Tag Archives: Farnworth

a bucket with the bottom knocked out would carry all the love Grandma could spare

19 Russell Street



November 29th

Dear Frances

Quarter to ten. Just got little ones to bed. There seems to be no chance for anything with one thing ot another keeping coming forward to be done. I have had to be giving Ada an extra special wash (there was no bath this week) I didn’t think any of them were well enough but a paper came for her to be examined at school. Of course she is quite delighted about it but I am not. Can you fancy me off with our Dorothy by ten o’clock weather like this today till 12 o’clock and then tackle coming home with the lot to start getting dinner with our Willie sat waiting his face would be sure to be a mile long. Peter was examined yesterday and I did not go the doctor said he is alright. I think it is all bunkum so they will be able to keep their good jobs but I am fed up. The hospital business sickened me so I shall sneak off this journey. Peter said there wasn’t many mothers there. I don’t wonder neither they think we are at their beck and call with nothing to do but they will have to learn different. Well how are you getting on I hope you are doing well. We were very pleased to have your letter. Willie wrote an was going to post it but I said never mind I will put it in mine but I have been longer in writing than I expected. You see we had a fortnight’s wash and it was a lot it was.10.30 on Tuesday when I finished then Wednesday drying all day and some I left on the rail till dinner time today. Willie mangled for me after dinner and I have been ironing all afternoon. I tidied up before I started so I finished nicely by teatime. Dad and Peter and Vincent have been to a lecture of animals etc. in the dining room at Gossages they have just come home of course it was fine. Peter and Vincent also was at the Coop concert and lecture the other night. I expect it would be like the one you went to the other night. Mona says she will write to you she says she cannot understand how it is that you did not get the other but she tells fibs I am sure. She knows as well as I know it has never been posted. Have you had any letters from Elsie Moffat yet? Mona says she saw her the other night but not to speak to. I am very lonely now I have no-one to talk to now the days are very dreary this bad weather. Our Dorothy is talking very nicely now. She can say lots of things now. Mrs Ducker gave her a penny today and Willie said to her what did you do with the penny off Mrs Ducker she said buy tottie as plain as you or I could. She went to Jones herself and got it too. I have bought her a jersey she likes it so much that she makes me dress her before she will have even a drink and you know how hungry she always is in a morning. I got her a blue one and Ada a red one they seemed so cold and I am going to save a bit of washing. I have got coms and bloomers and a navy blue kilt for Ada and they are both nice and warm. I have got a hug me tight for me. Auntie Sally, Uncle Harry’s mammy knitted it. It was rather dear but it has kept me alive this week. I would like it better only it is heliotrope and it is a colour I mortally hate. I am sorry Auntie Polly could not get a house. She is on a big expense with this one simply waste. I hope she is better of her cough but if she is like me she won’t be for this weather is awful for coughs. Grandma sends her love you. She did not mention a bucket with the bottom knocked out but I guess that would carry all the love Grandma could spare anyone. Anyway she asks after you every week so you can see you are not forgotten. Mrs Mabel was asking of you today and Mrs Grant asks all your concerns when she comes. I have not seen any of your friends because I have not been out since you went away only 3 Saturday afternoons to do the bit of shopping and on the bus at that. Dad came with me twice. Dad saw Maud and her boy tonight when he was coming home. Well I have no more to say this time as it is getting late and my eyes keep going shut. We are all thinking of you dear we all miss you and are all send fond love and kisses x x x x x x x x so good night and God bless you your loving Mam and Dad Lightfoot xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Vincent and Peter are going to write xxxx

Ada Lightfoot 1882-1933


Filed under The Inspirational Old Letters

Willie says you will tell me off for Bad Spelling

Letter from Father 18 December 1923

Dear Frances

Just a few lines before i go to bed hopeing it finds you well and happy i expect you are getting ready for XMass we were very pleased to get your letters. I read them all for the Children last Night before they went to bed they said what a funny chip shop with a river under neath they were sorry for Uncle Tom because he could not eat meat and you haveing all them nice things in the house. Glad you enjoyed yourself at the party i hope it was a nice bottle of Cent. Willie said you would only get a paper cap so i said you would get a present he was thinking of them partys he as been to. well he does not (know?) everything. I am going to a Do on Wednesday a (hot pot) supper. But i will have to use a knife and fork. (But i would rather have a spoon) your Mam is not well at all the bad weather is makeing her Cough worse, Farnworth is just the same old place wet and Dirty. We are finishing work on Friday till the Thursday so i will come and see you on Saturday if it is convenient, and Ada as well so you must write and let me know one of my work mates is coming to Stalebridge so i will have some one to show me the road.  I think this is all your mum is going to write in the Morning so i will close with Good Night and God bless you hopeing to see you on Saturday

