Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The Story of Stonecroft



Originally built in 1760 as three labourers cottages, it was converted into a single dwelling back in the early 19th Century. Stonecroft became part of my family over half a century ago. This photo was taken in 1945 by the previous owners.

Grandpa, Grandma and Mum in 1952
Bought by my grandparents in 1952, Mum grew up here, leaving as a young bride in 1966.

Mum in the garden, 1956

1952
From the road

Mum & Dad bought a house across the road (seen HERE) so my brother and I spent our childhood summers playing in both gardens.

Mum & Dad as Newlyweds, 1966

Southfork style shutters, 1980

Mum, Grandpa and I, 1969

Me & Mum, spring 1967

Mum & I, 1968

First day at school, 1971

Mum & Marcus (my brother), 1968

Grandpa & Dad admiring the new Rover
My Grandma lived here alone after Grandpa died in 1985. She developed dementia in 2000 and eventually had to move to a nursing home. The house lay empty until Jon and I bought it from my Mum (at market value, all legal and above board) to free up the money needed to pay for her continued care.

Grandma & Ginger, 1999
We'd planned to put our Victorian terraced house on the market and to live there until we'd done the work needed but our place sold to a cash buyer within an hour of the For Sale sign going up so we had move in and do it up around us. Its still a mass of unfinished jobs, cracks and missing floorboards. 


Its changed a lot since my grandparents' day, there's an upstairs bathroom, a pair of wood burning stoves and central heating now.


But a lot still remains the same.


Mum in 1959


Me, 55 years later - same gates!


Mum, Dad and me in May, 1967

Wearing a 1960s St Michael nightie (thanks, Lucy!) and Hush Puppies boots (£2, car boot sale, 2012)

47 years later....

I've lived in the same town all of my life, moving eight times and owning three houses. Am I strange that I like the fact that I still live on the same street on which I born and can see my childhood home through the bedroom window? I feel it gives stability to a life, which at times, has been rather manic.

See you soon!


90 comments:

Helen Le Caplain said...

Love all those old pictures - and great to see the different generations there.

Looking forward to seeing your latest curtain couture! :D

thorne garnet said...

not many people can live in the same town, same house their whole life and still be one of the most interesting people I know.

Unknown said...

How fortunate you have been to be able to buy your grandparents home! And that it is such a cute cottage filled with all those loving memories...dreams do come true :-)

Unknown said...

How very fortunate you are to be living in the same house as your grandparents did and the fact that it is such a sweet cottage! All hose loving memories, awwww!

topchelseagirl said...

Great post and yes I think you're lucky to be able to live there. When I was born my parents lived in one room with shared bathroom and kitchen, so for your parents to be able to bring you home to a whole house and for you to still live surrounded by all those memories is lovely.
Oh and those green tights are fabulous!

Krista Gassib said...

These photos are really wonderful. I love you on the first day of school and seeing your Mum all adoring on you! How handsome were your folks together?!! Stonecroft, having the honor of staying there myself, is a window into your families past and it's my favorite thing about your home. I think I would like that stability you speak of but for me it's taken a lot of searching to find a place that feels like home. I envy the strong connection you have to your past, I kinda feel like mine is fleeting and hard to find at times.
I thing you look groovy in this sweet dress and now I wanna hang with you in the garden and have a beer or two.
Love you lots
Xxxxxxxoooooo

pastcaring said...

I love that you live in your grandparents' house! There's a wonderful continuity to it all. And anyway, even if it hadn't been in your family, the house is amazing and you'd be drawn to it for its beauty, age, features and location. It isn't odd at all, to stay in your hometown; you've travelled and seen all sorts of different parts of the world, but you have deep roots in Walsall and it's where you are happy. Nowt wrong with that, love!

I am always so delighted when you share the family album with us. Your mum! Jenni was so gorgeous, with fabulous style, and her hair! It's a work of art! They make quite the couple about town, don't they? And that photo of your first day at school makes me want to squeeze those little knees!
Doesn't your Grandma look elegant in the garden with Ginger?
Groovy nightie (I'm back in tights today too, it's cold!) and I can see Jenni's smile in yours.
Lovely post, it's really made me smile. Love you! xxxxx

Panty Buns said...

