Early One Morning

Only one more week left at work … one good thing is that I will be able to spend more time writing and catching up with Friday Fictioneers.  I haven’t done much ‘visiting’ recently and I want to say thank you for putting up with me and still visiting and commenting on my posts. 🙂

Thanks as always to Rochelle for making time in her very hectic schedule to continue to lead us- sympathies with the dental work, I’ve been in the same boat recently, painful. Thanks to to Ted Strutz for the intriguing photo this week.

25 March

Copyright Ted Strutz

Genre: Family history

Word Count: 100

Early One Morning

May woke her brothers. The room was dark and cold. Condensation collected in puddles on the windowsill. Ernest pulled the blanket tighter.

‘Ernest, Walter, wake up. There’s water for a quick swill, your clothes are on the chair. Hurry up, don’t wake the others.’

They walked together alongside the canal, huddled against the cold, breathing out clouds into the morning.

‘Boys, hurry up!  If we’re late and refused work today, Joe Stamford will dock our pay for the week. Think of ma and the bairns, come on!’

Joe Stamford watched them running across the yard and started to close the door.


A little bit of history… May in the story is my grandmother. She left school aged 12 and went to work in a cotton mill in Colne, Lancashire, with her two older brothers. They left home around 5.30am to walk the two miles to work every day. Conditions in the mills were very hard, if they were late one day, they were refused entry and could lose their pay for the whole week. They worked hard to support their mother and six other siblings as by now, their father was quite ill and without work for long periods of time.

This is a photo of her, much much later, with my grandfather on a rare day out to Blackpool. (Apologies for the quality.)

2016-01-30 13.10.11

Copyright D. Lovering




34 thoughts on “Early One Morning

  1. Dear Dee,

    Beautifully written. I particularly liked that they breathed out clouds on the cold air. I love a good piece of history, the fact that it’s your family makes it better.
    As for the dental…eh…there’s more to come, I’m afraid. 😦



    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle
      Thank you for your kind comments. Life in those days was quite hard for practically everyone, much worse than that for some, as you capture perfectly in your books .

      Dental treatment ongoing for me too …

      Take care


    • Thank you Claire. He is the dreaded ‘overseer’ ( I think that’s what he was called) he said who worked and who didn’t and woe betide you if you were late. My grandmother said some people were scared stiff of him.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That was such a bitter ending, Dee. As CE says, tightly written. Well done. I used to pass a cotton mill on my way to junior school in Rochdale, and frequently saw weary men sitting outside, smoking, covered from head to foot in lint. I used to feel so sorry for them, and the clacking away from inside the sheds petrified me. Very atmospheric

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great tale well told. It’s amazing how times have changed. I admire our ancestors for what they had to put up with and wonder how I would have coped. We all seem so much softer these days

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for keeping it classy, Dee. 😉 Although, you could write anything and it would be classy.
    I like this story. Lots of richness there. You going to do a follow-up, maybe, or a full blown story? I’d highly recommend it. What’s after work? Vacation?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful piece of history, even more poignant as it’s your family. The last line is heartbreaking. How grand that man must feel weilding his power over these poor children.

    Liked by 1 person

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