Gossip in Farnworth: Letter from Ada to her daughter Frances

By the postmark, this letter was written in 1923, by my paternal grandmother to her daughter Frances who was then living in Manchester.It is hard to read as it is written in pencil, Ada having cut her thumb badly. All the gossip in the letter is amusing and touching, as Ada does not approve of it, yet she does it a little herself. Most of it is to do with people marrying. The Jim mentioned must be Jim Fenny, a friend of William’s mentioned in several of these lost letters. It would be interesting to find out a little more about this man. He clearly wanted to marry a girl his parents did not approve of, and I wonder whether it was over religion, like my parents’ marriage. It is hard to think now of the huge chasm between Catholics and Protestants at the time. Thank goodness we are more open-minded in the 21st century.

19 Russell Street


Nov 2nd

Dear Frances

We were pleased to have your letter on Monday and to hear what a good time you are having. I won’t be able to write much. I have cut my thumb badly and had to iron after. It is very painful. The heat of the iron made it hurt very bad. The reason ironing was late the drying has been very slow. I have no news only Jim’s wedding did not come off his parents found out and stopped it. Mona has not been here this week. Edna Davies had a peep instead.

Gertie Gee and Clarence were married on Thursday last week nobody knew and Birketts and the regular gosspers were awfully dissapointed when the news got out. Ester nearly cried to our Willie. Ester never even spoke to the girls. Excuse ?? I cannot manage a pen today with love from your loving Mam.

Dear Frances

Dad was going to write in this but he has not come and you will be late and waiting for a letter so I am posting it he will write again

With love xxxxxxxxxxxxx



Filed under The Inspirational Old Letters

2 responses to “Gossip in Farnworth: Letter from Ada to her daughter Frances

  1. Dawn Ingram

    how lovely! and how similar to the emails between daughters and mothers today still, who are seperated by life’s journeys, sharing family info. i wonder if Skype will signal the end of such stored memories for our own future generations to rflect on?

  2. True, and there will not be such things in time to come. I never knew my grandmother and because of the animosity based on religion I have little from this side of the family – then these letters turn up and I can get to know her. The letters written by my 12 year old dad are the best, and I so nearly did not have these letters! Chance brought them to me in the shape of the lovely Maria Walker, textile artist.