grandmothers, where Tommy had logged every single one of his bike rides with meticulous care. I couldn't believe my luck when my aunt told me she still had these and sent me a scan of the page with the entry for the bike ride that is mentioned in the email.If you click on the picture below you can see it full size.
|Cycle ride 1950|