What a fabulous peek at the pictorial history of your home and family - so beautiful and nostalgic. I know those feelings of looking at the old photos and reminiscing. Though the home I know is 100 years (exactly) younger than yours and was purchased by my parents 9 years after your grandparents bought yours. You have done beautifully with the maintenance and work there and made the grounds look beautiful. It's nice that you have a green thumb and the love of vintage that goes with the house. It's also nice that you know so much of its history. You clearly have a lot of heavy duty memories there. Your 1960s St Michael nighty is gorgeous! I love the design of the short sleeves. Is there a name for that particular lovely style of sleeve? It's really nice that you feel grounded and stability where you live.

http://www.full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/

Connie said...

How wonderful to have this continuity and in such a beautiful place. I'm often sad that I've strayed so far from my original home. Love these photos. And can we talk about the clear elegance and style gene running through your family!!! In spades!

Cheapchick said...

What a historical family home to live in. Thanks for sharing all the baby pictures too!

Stephen Andrew said...

Vix, this post makes me a little teary-eyed! I love this so much. What a Glamazon your mother is! Her hair! LOVE IT. I so admire the European reverence for history and roots. In the US, something like this is virtually unheard of. Keeping family houses in the family is such a lovely thing. And what a gorgeous house it is! And Jon gets my admiration for his commitment to your family as well. Clearly he values this history as much as you do.

Pennyblossoms said...

Oh, I SO love this post. Thank you so much for sharing family pictures.
I think it's quite amazing that so much of your history is encapsulated within those 2 family homes. Really special.
And OMG...that rose garden...so envious!
Zxx

beate grigutsch said...

gorgeous post!!!!
love your moms beehive hair!!
i´d grew up in a 38m2 flat, had to share bedroom with my bro - so i´m very happy that i have moved town(s) and now have my own, old, unrenovated house :-)
xxxx

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

What an utterly lovely read. There's something comforting about ones Grandparents home.
It's lovely to see the house over the decades. I wonder what your Grandparents would think of your stylin.' xxx

Cosmic said...

These special memory lane posts is one of the reasons we love you!

X

Lucy Nation said...

Your family were lucky to live in such a stylish home which has stayed in the family all this time. I love your house and really enjoyed reading this x

Miss Piggy Bank said...

What lovely pictures. I like the storm porch on the first photo. My grandparents have lived in the same house for 65 years and are talking of selling, I feel quite sad. I have pictures like you of us outside the house. Were you a HT pupil ? Just wondered about the straw hat ;-)

Vix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vix said...

@ Miss Piggy Bank. No! Standard Blue Coat uniform back in the 1970s - straw hats in Summer, felted wool in Winter. x

Winter Moon said...

I love this peek into your past.
You have so many fond and heart wrenching memories. I do enjoy seeing other people's old photographs. Thank you so much for sharing these.

I've never wandered too far from the nest...unless it's for holidays or work and I love going back to see the old family home from time to time.

xx

Carina Rosenholm said...

Love the old photos , its great to have your family history saved .
Owning your house is a great luxury !
Xxx

auxhorizonsreves said...

A beautiful post full of nostalgia ...
Unlike you , I've moved several times , thus being far away from my roots ...
Great pictures , love the one with your grandma and the cat , those with the gates , and o my dear , you really have green fingers running in your family , such lovely flowers and plants ...
And so true , your mum's hairstyle's gorgeous !
Thank you for sharing your precious memories with us ...

Floral kisses

~ La Dryada ~

Sarah said...

Can I just say, your mum had the most amazing hair in the 60s - such volume! I think it's lovely that you still live in the same town that you were born in. I can't see myself going far when I eventually come to buy a place of my own xx

myshabbychicvintagefrugallife said...

I love the old pictures an trip own memory lane ,beautiful house then and now , isn't it great that you ha the opportunity to buy your family home xxx

mondoagogo said...

I always love reading your historical posts about your house(s) and neighbourhood! Also impressed with your mum's rolled hair in those 1968 pics.

Ivy Black said...

I think it's lovely that you live inyour grandparents house. What a sense of continuity and stability. The photos are fab.
It's a gorgeous home too. Tell you what love...I bet some magazines would like to come and photograph it!!!
Gotta say...your mam rocked.
Loves yer bits.
xxxxxx

Wee Wendy said...

