My Family Roots and Shoots

Toilet Twinning

I would like to promote this organisation, working to provide toilet facilities, clean water and health education, to the poorest and most deprived communities around the world.

Toilet Twinning

As a family and social historian, I find it fascinating, and often horrifying to consider how my ancestors and their neighbours had to live in the past.

Luckily I was born at a time when health and education was well established in the developed world. However, many around the world still do not have basic facilities.

The results caused by the lack of these facilities falls mainly on the women, as they are charged with water collection, and the results of disease (particularly in their children), spread by dirty water. Many of my female ancestors faced the same issues.

Although the most basic of necessities, provision of toilet facilities is not something mentioned too often. Taken for granted in developed societies, as I’m sure we all enjoy our own home comforts!

I would like to tell the family story of THIS toilet, which has been twinned with a latrine in Afghanistan!

In 1952, this toilet as part of a bathroom suite was installed in my Grandparents house in Sheffield. A back bedroom was split and one half converted to the first indoor bathroom the family had known. Whilst the family had previously been lucky to have an outdoor toilet to themselves, it still meant a trip across the yard in all weather’s, and a bucket under the bed at night. Previous generations living in poverty had to make do with filthy shared facilities in their ‘back to back’ housing.

Prior to installation, Dad waiting in line! Outdoor wc in the yard.

At that time the toilet had standard black seat and cover, with high level pull flush cistern.

In the 1980’s my grandparents updated their bathroom suite, removing this wc and storing it in the cellar.

In 1992, my husband and I, built a house in Norfolk, trying to keep a traditional style, I remembered the old fashioned wc in my Grandparents cellar. I asked if I could have it to install in our new house along with the wash basin.

Although they couldn’t understand why I would want to do this, they agreed, and here it is, still going strong.

A well appreciated toilet. Firstly as a ‘modern’ indoor installation, and then as an ‘old fashioned’ traditional installation!

Please read more about Toilet Twinning, and consider supporting this worthy organisation.

My Family Roots and Shoots

The Dyson Family of Cutlers

By Michael Dyson

A new publication available from amazon.

A century of pocket knife manufacture begun about 1728 in the Parish of Bradfield near Sheffield.

A local researcher, Michael Dyson, (a distant relative, discovered in the course of our family history researches, has spent many hours looking into the descent of the Dyson’s in the Bradfield/ Stannington areas, and his research has eventually helped me link the known Dyson ancestors in my family to the wider Dyson family in the area.

For more information on my Dyson ancestors

My Family Roots and Shoots

Family Christmas Memories

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year to our wider family, and website visitors. Why not visit the family Christmas Memory Page.

My Family Roots and Shoots

We will Remember Them

David at the memorial stone of Alf Sanderson. (Son of Albert and Elizabeth and younger brother of Vincent Sanderson of Stannington). Born 1885.
Grave of Alf Sanderson
Omaha Beach Memorial France. Family holiday 1981
Paul with his poppy c1969.

My Family Roots and Shoots

Family Video Link

These days almost everyone has a camera on a phone, and our lives can easily be recorded in images for posterity.

This wasn’t always the case. It wasn’t long ago that the majority of families did not own a camera of any description.

Luckily ours did, and Dad was quite a keen photographer. He even developed some of his own photographs in a home made darkroom.

We were also lucky to own a cine camera, and so our childhood was documented.

Even so, neither camera nor cine camera were on hand at all times, so having a photo taken was a novelty, and watching back our cine films, was a particularly special event. A white sheet was hung on the wall, lights switched off, while Dad sorted out the 3 minute films onto the projector.

No sound of course except the whirring of the projector.

We have added 2 new video links onto the Photos and Videos page, ( through YouTube).

David and Cynthia wedding at Heston 1964

‘The Family’ a slideshow collection of photos and video 1960 -2010

My Family Roots and Shoots

Fun & Games

Owning a toyshop, the family has become a SELLER of toys, but in the past several generations have enjoyed making them too, and the recipients of the made toys certainly enjoyed playing with them.

Also included, a selection of toys and books various members of the family, still have in their possession (some in picture form only)!

In 1968, a more modern garage was built for Paul, by Father Christmas! I received a hand-built Dolls House, modelled on Nana’s bungalow.

The previous Christmas, Paul received his own Train Engine, and I, a dolls cot.

Wooden Doll, made by Uncle Tom for me c1970.
My Family Roots and Shoots

C’mon England!

William Sanderson, goalie at Malin Bridge school c1923. And Charles Harvey playing for Palace Rangers 1921.

