15. Sarah Parkin

Sarah Parkin – Grandad’s mother

Grandad’s Mother

Grandad appeared to be close to his mother. They made various trips together including to Berry Hill, Blidworth, Kilburn, Moorgreen and Nottingham. In 1929, she and grandad’s father went on holiday for a week to Bournemouth. In 1929, grandad took her to see the recently completed Watchorn Memorial Primitive Methodist Church in Alfreton. This church was built by local benefactor, Richard Watchorn, as part of an estate, in memory of his mother, his son and Abraham Lincoln.

Watchorn school and church in Alfreton © Dave Bevis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Gifts and Cards

Grandad’s mother gave him various gifts, particularly around the time of his birthday. These gifts included a sovereign, a pair of gloves and a pencil. Grandad recorded that he made various things for her including a window shade and a clothes horse. Among mum’s papers were a number of birthday cards from his parents to grandad. These are very different in style to modern-day birthday cards, resembling postcards more.

Selection of birthday cards sent to grandad from his parents. The message shown is for 1917 when grandad was 20. It reads, “To our Dear son Gordon
To wish you many happy returns of your birthday”

Occasional Illness

Her health appears to have been reasonably good although she was occasionally ill. In February 1919, she went with grandad to see Mr Mallet but it is not clear if he was a doctor or surgeon of some kind and, if he was, who was the patient in this case. Grandad’s mother wore glasses and, in September 1919, grandad recorded that her glasses came from Mansfield.

Final Illness and Death

In October 1929, she was taken ill with gall stones. In December, she was unwell again and had to stay in bed from the 9th to the 11th. On Christmas Day that year, grandad noted that she was still in bed ill and, on New Year’s Eve, they had a specialist to see her. On New Year’s Day 1930, grandad noted that she was worse. Progressively she got weaker and, on 4 January 1930, he noted that she was dying. She died around 9pm on 5 January 1930.

Funeral and Burial

She was buried on 8 January with a funeral service held at Bourne Chapel on the 12th. A number of times over the years that followed, grandad visited the cemetery, including on at least one occasion with Olive and John. The frequency of contact with his eldest brother, Len, seems to have increased following that, particularly in 1931. Grandad did not explain in his diaries whether this was related to his mother’s death or if there were other reasons.

Newspaper cuttings related to Sarak Parkin’s funeral
Bookmark as a memento from Sarah Parkin’s funeral