I have lovely memories of my grandmother - she always had time for a cuddle with every one of her grandchildren and made each one of us feel special. And she had that warm 'Brizzle' accent and smiley eyes.
Although in my memories she seemed to spend most of her time in the kitchen, she was a fairly average cook ... the house seemed to have a permanent aroma of overcooked greens (reminiscent of school dinners!). But Granny provided lovely food that I never got at home ... ice cream, tinned fruit, lemonade - and cockles and winkles for tea.
I remember 'helping' to get tea ready with my cousin Barbara: our job was to butter the bread, a task which had to be performed in a very different way to how I did it at home. Grandad cut the first slice, then we had to butter the end of the loaf before he would cut the next (ready-buttered) slice. And the butter had to go RIGHT TO THE EDGES (he was most particular about that) but spread very thinly.
When lots of family were there, for example at Christmas, we all had to squeeze round the old oval dining table, which had both extra inserts fitted so it practically filled the back parlour.
Most years, there were would have been twelve of us for Christmas dinner, with the younger children balancing on a plank set on two boxes against the wall. I remember being amazed how when Grandad cut the Christmas pudding, every single slice for the children had a silver threepenny bit inside ... magic!! To escape at the end of the meal (so we could prod and shake the presents waiting under the tree) we all had to crawl under the table. We still have that table at our house and my own children and grandchildren were fascinated to learn that my father was actually born on the table (so he told me ... I would have preferred to have heard it from Granny, as she didn't make up quite as many stories as either Grandad or my own father). We have had as many as fifteen round the table, but back in my Granny and Grandad's day, many of the adults were rather large!
Rhoda was born on 23 June 1881 at 8 Langton Terrace, Bedminster (source Birth Certificate). Her parents were Henry Snary, Ships Officer Cook and Eliza (formerly Olpin). She was allegedly one of 13 children (a 'bakers dozen' as her father used to say) but we have only found records of eleven - still a pretty crowded household.
Rhoda married Frank Ward in Bedminster in 1903 and soon after the birth of their eldest child Frank in 1904 they moved up to London where Frank joined the Metropolitan Police and where they had six more children. Three of the London-born children were born in St Pancras and the last three in Hampstead - see Frank's page for full details of their children and census information.
Rhoda died on 25 March 1961 at home at 9 Back Lane - the cause of death was heart failure and arterio sclerosis. She was aged 79 years and greatly missed. (source Death Certificate)
Some 'mystery photos' of the family (click to view larger copies) - found amongst my father's old film negatives. I am pretty certain that they will be SNARY relatives, but precisely who they are is a complete mystery (my dad didn't go in for much in the way of labelling his photos, let alone the negatives!)
The cyclist in the natty knitted outfit COULD be my uncle Harry and the lady in the hat second left in the group on the beach COULD be Rhoda Ward (nee Snary) visiting one of her married sisters with their family somewhere down near Bristol.
If anyone spots a familiar face, please do get in touch!