My Family Roots and Shoots

Remembering Brian

‘The Joker in the Pack’

1932 -2021

Brian John Harvey, was born 14th January 1932, to Charles and Winifred Harvey. He was the second of 3 sons and one daughter, and the first family baby to begin his life at 162 Cranford Lane, Heston Hounslow.

Boys at the seaside c1938, Brian (right).

To me he was ‘Uncle Brian’, a renowned joker in the family, with the knack of telling a good story, and also the subject of many a family tale.

Much of his childhood was spent teasing his siblings and exasperating his mother. On one occasion his mum sent him to a local shop to purchase “gun metal” coloured stockings to be worn for a funeral. The shop owner later said when asked the colour, Brian couldn’t remember what his mum had said and asked for “old iron or something like that”. Brian joined the Navy in 1946 aged 15, training at HMS Ganges. During his training he was confirmed into church. This event caused some amusement in the family when his mother remembered proudly announcing to friends at her whist drive that she was off to see her son “circumcised”.

Little sister Cynthia always looked forward to when he came home on leave with stories about the far-flung places he had visited. Also she knew he would take her to the local ice-cream parlour for a “knickerbocker glory” !!

Brian and Joan Wedding 1955

In 1953 Brian’s cousin Doreen introduced him to her workmate, Joan Ewles – both members of a friendly team of assistants at Etam, Hounslow – a well known ladies’ outfitters at the time. In 1955, Brian married Joan at Heston Church. Philip was born 1956, and Christopher 1959.

Brian worked as a Postman after retiring from the Navy. Soon after Chris’s birth, the family moved to Lee-on-Solent, near Gosport. Unable to get a job as a postman there, he ventured into self-employment, and for many years ran a mobile grocery business. These jobs suited Brian’s outgoing friendly and humorous nature. All through his life he looked out for his customers and neighbours, and was actively involved in the local social life with Joan.

Over the years the four Harvey siblings and their families continued to keep in touch from all parts of the world.

A rare sibling get together for Gordon’s 60th Birthday. 1989.

Brian and Joan fostered two further boys, David and Jon, providing a stable, loving family life for them.

The children all grew up. Philip married Jackie, with children Tom and Emma, Chris married Karen, and had children Amy and Daniel. A true family man, Brian was a Great Grandfather several times over by 2021.

In 2020, he became ill, and underwent surgery, recovering quite well – due in part to his positive cheery nature. Unfortunately further surgery, to improve his quality of life following the previous operation, took its toll and he sadly died on June 21st, 2021.

A great loss to his family, but also a great inspiration to all those who knew him and his positivity for life. xxx

Please add your memories or photos of Brian.

My Family Roots and Shoots

My Naughty Little Sister

and the 50th Birthday

My sister celebrates her 50th birthday this year – 2021, but in my eyes she will ever be ‘5 years old’

My Naughty Little Sister!

One of my favourite books as a child, was ‘My Naughty Little Sister’ by Dorothy Edwards, illustrated by Shirley Hughes, and I couldn’t help noticing the similarities. 🤣

A little more than 50 years ago, on a day out to Old Mother Shiptons Cave in Knaresborough, with our Grandparents, I made a wish!

Old Mother Shipton, lived as a reclusive ‘witch’ in a cave in the 1400’s, and was supposed to be a seer. As an attraction, it is also famous for it’s petrifying water and wishing well in her cave. I was instructed to make a wish, but couldn’t decide on whether I should wish for a pet rabbit, or baby sister. In the end I plumped for a sister. Soon after this, my wish came true, when sister Elizabeth Anne, was born in June 1971. We were instructed she was to be called Elizabeth, never Liz, and it was Anne with an ‘e’.

I wasn’t sure I had made the right choice, when I saw the contents of her newborn nappy. She was named as a ‘Witches Daughter’, by her loving siblings. And known as ‘Liz’, by everyone else!

Weighing in at almost 10lbs, she made her presence known, and as the chattiest of the three of us, has always managed to keep the conversations going.

Luckily she inherited her acting skills from her mother, and singing skills from her father, and not the other way around!

As a baby sister, she has also been lucky to receive hand me down clothes and toys.

In 1997, Elizabeth married John, at St Nicholas Church, East Dereham. James was born 2000, and Kate in 2005. They all enjoy life on the high seas.

Liz has always had an affinity with animals!!

Getting involved with the Weatherills, has led to some interesting antics, such as sleeping in a trailer on the side of the motorway in France!

And finally – perhaps she really is a ‘Witches Daughter’!

Happy 50th Birthday Lizzin!

My Family Roots and Shoots

57th Anniversary

04.04.1964 – 04.04.2021