Mum gave this box to me when I was young, telling me she felt it was important I had somewhere to keep my precious bits and pieces and I loved this box from the moment I saw it. It came with a story, which went something like this. “There is a key for the box, but you can’t … Continue reading
For anyone interested my next Mslexia blog is here
Here is a photograph I have of my parents and their families taken at Christmas. It must be in the 1950s and it’s lovely to see everyone together around the table, looking so happy.
In the photograph my parents are at the far end of the table with Mum (Enid May Howells) in the centre of the photograph and Dad (Gordon Charles Dinnis) on her right, with his brother Ron in between them. In the photograph are Jack and Winifred Howells (Mum’s parents), Annie Cleeve (Dad’s mother). The other family members are Dad’s sister Nancy, Mum’s brother Mick, sister Bob (Lorenza) her husband Arthur and son, Pat.
It looks like a nice spread on the table, with a big bowl of trifle in the middle! It’s unusual to see Mum and Dad enjoying Christmas with so many family members, when I was growing up it was always just the three of us every year.
My second article appeared in the January edition of this magazine. I wrote about tracking the Troopship my father had travelled on during World War 2. I made a few notes in my blogs here as I went on my journey of discovery which helped when I was writing the article. The ship was the ‘Dominion Monarch’, you can read about it here. http://jackiedinnis.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/dominion-monarch/
My copy dropped through the letterbox this morning, and on turning to the page that introduces their guest bloggers I was really pleased to see myself!
They got it a little wrong, as it says I’ll be researching my paternal godparents, which should read grandparents. I never even had any godparents, so that would be a short blog! I was just beginning to think about my next guest blog and it’s really helped to read back about what I had set out to do in the first place! I get so off-track sometimes, it has reminded me of the usefulness of writing a plan and referring back to it. Not necessarily to stick to the plan, it’s my plan so I can change it! But it focusses me on what I had set out to do, on my initial aims. Also these were what I pitched to the magazine in the first place, so I really should stick to what I said I would do!
I had an amazing day yesterday, and thought I’d share it. Remembering back to my mother’s mysterious wooden box with the badge of the Royal Sussex Regiment engraved on the top and also knowing my father fought in the Royal Sussex Regiment during World War 2, I went searching for more information about this Regiment.
I spent most of the day going back and forth online, searching one lead then another, but never quite coming up with what I wanted. I stopped for a cup of tea and a look at my email. And what do you know! I spend all day looking for The Royal Sussex Regiment, and in the end - The Royal Sussex Regiment found me. I love it when that happens!
The email was from the administrator for the Regimental websites, who had served in the Royal Sussex Regiment himself. He has added my Dad to the photographic nominal roll, so he will not be forgotten. My Mum would also be delighted that her wooden box has been added to the ‘Artifacts’ section of the website! The picture above is taken from the website, which can be found here:
I have had a wonderful time looking around this site, and I thought perhaps my family and friends might be interested in knowing Gordon is remembered here.
For all the people who asked me to let them know, it’s now here:
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In the middle of Brighton, there is a fountain surrounded by gardens. This area is called the Old Steine. It’s a place I have spent a lot of time looking at over the years. Last summer I took some photographs of it. In the picture below you can see a red brick building on the corner of two streets. I worked two or three doors down to the left of this building in 1975 for a few years, in a big old house. I was on the first floor, working in a dental surgery, there were full length glass doors at the front of the building, so I could gaze out on the fountain and gardens while attending to patients having teeth pulled and fixed.
I especially remember the long hot summer of 1976 and eating my sandwiches out here sitting under the shade of a tree. I had no interest in history, and had no idea how long the fountain had been there. Since getting engrossed in my family history I have found it fascinating that my great-great-grandfather and his family lived and worked just around the corner from this fountain. At one time they were within sight of this fountain, the Queens Head pub (John Dinnis was the publican and cook) backing onto the dentist’s building where I would work almost one hundred years later. The pink tag locates the place I worked at.
I looked into the history of the gardens and fountain and found that it was opened on May 25th 1846, to honour Queen Victoria on her 27th birthday. It is thirty-two feet high, with two shallow basins, supported by three cast-iron dolphins above a large pool. It was designed by A. H. Wilds and financed jointly by John Cordy Burrows and a public subscription. The Dinnis family lived in Brighton at this time, and must have seen the Old Steine before and after the addition of this fine fountain.
The opening of the Victoria Fountain sounds like a typical ‘Brighton’ affair, with a musical accompaniment and fireworks. In the book ‘Old Brighton’ it states ‘A band of German musicians, who have been for some time in Brighton, was stationed under a tent, where their beautifully executed music quickly drew together a crowd. They were succeeded in the afternoon by the band of the 12th Lancers.’ The picture above looks at the fountain from the other side, you can see the Royal Pavilion in the background.
Here are some more photographs I took.
Just wanted to share this article, it brings back such great memories of standing here with my Dad in 1972. It was the year he finally agreed to take me with him to watch Brighton and Hove Albion!
Mum (Enid May Howells) was never a woman who wore lots of make-up, perfume or jewellery. But as I look through the old photographs of her, I see she was always smartly dressed, and had her hair styled. Looking at a couple of photographs of her sitting in a local park with me back in the early 1960s something caught my eye.
I took advantage of the ‘zoom’ facility in the photo programme and looked a little closer. I saw this -
I thought I remembered something, and sure enough – there it is, a sparkly brooch in the shape of a question mark! I just sit, holding it for a while, wondering about its origins. There’s something about holding actual objects that belonged to our family members. For me, it really focuses my mind on the person, brings them a little closer and I feel love and warmth from them.
I very rarely dress up in smart clothes, but the next time I do, I shall take out this brooch and pin it to my dress and hold my head a little higher :)