I'm not known for being an emotional woman but your post has made me cry Vix. How wonderful for you to have these memories to wrap around you to keep you whole. I love that you appreciate the security and continuity, so many people that have so much take it completely for granted and I struggle with that. I was adopted as a teenager, have only a handful of photos and no happy memories of my first 20 years, which is why I'm so happy and thankful now. So thank you for sharing, and thank you for this glimpse into your life. By the way, your grandma and mum are so beautiful! Just like you x

Rosalind said...

Something that used to be such a usual experience (staying in the same town, or even in the same house as previous generations of your family) has somersaulted and become something of a rarity. Perhaps now when many people experience a feeling of rootlessness, we look at a story like yours that has family links and continuity and an ongoing sense of belonging - and feel how wonderful that must be.
I've grown up in one house and it's still the place I call home. By the time my mum left home at 18 she'd lived in 12 different houses - one of the reasons she gives now for consciously staying put.
What a stylish family you come from.
Oh and I have of course cast my vote for you. You're already the epitome of vintage personality of the year - it's simply what you are every day!

Porcelina said...

What emotional resonance this house must have - families move about so much now, that it's rare for generations of the same family to stay in one house. I adored seeing all of those family photographs, how wonderful!

Thanks for this glimpse into your family history, I very much enjoyed it.

P x

Caroline said...

I think that's lovely! It's nice to see all the angles and ages of the front of your house. I'm glad your purchase was legal. I would hate to have to tell on you ;)

Mum said...

Am I strange, too? I live in a house just opposite the place where I was born.
Love from Mum
xx

Kezzie said...

Of course not!!! Why change something that works!!!! X

Laurie M said...

you have your Mum's smile, and she had such beautiful hair as well, very fashionable she was, I think its wonderful that you live there, its a history no one can take from you, keeps the spirits near, lol, you look lovely standing with that pretty smile,

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Such a lovely pictorial.
I think it is wonderful to stay in the same place. I agree that the purpose of a parent is to give your child wings and roots. You are much-travelled yet you still live within spitting distance of your childhood home.
It's a beautiful story.

The Vintage Knitter said...

Its brilliant that the house is still in the family and I loved the photo trip of it through the decades. Your childhood home is always special I reckon and I still think about mine although Mum and Dad moved from there back in the 1990s. I can see where you get your style from; your Mum was rocking some seriously amazing hairdos back in the day xxx

Laurie Duncan said...

I think it is so cool that you live in your same neighborhood! I grew up on a farm, and the house is deserted, so sad.
I love all your pix, especially your first day of school and your mom's hair!
And I love how you used a nighty as a dress, great idea! :)

Patti said...

I really loved this story, and all the memories you have, living there on the same street where you were born. I think stability is a much-needed commodity in so many of our lives - you know, things we can count on being there. Your mother is as beautiful as you! xox

That's Not My Age said...

Gorgeous family & gorgeous house - why would you want to move?
x

Shawna McComber said...

How wonderful to see all of these photos Vix! It seems so familiar because I am the same age so there are family photos of me as an infant in summer of 1967 with mum and in the garden and a great big pram like that too. Like you I live in the same town where I was born and grew up, though I did actually move away for about 8 years in order to go to university and begin a career. There are not gorgeous old homes in this town as it pretty much only has buildings that went up in the fifties or later, but my mum and dad now live in what had been my grandparents' house and for a long time I lived in my great aunt's house. My ex has it now, but I still live in the same neighbourhood. Oh and my brother, born in 1969, is just a year younger than yours. Fantastic post! It's so wonderful that you have the house and garden. It looks just perfect!
xo

Shawna McComber said...

How wonderful to see all of these photos Vix! It seems so familiar because I am the same age so there are family photos of me as an infant in summer of 1967 with mum and in the garden and a great big pram like that too. Like you I live in the same town where I was born and grew up, though I did actually move away for about 8 years in order to go to university and begin a career. There are not gorgeous old homes in this town as it pretty much only has buildings that went up in the fifties or later, but my mum and dad now live in what had been my grandparents' house and for a long time I lived in my great aunt's house. My ex has it now, but I still live in the same neighbourhood. Oh and my brother, born in 1969, is just a year younger than yours. Fantastic post! It's so wonderful that you have the house and garden. It looks just perfect!
xo

Fiona said...

