Thursday, 19 August 2010

The Golden Text Book

When I started going through my parents things, I found a small, leather bound book called 'The Golden Text Book'. It's designed to hold birthdays and important dates.

Inside the front cover is a printed label that reads, "Alfred Lockwood, Practical Pianoforte Tuner, &c., 29, Albert Terrace, Burley, Leeds". I assume that this book originally belonged to Alfred.

Opposite it is handwritten, "Miss Thackrah, January 1880" and if you turn the page, a handwritten note reads, "Miss Thackray, A present from her lover, Alfred, January 1880". It looks like Alfred gave this book of his important dates to Eliza before they were married.

Turn the page again, and an introductory passage reads,

"Keep the birthdays religiously. They belong to, and are treasured among, the sweetest memories of Home. Do not let anything prevent you bestowing some token, be it ever so slight, to show that they are remembered - Anon".

As I turned the pages, I found a bible quotation for each date in the year and beside each one, names of relatives and family friends. Some were birthdays. Other were deaths. I found my father's own death recorded in my mother's handwriting which stopped me short. Knowing her age and state of mind at the time, she must have been beside herself as she wrote his name. I wish she had shared that moment with me.

There are other historical dates too,

April 20th - Princess Elisabeth
May 6th - King Edward 7th died 1910
May 20th - King Edward buried 1910
June 4th - King George, 34, 1931
June 6th - Lord Halifax, 92, 1931

This book has provided a lot of information for my mother's side of the family - birthdays, deaths and confirmation of names.

I've continued the tradition of recording my own family's birthdays in this book. I've yet to add my mother's death. I'm not ready for that yet but I will add it one day.

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