From your loveing Dad


P.S. Willie says you will tell me off for bad spelling if i have made any mistakes i am sure you will be able to make them out xxxxx

written probably 18 December 1923

Maria Walker has made an interesting piece of art from the sentence ‘I would rather have a spoon’, using five wooden spoons painted in crackle glaze and painted with the words. My grandfather loved his food and had a prodigious appetite, but always remained tall and skinny.

‘Willie’ mentioned in these letters is my Uncle Bill, as I knew him. All of us remember that he was always in his vest, quite shocking for us children. My nephew Steve once asked him if he was an athlete, with all the tact of small children. He sounds like he was a bit of a pain even then; I can’t say I ever liked him much. He always called my clarinet  my ‘liquorice stick’, which did make me smile, at least. Father’s written style takes little notice of full stops and he puts capital letters in random places, but his handwriting is beautiful. He seems quite defiant of Willie and his grammar school ideas. Uncle Bill died in 1976, the year of my wedding.

1 Comment

Filed under Education, The Inspirational Old Letters

We have had enough of the Tory’s


Peter LIghtfoot 1880-1968


20 December 1923

Dear Frances

Just a few lines  hopeing it finds you well as it leaves me at present i have just came in from an election meeting we are in the thick of the fight and i hope Labour wins this time we have had about enough of the Tory’s it is a lovely Night and frosty and i am knowing about it this week my nose is as red as a berry with the Restu do you use it for washing with if not tell Aunt Sarah to get you some tell em it’s good. Because your Dad makes it so you argue about religion well i am sure you can hold your own with them. Spiritism is Demonic tell Aunt Polly i said so and so does the Bible. Mam as told you all the news so i have very little to write about i expect you are busy getting read for xmas i will try and come before then to see you it seems a very nice place from the Photo I think this is all now as it is geting late so with best love and xxxxx i will close

Good Night and God Bless you

From your loving Dad xxxxxx

My grandfather wrote this letter to his daughter. He worked at Gossages and Restu is a brand of soap made there.

We are still staunch Labour in the family, but I wonder what grandad would have made of some of the changes in his beloved party since he wrote this letter!

His points about religion are also interesting. He was a Protestant, and very much against other views. I think he has a point about Spiritualism, but it is a pity that my father turning Catholic caused so much strife. Frances must have been around 16 at the time, but he has every faith in her ability to argue her view.

Working at Gossage’s cannot have been good for him, but then he did live till he was 88.


Filed under Everything else, The Inspirational Old Letters

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

Mother/Daughter Love: Ada Lightfoot to Frances Lightfoot

A letter from my paternal Grandmother Ada Lightfoot to her eldest daughter Frances, probably written November 1923.

Probably written end of November 1923

19 Russell Street



Dear Frances

We’re very pleased to have your letter on Thursday morning. We have been waiting and watching for the postman every day for ages. It does seem a long time since you wrote. I slept all night till 5 o’clock in the morning for the first time since you went away. You know how I do trouble over things I have not had you out of my thoughts night or day and you may know how I miss your presence at home. Doesn’t a pussy cat even cry if one kitty is lost? Is not a Mammy lonely when the girlie is away so don’t forget try and write once a week home to save worry. If we did not think it was for your own benefit we would not punish ourselves by letting any of the family be from home. Even Willie has waited and waited for a message from you. He was most dissapointed when there was no special letter for him as well as the others.

Our Ada yelled and howled because she did not know how to write a letter to you she did her best so did Vincent and Peter I don’t know how you will manage them. I was going to write this afternoon  only I had the ironing to do. I could not leave it after Friday I washed on Tuesday but the drying hinders one so many days. Can you manage the ironing yet?

