My Heirlooms

There are two items in my possession that I treasure more than any others. They are a handmade white linen tablecloth and a gold pendant necklace, which both belonged to my Aunt Margery. She was a lovely lady who was full of fun, and was my mother’s half sister.

She had a special place in my heart as we were very fond of one another, and more so after she lost her only child, my cousin Dennis, who died at the age of 22 after a tragic accident on the football pitch.

Born in Suffolk, my aunt went into service in London with a wealthy family. It was while she was there that she was taught to sew by the lady of the house. The work on the tablecloth involved pulling threads of the linen to make a pattern and the edge was finished with deep crochet. It must have taken a very long time to make and I don’t suppose that she had much time to herself.

She was aged 18 when she made it and it is now 89 years old, beautiful and looks like new. When she married in 1927 she added the initial 'R' to the tablecloth on becoming Mrs Ridgewell, and it is a coincidence that my initial is R (for Rosalie).

On the day she married my Uncle Will, his mother, Elizabeth, gave her the pendant.

It is very delicate and has darkish purple amethysts set in gold. I assumed it was bought especially for my aunt.

However, when I had a tiny repair done on it, I mentioned its history to the jeweller. He then dated it for me and I was surprised to learn that Uncle Will’s mother had probably been given it to wear on her own wedding day in 1873.

It must have been damaged sometime in the war years, as a tiny hole was filled with some kind of a white solder, as was common during that time. That is its only flaw, and is hardly noticeable.

When 'Auntie' died, aged 80, both these things were left to my mother and she passed them on to me. My own daughter will inherit them in due course.

Sunny Rosy

© Sunny Rosy 2009


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