She had one of those tough Dickensian childhoods that no one, especially her, ever spoke about.
When Kathleen was a child, her own Mum was forced to take her to the workhouse. Luckily, if that is the right word, she was only in there for a day before being adopted. It was this adoption by Harold Black the local printer that proved crucial in Nana acquiring the skills that ultimately morphed and cascaded through three generations into my life.
Fought To Become A Compositor
After learning the family business, she moved to Wilmslow, where she fought to become a compositor – a person who arranges type in a printing machine – on her own terms at Richmond’s the local printers. In an all male industry she fought for her job, she fought to become part of the union and she fought to get the same pay as men. All of these battles she successfully won and undertook this ‘men’s work’ made vacant by the war.
A Woman Of Letters
Nana was as tough as old boots, yet there must have been something in her brain that made her good with letters too. She could say the alphabet backwards, read words upside down and her spelling was second to none. Mum told me she would often suddenly say to her, ‘How do you spell “this” or how do you spell “that”?’ and ‘How many pieces of paper are in a ream?’* Also she just couldn’t bear to see Granddad to pull the sports section out of the paper and move all the sections out of order.
All of this, in turn, made Mum a great lover of words, especially the classics. The Yorkshire books (pronounced bewks) such as the Brontës were a staple of Mum’s childhood.
Thankfully, in this case old habits die hard, and that meant it was my turn through the love and interest instilled in me by my Mum to fall in love with letters. Hence the blog.
I can remember from a very early age begging Mum at bedtime to ‘put her feets up’ and read one more book to me.
So here’s to you Nana! I hope all the letters are in the right place and the pages are in the correct order wherever you are.
I am a writer from Lancashire, England, who provides helpful, reliable, relevant, people-first SEO content.
I also spend a lot of my time raising my daughter and supporting my family and friends.
That’s it really. Those two things.
A Content Writer