This set of diaries covers the period from 1919, just after the end of the First World War, to 1938, just before the beginning of the Second World War and, as such, is bookended by two wars. They cover grandad’s work and his transition during this period from paid employee in his father’s workshop to running the workshop and sales shop as owner. Grandad mentions his brothers and sisters during this period and also his mother Sarah Parkin, who died in 1930.
During this period, he met grandma, Ethel Cirket. The diaries of this period introduce her and her parents and siblings. They married in March 1930. Grandma and grandad were active in their Primitive Methodist chapel throughout this period until “the Prims” combined with the Wesleyan Methodist and the United Methodist to form one Methodist church in 1932.
During this period, access to different forms of transport, particularly motorcycles, meant that the family were able to travel further afield. Throughout his life, grandad was a practical handyman and he made various things during this period, including a large aviary at the house in Station Street where the family lived and a number of home-made radios. He was also interested in music and during this period, he got the family’s piano delivered through a first floor window as it was too big to get through the door and up the stairs. In terms of entertainment, greater access to transport meant he could visit a wider range of cinemas rather than just those in Kirkby. It was also a factor in the family being able to travel more for summer holidays.
Grandma and grandad started a family during this period with mum being born on 15 September 1934. During this period, both grandma and grandad suffered quite long periods of ill-defined poor health. Both grandma’s parents and grandad’s mother died during this period. During this period, a number of family members moved home. Grandma’s parents moved into a new house, 96 Welbeck Street, and grandma and grandad went to live at the house behind the shop in Station Street.
There were a number of significant national events during this period including various royal events, six general elections and substantial periods of industrial unrest. There were a number of local and regional events ranging from royal visits, local elections, local strikes, rail accidents, earth tremors and floods. Grandad often recorded items purchased both during the first world war and afterwards. Although grandad was not particularly interested in sport, his diaries do touch on a number of sports and sporting events including cricket, boxing, football and early forms of motor racing.