What they wore

How they dressed

 Grandad’s braces buttoned onto his trousers, the connecting part being leather.  All his shirts were white and usually had the sleeves rolled up as he was a very busy person!  He wore plain socks and his shoes definitely laced; he celebrated his eightieth birthday in the 1960s, when my uncle was wearing very modern slip-on shoes and he and my Dad were venturing into coloured shirts.  I recall shades of plum and peach.  Grandad’s apparel included waistcoats, sleeveless pullover or a cardigan, a suit for special occasions, with a sports jacket and perhaps a flat cap for outings. His walking stick, which became more of a necessity as the years passed, was very useful for warding off an aggressive swan on the common once when my grandparents visited us.

Grandad shaved with a cut-throat razor, which he sharpened on a strop.  When he visited us, the strop used to hang on the towel rail in the bathroom.  He abandoned the habit of a lifetime sometime in his late seventies, when he began to use an electric razor, sometimes sitting by the fire!

Grandma could not see colour because of her cataracts.  She always wore a rather long grey pleated skirt, thick darkish stockings, a blouse and a grey cardigan.  I cannot remember her ever dressing differently.  Her spectacles were the original round National Health style.  One of her brown eyes turned inwards as the muscles had given up directing it otherwise.  Indoors she wore slippers with buttons and bobbles.  Her hair was much darker that Grandad’s, although not quite as free from grey as she continued to believe.  She wore an apron with a pocket containing sweets.  Wine gums and humbugs were her favourites.  Grandad issued her with cigarettes and gave her a light at the same times every day.  He puffed on a pipe.  Before we ended our visit to them, we’d buy him two ounces of his usual tobacco and a quarter (of a pound) of wine gums for Grandma.


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