A lovely post Vix, enjoyed reading it so much. My Dad still lives in my childhood home and although it's a 60's house and doesn't have centuries of history, it still means a lot to me, so no I don't think you are strange at all. Your grandma was a very stylish lady and so was your mum of course....what amazing hair. Loved seeing your old snaps. xxxxxxx

Sue said...

Wow, where do I start?! Your mothers polka dot frock! Her up do hair! Your pram! Those gates! Thanks for sharing such precious memories! Nothing wrong with living in the same town all your life, probably just proves how happy and settled you are.

Natalia Lialina said...

Beautiful, heartfelt post, my dear dear friend! Your house is such a beauty, and has both elegance and timelessness, and some quirk to it at the same time. Which is probably one of the reasons you love it so much (and it shows!). Love all the photos, old and new, love all the sentiments here... so nostalgic! Your Mum was such a stylish gal with gorgeous hair, and oh her wild hairstyles were amazing! Love seeing you and your little brother - such cuties with beautiful smiles, I can still see the little one in you, gorgeous Vix! Your Grandmother is so graceful, and of course cats are such a wonderful part of life (ours are so grumpy with each other at the moment, we had to move our sensitive one to our bedroom with her food and litter box and all)...

I love stories like this. At some point, before the October revolution almost a hundred years ago in my native country, many families lived the same way - little moving around, family houses, growing up and staying there generations after generations... I think it has so much beauty, such lifestyle. And maybe, just maybe, if things stayed the same and the revolution did not happen, I would too live in one of family homes... Who knows?

What I know is that I always want to move. I want to experience new places, not as a tourist, as a resident. I am a nomad. The world is so big and so beautiful... I want it all! There is always some place (or rather places) which calls me. I only owned a house once, very briefly, with my first husband. I loved it, though it was not anything special, just a modern typical suburban house. When I left my husband, I left everything. I still am not sure if I even want to own a house. There is so much I want to do with my life. Maybe some day, it will include buying a house and taking care of it. But not just yet.

With love

Rebecca said...

Fascinating. And foreign to me. I've lived in too many places to count! Some say "If these walls could talk...." You actually can HEAR your walls! :)

tralala said...

Its lovely that you get to make a lot more memories for your lovely house to hold Vix.

We were lucky enough to have a big wodge of paperwork sent to us, that our conveyancing solicitors sent as surplus to digital requirements. We even have a photo of the original owners/builders from 1890.

Every job we've ever done has peeled back a previous owners taste lol. We even have a neighbour whose family have lived in our street since they were built who is an absolute goldmine of info.

I think that's why I could never live in a modern house. Mind you, our last one had a ghost which was a little more disconcerting - but he bothered our next door neighbour more than us!

Thank you so much for sharing your lovely stories and photies xx

Linda said...

Wow, your house is stunning I love that it's been in your family for so many years x

Kelly Roy said...

It's quite unusual to see childhood house fromyour bedroom window but hey almost everything you do is unusual and that's why we love you!

Miss Magpie said...

How did I manage to miss the fact that your house was actually a family home? It's ace. I moved a lot as a kid and hated that. My Nan's house meant the world to me because it was the one constant. I was so sad when it had to be sold.

Angels have Red Hair said...

I love that you still live in the old family home ... I think that's a wonderful romantic dream that few of us ever get to experience.
There is a lot to be said for the security you feel in familiar surroundings ... and you get to enjoy it all day every day.
I love your Mum's hairdo too ... it must have taken her ages every morning to get it up like that.
xx

pao said...

What a lovely post, Vix. Seeing your house with pictures of you and your parents, grandparents. Amazing really. We moved all over the country when I was a child because of my dad's job until he died. I don't even know where, when or how long at each place anymore.

Van said...

Aw, beautiful post. I'm inspired to write something similar now that I happen to have family photos over here randomly. :)

Helga said...

O, these pictures (and the story) are fecking FANTASMO!!! Your Mama had killer style and hair!
I don't know if it's strange to live on the same street in which you were born, but it's fairly unusual these days, perhaps?! People move around a lot more now.
I just LOVE this post!!!!
Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

Donna holmes said...

