Kathleen Mounsey

My mother

By Joan Foord (nee Mounsey)

Photo:Kathleen Mounsey with Shep

Kathleen Mounsey with Shep

Private Collection

Photo:Me with Grandma (Maud) in 1928

Me with Grandma (Maud) in 1928

Private Collection

Photo:Me with Grandma (Maud) and a bit of my father

Me with Grandma (Maud) and a bit of my father

Private Collection

This is a photo of my mother, Kathleen, aged about twelve, with her dog, Shep. Kathleen was adopted when a baby by Richard and Maud Mounsey, who had a guest house-cum-smallholding overlooking Lake Windermere.  My mother walked over the Fells to the tiny village school (one class - all ages!) and she said that by the time she arrived home she was always starving as she had eaten her packed lunch on the way to school!

Rupert Thompson, a relative of Maud Mounsey (Grandma), came to stay at the boarding house after a long spell in hospital, in order to recuperate from his war wounds and a burst eardrum. To cut a long story short, he married Kathleen and in 1926 my brother Richard was born and I arrived in 1928.

They moved to a small village in Durham (Sacriston) where life was a struggle and particularly so in the North East - just before the Jarrow March and the Depression. With the aid of a very helpful Scottish doctor, my father was awarded an Army Disability Pension, which was a Godsend.

By 1930, Maud was a widow and came to live with us. I remember visiting my father in hospital when I was about four and seeing a huge forbidding ward with highly polished floors and beds tucked in so tightly that I wondered how anyone could move!

About 1933 we moved to a terrace house in Gosforth (near Newcastle-on-Tyne) where we spent many happy years. My mother was able to find employment, Dad could potter around and Grandma kept us well fed and helped with the housework.  We had the freedom to roam around the countryside, the park and visit our friends, which this generation's children, despite their material advantages, are denied.

This page was added on 16/06/2006.