I don’t suppose there will be much. We are being careful and not making any more washing than we can help but I have washed each Tuesday so as not to get over faced. I tried naphtha dry soap for Willie’s overalls so used it for the lot I am not in a hurry to use it again it made such holes in my fingers. Mona does not come in much now, nor anybody only Jim Fenny calls for Willie. I have only been able to do a bit of shopping twice since you went away. One week Daddy did the work and last week Willie did it. We are not doing too bad with the work only the front has not been done. I can’t see it being done either this weather. The wind is awful, blows the pictures off the wall if the door is opened half an inch. I am glad you have had letters from your companions they will tell you the news of Farnworth and school which both you know I never know only what the children bring in.

Last week when I called at Grandma’s for a minute Auntie Nellie and her mother brought the baby to see her it is a lovely big fat girl very much like Uncle Gill, reminds me much of Aunt Hattie’s Gwen. Our Dorothy is going worse naughty I am think of putting her in trousers and jersey she is more like a boy than a girl. We have hardly any dishes left the way she keeps smashing them. It will soon be Christmas I won’t be sorry when it is over perhaps we will have a bit less rain. Jim Fenny is going to paper Harrison’s parlour and kitchen so he will be getting quite well off. I am just wondering what sort of a mess our Willie will be in when it is done for her is sure to be p??? over the scene. Dolly has only been twice since you were home we don’t give her fuss enough the sooner she get tired the better I say.

Well I will have to get the children ready for bed now so I will have to close, I have a stamp so you will perhaps get this on Saturday if it is posted tonight. Do your pinafores do you for alright and did you get fixed up for nighties alright I have been worrying about them so let me know. I have 29 in the sweep I wonder how I will get on. Ask Freddie when he is coming to Runcorn to that football match, is it before Christmas I ask our Dorothy where nanny is and she says pupper. Every day she says a new word. So no more now with fond love from Mam & Dad & all your loving mum

xxx Ada Lightfoot xx

This long letter must have been a huge effort for a busy housewife and is full of yearning for her eldest daughter who must have been her helper and ally. Ada had six children, but the other two daughters were small at this time. There was Willie, the eldest, who seems to have expected to be looked after as he was working, then Frances, who seems to have been working away from home, then my dad Peter, still at school, his younger brother Vincent, then the two small girls, Dorothy being the baby.

I never knew my grandmother but getting to know her like this I feel very close to her. Given the troubled relationship we had with this side of the family owing to my father later becoming Catholic, this is a very healing experience. She was just a mother doing the best for her children, like all mothers do.

Comments Off on Mother/Daughter Love: Ada Lightfoot to Frances Lightfoot

Filed under Everything else, The Inspirational Old Letters

My Father’s Letter

This is as he wrote it with his errors preserved.

Dear Frances

Just a few lines to tell you for ther’s not much doing.

On Saturday morning I went to the Brickfield to skate. I could go on one, but now I can go on two.

Our pits are thick with ice. Jim Smith and I are pals. On Monday noon Jim and I went to the pond to skate.

Every dinner time I go to skate.

Sunday morning Vincent and I went to the pond. When we got there Jim, Fenny, our Willie, etc. etc.

When I go to school at play-time I go in goal for Farnworth team. We have won every game this week.

Now I finish at S. Bridge’s at 5 o’clock on Thursday.

Thursday night at 7.30 pm Father, Vincent and I went to a lecture on animals by Mr Rev James Woolfe.

I was interested all the night.

Vincent and I started out t. 10-10 pm for dad had not reached home.

Half way down the lane we met him he told us to go to Grandma’s till he came there.

Grandmar gave us a penny and a Rosy Apple. which we ate in the room.

When I was coming home I saw Mrs Beardmore with his wife.

We came home the the Houseing Scheme.

I have not got a tip of any kind yet.

I hope you read Vincent’s finish and I am sure you was surprised at the paino.

I have started to get two comices each week now.

That are called “Golden Penny Comice” and Jester

From your loving Brother

Peter xxxxxx

This my dad on his wedding photo, two months after the wedding.


Filed under Everything else