Thursday, 21 January 2010

Take a seat!

You'll have heard of My Grandfather's Clock?
Well, this is my grandmother's chair.



Cute, isn't it?

I've been racking my brains since Tuesday to come up with an object for my own 'mo-meme'. (If you haven't got a clue what I'm talking about, it's all been inspired by the BBC History of the World series). I thought it'd be easy. Although I'm not materialistic, I've got a few treasured items. I thought selecting one would be a doddle. But which one? And how to tell the story? This was proving harder than I'd thought. I owe an apology in advance to everyone I've tagged (although some seem to have had no trouble whatsoever). If your house was burning down and you had time to choose just one possession, which one would it be?

Actually, talk of burning houses is a little glib. A friend's mother recently had a fire in her kitchen; the resulting smoke and water damage pretty much destroyed her house. And let's not forget those Haitian's whose houses were destroyed in a matter of a moments movement of the earth's tectonic plates. If you haven't yet, you can still donate to Bloggers for Haiti. Every little helps.

But back to the chair. Grandma was given this when she was three for being a 'good girl'. She was born at Snainton, between Malton and Scarborough, in a little cottage that she always pointed out to us when we drove past. Whether the chair was given to her there, or in Hull where the family lived for a while, or in Malton where my great-grandfather established himself as a tailor I don't know. What I do know is that it was 'coverted' into a babies feeding chair, perhaps for my great-aunt, and then served my father as a child's chair, then me, my sister, my daughter and now my son. Nothing else that I can think of has the same direct connection with so many generations. Nothing else so old is still in daily use. Charlie regularly sits on it. In fact, in did service at his birthday party last weekend as well. Here's one of Charlie's friends enjoying it's 100 year-old comforts. And she's got her feet up on a table that won't last half as long!



But that's the thing about an object like this, isn't it? It has a value far beyond it's use, it resonates with four generations worth of history and - thankfully - it was built to last as well.

Pity the same can't be said of that table!

27 comments:

  1. What a lovely chair and even better what great history to have associated with it. Isn't is strange how furniture has become so poorly made and throwaway in today's society. We are the Ikea Generation it should be the Generation I.

    I for one am on a make do and mend thing. We need drawers for the boys rooms and I will be looking in the paper and second hand shops, at least that way they will last.

    I am not too far away from you really, just north of Whitby!

    I do have to say that Charlie looks cuter all the time, heartbreaker me thinks

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  2. They don't make things like that any more, MH. Or if they do, they cost a small fortune!

    I'm all for making do, too. Seems we've got sucked into a mind-set of changing everything (cars, perfectly good sofas, houses) every few years just because... Great for the economy I suppose. Just not for me.

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  3. What a coincidence! I also have a child-sized chair inherited from my grandmother. I have no idea what age it is or what its origins are, but I used it as a lad and it is currently in regular use by my 4 year old daughter (and 7th child) and 5 year old grandson (and 3rd grandchild). It is as solid now as the day it was made and has never been repaired. Yep, they don't make them like that any more!

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  4. I think it's great that there are things in every family that tell a story, and which are still in use. I hope you're going to post a picture of it Robert? We could be the first to start a new trend here!

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  5. Lovely chair, but just had to comment on how adorable Charlie is! (and I like his thomas slippers, my daughter will not be separated from her peppa slippers).

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  6. Oh, those slippers ML... They were a Christmas present and have to be surgically removed from his feet every evening... he'd have a bath in them if we let him!

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  7. I'd say that chair was priceless. I certainly wouldn't let any other child sit in it!! Charlie looks adorable and extremely proud.

    CJ xx

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  8. What a lovely chair! Can't believe that it has survived up to now! Everybody must have looked after it properly. So your grandmother was from Snaiton! My husband used to teach in Snaiton Primary School!!! Well, not to your grandmother of course! Ciao. A.

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  9. Absolutely CJ. And even if it had a price it wouldn't be for sale. And, yes, he does like sitting in it. But as he's become a little more possessive recently (he's two, after all) we were encouraging 'sharing' at his birthday party... hence the girl in the chair! Mind you, we weren't encouraging feet up on the table...

    Goodness, another 'small world' moment A! What a coincidence.

    I'm not sure the chair has always been treated with the respect it deserves though. It had holes drilled to fix a feeding tray, and it was painted at various times. Still, scrubs up well doesn't it?

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  10. How interesting. I have some bits that belonged to my grandmother too, and they mean more to me than I can say. Your chair is lovely.

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  11. A great story and a lovely chair that obviously holds more meaning than what first meets the eye...I'll keep my husband away - he is into antiques and has a penchant for chairs!

    I agree writing on this meme was a bit tougher than I first expected but I've given it a go too :)

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  12. We had a 100-year-old chair that was worth quite a lot of money and was passed down to my mother from a great aunt. My brother (7 at the time) decided to play pirates with it and used it as part of his battle ship. He managed to take a huge chuck out of it and the chair was no more. The poor child is reminded of that incidence 23 years on!
    I am still thinking of my object, you are right, this meme is a difficult one, but I'll get there.

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  13. Thank-you Kitty! Sometimes simple things are best.

    That's great news BtB! I'll be over to take a look as soon as I can.

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  14. Oh sorry Rosie. Our comments must've crossed. (Mind you, mine been taking forever to load thanks to East Coast wifi!). Looking forward to finding out what your object is going to be... clearly not a chair. Or at least, not that one!

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  15. Just posted my object after being tagged by Young Mummy. Mine is also a chair! Are we going to end up with 100 wooden chairs perhaps?

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  16. Well, if we do get 100 chairs ML we'll have to have a party and invite 100 people! Oh hang on, that wouldn't work...

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  17. Great chair! We have a smallish wooden chest which belonged to my great grandfather - he moved to his first job (as a pit safety supervisor) with all of his worldly belongings in it! That always makes us think about how much we own...

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  18. I love things that have stayed in families and have so much history - may have to volunteer myself for this meme since I have the perfect thing

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  19. What a lovely thing to still have in your family - love it!

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  20. That really does put things into perspective Floss... The idea of having just a trunk's worth of possessions is appealing. Trouble is, what to get rid of?

    Look forward to Reading about it MaM... Consider yourself tagged!

    It's been well-used too Liz... we're lucky it's survived!

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  21. What a lovely chair and a lovely background to it as well. I'm sure it will last for years to come. I may join in this meme but with a new heirloom - daughter's rocking horse, Parsley, lovingly made over two years by my dad. Now that will be in the family for years to come!

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  22. That sounds like a very worthy item Carol. I can't wait to see the pictures. Thanks for taking part!

    Thanks Denyse!

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  23. I think the loveliest heirlooms are the ones you can actually use - like your chair. I love the pictures of the little ones sitting in it. It must be really comfy!

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  24. Amazingly for something made of wood without so much as the thinnest cushion, it IS Rebecca! They knew how to make things properly then.

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  25. It is a good job that it is the chair, and not the table, that is 100 years old. Pretty as that little girl is, would you have let her put her feet on a 100 year old table, with boots on as well.

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  26. Er, no CW. And they weren't up on the table for long either!

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