This week I’m featuring another of my grandparents, Mary Glover, nee Jelbert, of Newlyn, Cornwall, born in 1919, whose 95th birthday it would have been this month.
Despite living some 350 miles apart I first met my Granny when I was just a few days old and my mum says we fell in love at first sight. I was the first of her 7 grandchildren; my family has overlapped its generations recently so my brother and I are about 10 years older than our cousins, so having babies in the house was a bit of a treat for her.
We used to get down every year to Cornwall, sometimes twice (Easter and summer) if we were lucky. The kitchen was the heart of the house, and my Gran’s kingdom, but a vital outpost was my Uncle Stephen’s ice-cream shop in Newlyn (got lucky with that!). This was later run by my Uncle Jim, and Gran worked there selling ice-cream and cream, so she was well known in Newlyn.
My Gran married a customs man called Jim Glover; he was from Plymouth but stationed in Newlyn when they met. Together they lived in Grimsby, Poole and in Plymouth for a while for his work, but her heart was always in Newlyn and that’s where they settled down long-term.
Gran was an amazing cook. Sometimes Grandad would say to friends or people he met through work or in the pub “my wife’s from Cornwall, she’ll cook you a genuine Cornish pasty” and she would bake for them – sometimes she never even met the people she baked for! I still have her pasty recipe but never use it – waaaay too much lard! But they were gorgeous… Often she would open a cupboard door in the kitchen and there would be a fruit pie or joint of meat that she’d been baking in the morning, it was incredible.
Together they had a son and two daughters who have lived round the country but all ended up back living locally. My mum and aunt had the inconsideration not to get their ears pierced so when I turned 16 and my mum let me get my ears pierced (it was a more innocent time then!) Gran and I spent hours wandering round the shops in Penzance looking for earrings – one of my favourite memories of spending time together.
When I was older I couldn’t get back to Newlyn as much as I would have liked, as by then I was living in Scotland. Although it made it all the more special when I did, especially when I got to introduce her to her great-grandson in 1999.
© Text and photo copyright Lynne Black 1 May 2014
Content first published: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/mary-jelbert/