I've lived in my home town all my life too (I'm 58, however). I'm now living in my parents' home that they bought in 1962. It was built in 1905, which is old by U.S. standards!! I lived here until I got married, then moved 3 blocks away and lived there for 28 years, then moved back after my divorce. My boyfriend and I will be moving to his house soon so I can sell the house to pay for my Dad's nursing home care. Love the pics!! and your house!!

Jane said...

Wow, that was just awesome! Love the pictorial presentation and the whole story! You are so lucky! :)

PinkCheetahVintage said...

Very very cool!

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Thank you for this wonderful journey down your Memory Lane Vix, I soaked up every pic with relish! I get such a kick out of old photos, it doesn't seem to matter whether I know the people or not, families, their history, their homes simply fascinate me! I think it's a wonderful tale and a magical thing to live in the home your mother was raised in, where you can see your childhood bedroom just over the way. It must have been fun for you and Marcus to go back and forth between the two houses. If you were anything like me, I would have been sneaking over when I knew chores were due, or hot biscuits were coming out of one of two ovens - naughty! Heehee! Green nightie envy is burning my soul!! xoxoxoxox

Brooke F said...

How wonderful to live in a house with so much history. And not just any old history, but your own families history. I imagine that every nook and cranny holds a special memory for you to treasure. And BTW - how fab is your mums hair! XXX

Val S said...

What wonderful old pictures, and it's great to see more of your house. It looks huge! It's nice that you've had that continuity in your life. I can't imagine what it's like - I've lived in 10 different towns and about 30 houses or apartments. And I'm starting to get bored with this one now!

Vintage Bird Girl said...

What a lovely post! There sure must be some memories in those two dwellings....so much history. Your place looks absolutely divine to me. I live a couple of minutes away from my childhood home. I've stayed in the same suburb since I was 3. Although I do dream of moving these days. Xx

Sacramento Amate said...

What can I say that hasn´t been said, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
I am soooooooooooo touched
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Delia Ryder said...

Hi Lovely, i know its me :-) just popping over from facebook. You know and history could't not leave a comment on this fabulous post. I love the fact that you still in your family home and having been there in the flesh with you its still as beautiful today as it was all those years ago. I wish i had the same family history and the ties that you hold so dear. I love the photo of your mum in her 50's spotty dress she is stunning. I loved reading this post and viewing all the photo's a real trip down memory lane and very special. Hugs dee xxx

Olga Rani said...

What a wonderful post! I always like when you share the old photos from your family album. And those "then and now" comparing photos, so interesting and touchy.

peaches mcginty said...

I absolutely loved this! the pics are so lovely and your Mum! so gorgeous and the most amazing hair! I really like that you live in your family home, it's not unusual at all, Dave's Dad lived in his family home, it's where Dave was brought up too, we were asked years ago did we want to buy it, it's too small, his Mum lives there (his Dad has passed away) there is something about that house for them, it's drenched in their history x x x

señora Allnut said...

so wonderful pics and so wonderful post, it's amazing that you've always lived near your home!. So different from my own experience!. I grown in a city flat, as it's used here, and I always lived in flats, from my parents flat to my own rented apartments, shared or not, in different cities and even different countries. Mr.A. and me we're still living in a rented apartment.
Love your colorful nightie, and love that you're posing with same old doors!, so Gorgeous!
besos

Rachel Jaques said...

What an absolutely fabulous post Vix, so interesting and I love all the old photos. I'ma sentimental old bat, so the fact you live in the house your grandparents owned is just fantastic and not strange at all, I'm jealous in fact!!

Vintage Jane said...

What a lovely post! I occasionally pass by my childhood home and wonder what it is like inside now. M x

Nat said...

Lovely post, Vix :-) I really enjoyed all the photos and little snippets about your family home. You really do have your roots firmly planted - fabulous!

silkpathdiary said...

I love this post - love old houses and their history or rather the history of their owners! It confused me which way your house faced the road so now I know the correct orientation. All your folk look very stylish and your Mum was quite the fashionable lady - love her slingbacks! I think it's also very comforting to have a central place to belong. xx

mumzy said...

just fabulous... love the history...

Valerie Beattie said...

