In 1908, my grandparents were married at this parish church in Royston, near Barnsley, Yorkshire.
My grandmother was Elsie Smith, a self-employed confectioner and my grandfather was Sidney Henry Buckle, a coal miner.
Elsie was twenty three years old and Sid was twenty seven when they married.
They rented a house together in Church Street, Royston and settled down to family life.
Except there was no family and the years passed by and they had no children.
Then in 1921, when Sid was forty and Elsie was thirty six they had a baby.
The baby was named Vernon and he was baptised in the same parish church where they were married.
Unfortunately, Vernon soon developed a fatal illness and Sid and Elsie were back at the church only one month later on 7th February for the baby's funeral.
This must have been a traumatic episode for the new parents. After waiting for so long, only to have their baby snatched away at such a young age.
They probably gave up all hope of having a child. Even these days, forty and thirty six is mature for a first child.
In my family history box I've a copy of the Church Magazine for 1921 which includes the record of the happy day of Vernon's baptism.
I don't have a copy of the next issue of the magazine but it presumably recorded poor little Vernon's sad demise.
Then, in March 1924, what must have seemed like a miracle happened.
Elsie was delivered of another baby: a healthy boy who (eventually) became my dad. He was named Norman and he too was christened in the parish church.
This lovely photo is Sid and Elsie and Norman. They continued to live in Royston although they moved to a larger house in Church Hill.
Elsie stopped selling sweets but Sid continued to work in the coal industry alongside his brothers, his father and his grandfather. Sid had a skilled job as a rope splicer which meant he had to maintain the cables that were used in the machinery for hauling the coal.
A family story tells that one day at the pit Sidney noticed there was a serious flaw in the cable he was working on. This was reported to the company and a terrible disaster was averted. As a reward for his vigilance the grateful management awarded him a bottle of wine every year at Christmas.
Sid liked a drink but wine was not on the list of his preferred beverages. Beer and stout were more to his taste.
In 1935, Norman passed his eleven plus and attended the local grammar school at Normanton.
He was studious, worked hard and passed his School Certificate. At the age of sixteen he was offered employment as a clerk in the Public Health Department of the West Riding County Council thus breaking three generations of the family's tradition of going down the pit.
If you would like to read more about Norman you might like to take a look at my I Think I Prefer the Tinned Variety blog.
Elsie and Sid lived at Church Hill in Royston for the remainder of their lives together. Elsie died from cancer in 1952. Sid moved into a smaller property and lived on his own for the rest of his life. He died in 1969 aged eighty eight years.
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