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Banburyshire Family History

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Ian Huckin

I have to chuckle at times when people talk about having it hard and suffering from stress due to work! My Grandmother was widowed in 1926 with two small children and pregnant (Which she lost following a road accident). No Social security in those days.

She sent my dad (aged 5) and aunt (aged 3) off to school and went to work 'in service'. I am sure most of you understand that term. Legal slavery really!

My dad had to leave school at 13 and go working on a farm for 7/- a week. He got 1/- [one shilling] for himself and the rest was housekeeping money. Very little in the way of charity or handouts came their way either. But a good garden and an allotment provided fresh veg to eek out the megre rations.

Despite the undoubted stress and hard work, she lived to be 92 and had all her marbles until the day she died of a stroke - her first. She outlived her second husband (Mont's brother) by several years too.

Maybe stress is the result of the pace of life rather than the work we do. It was certainly not prevalent back in those days. She was not alone in such circumstances of course. Many women had lost husbands and/or children in the First World War. But, villagers rally around and support those in need. Not with money or handouts, but with kindness and understanding. One of the reasons I wanted to move back to a village.

I am sure most who have lived in a village can identify with that. It is said that if you sneeze at one end of the village, someone the other end says 'bless you' before you can wipe your nose. News travels fast!! So, feel free to recount this true story when anyone mentions stress. Let's face it, we have it pretty light nowadays.

Written by Ian Huckin
Still looking for HUCKINs around Enstone!!