Saturday, 6 April 2013

NPM #2 ~ In their soft footprints ... Ada


In a higher branch,
sat a girl of just 14
she beckoned to speak to me
and held the aroma of black chimneys,
polish and turbulent weather
She said her world was changing
That the past was slowly
slipping through her hands
and what did this all mean to her

Bible quotes lay thick and heavy on her soul
She knelt with me,
closed her eyes in prayer
and whispered a loving word for all she held dear
The tolling of many clocks
and distant church bells
floated by on dreamlike currents
and she was gone without a goodbye.

This is about my Great Great Grandmother Ada Attersall who later became Ada Coggrave and Tom's Mum (NPM #1) 

The small bible in the picture was one of my Nana's favourite possessions, she would call it 'Mrs Ticklepenny's Bible' as sadly she never knew that Ada Attersall was her Grandmother! It was obviously passed down through the family but she never knew why, and when years later when me and Mum researched the family tree we discovered the mysterious Ada was Tom's Mum and it all fell into place. It is amazing to touch something that my G,G Grandmother so treasured and it was given to her 137 years ago today! (I had to save this for today didn't I?)

The inscription reads; 

'Ada Attersall Presented by Mrs Ticklepenny April 6th 1876' 

For some years we wondered why she had been presented with this bible. We had theories that she could have been Catholic and this was given to her by a family friend on her confirmation, since she was 14 in 1876, but it didn't seem right. Then only last year I was watching a program on the Victorian era and saw an identical copy of this tiny bible and it said it was given by the lady of the house to girls when entering domestic service and we have actually found a 'Ticklepenny' family living in Hull in 1881.

The bible was exactly the same with the same style of inscription. This is why I have included the smells of polish in the poem, along with the religious theme. Also I hope I have gotten across a sense of feeling lost since she was just 14, leaving her family to live in a strange house and her father had died just two years earlier. She was the youngest of eight and also lost her older sister (by four years) in 1871 - she has a lot of grief to deal with. Her mother Hannah was from Thornton-by-Bradford and her father William came from Fiskerton in Lincolnshire. They were both part of that movement towards the big cities and towards work.

I've added this picture to show how small it actually is next to a tea-light! By the way isn't the name 'Mrs Ticklepenny' a fantastic name, it's really Dickensian lol  

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