Vix, your Mum's hair was an absolute marvel, a feat of engineering almost. I love old photo's and these are amazing. How lucky that you have been able to keep your family home in the family with people who really love it.
Valerie
xxx

Lune Vintage said...

Wow.. leave it up to you to be vintage through and through. Even your house is full of personal history. It's a fantastic place. I got a little teary seeing the one with you in the pram with your mum and dad and then you all grown up and beautiful in the same spot so many years later. Thank you for sharing that with us all.

Hippy At Heart said...

Wow, I love the pics, your mother looks like straight coming out from mad men series!

The Black Opal said...

Thank you for sharing those great photos with us, Vix. I can't agree more with you about your childhood home being there for you to look at. I realized how much I wanted to see may family and friends again after I moved across the pond to the U.S. and how much I miss seeing my childhood home.
My mom still lives in the same apartment where I grew up. So, going home is always a boost of strength and it helps to put a lot of things in perspective. Sometimes I wish I never moved away.
Fantastic outfit!

Love you always,
Masha

The Black Opal said...

I also want to agree with thorne garnet's comment.

Ariane Lasalle said...

What a nice piece of family history -You have great pics there Vix - Very enjoyable post!

Hugs

Arianexo

Northern mum down South said...

How lovely to have such continuity and familiarity in your life. xx

Jan Graham-McMillen said...

Oh, so wonderful. I really enjoyed the tour of the history of your family home. It does make for a more grounded life, I agree. We've been a very mobile family, but the farm is where my folks spent the last decades of their lives. It's home. Wish it was ANYWHERE else, but it's still home.

cherre henderson said...

I really enjoy history and this covered past and present of your childhood home. Your home is beautiful and intriguing. Thanks for sharing your photos of your family, such an attractive bunch. You and your brother were super cute babies!love it:-)

Gam Kau said...

This is such an interesting post!
Completely agree with what Thorne said,
"not many people can live in the same town, same house their whole life and still be one of the most interesting people I know."
You are really very special Vix. :)

Mrs. D said...

Lovely photos. I love seeing old pictures and even more when they belong to a friend!
x

Beth Waltz said...

What an interesting glimpse into your family's history of style! One wonders where the bit for "chic" appears in DNA.

The lovely pix of your grandmama with Ginger feels very familiar: my own family albums include many pets, all given their proper names and histories ("...and that's Fairy, the Pomeranian that loved to catch goldfish, next to Granduncle...")

freckleface said...

This is one of those really special posts with so much meaning. You have such a romantic looking home and it is wonderful to see it in all its different incarnations. I loved it when the lawn went all the way up to the house and it had all those wonderful flower beds everywhere. In that photo with the shutters it looks like it could be in the deep South, like in Gone with the wind or something. I also love all the photos of you and Marcus and your mum, dad and other relatives. So lovely to see. Your mum obviously adored the pair of you, it shines out of every photo. I think it is a wonderful thing that you live in your gran's house and that you are happy living in the one place which has all your family history. There's no place like home! Xxxxxx

FASHION TALES said...

These are my favourite posts from you. Wow, I loved the bits of history and style, learning about your family.
Happy weekend fabulous Vix! xx

Cheapchick said...

Psychic, I would rather go with circus performer myself. Maybe a high wire lady?

VC said...

Wow, how lovely! Does your mum still live across the road?

Maria said...

As someone else said, nowt wrong with having good strong roots. The house is lovely, and it's great that you can live somewhere with so many memories.

I am also very admiring of your mother's hair! it's amazing.

Maureen said...

Vix, I'm just old enough to be your mum - and very proud I would be. Love the story of your house, I sometimes look at the house where I was born and the house I grew up in of Google Earth. Strange feeling.

Trees said...

It really must be something, to be surrounding by so much of your family history every day. I really love it when you share your history with us Vix. Also - how great do you look in Green!

Loulou said...

I almost missed this wonderful post while I was away but am so thankful I took the time to dig back and find it. This is such a great story with so many excellent photographs.

Your home is beautiful and just steeped in history, both your family's and that of those who lived there before. So neat that you still get to live there. xo

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

What a fab story. So cool you can see the world out of the same windows you saw it as a child. Surreal.

I loved all the old photos. Your Mom's hair was incredible!!!

bisous
Suzanne