My Nan - more than a Pearly Queen

This is how most people will see my Nan, as Pearly Queen of Crystal Palace. You may have even seen her on the TV - she's been on more programmes and adverts than I can count! As a Pearly Queen she is (obviously) charitable, outgoing, fun and friendly but to me, she's my Nan and so much more.

In just a month or so both she and my Grandad will be moving hundreds of miles from the home they have lived in for nearly 40 years to a new place in Blackpool. They'll be living with my Aunt and two of my cousins in a converted old hotel. They'll have space for themselves but will be surrounded by family, will be looked after and will be able to spend much more time with some of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

It's going to be brilliant for them. But, selfishly perhaps, for me it's going to be a huge adjustment.

They've always been there, in the same house, a house that was also a home for me at one point. No matter where I have been in my life, I know they have always been there. A safe haven. A solid, constant point.

As I contemplate their big move, I've been lucky enough to be able to look back at some of their old photos (I love looking through old family pics) and found some amazing photos of my Nan and family occasions which have made me stop and think of exactly how much she means to me and the impact she has had on my life.

I particularly like this one with the bike. My Nan told me it was big and heavy, apparently the other children laughed and used to sing "Any old iron" but she liked it cause it saved her a really long walk.

On their wedding day, the taxi didn't arrive to take my Nan to the registry office. She had to take off her shoes and run to get there in time! When she did there was further confusion during the vows as my Grandad, always known as Pat (Patrick) was actually officially called 'John' on his birth certificate. He couldn't understand why the officiant was calling him the 'wrong' name.

Another one I like is this of Nan at a beauty competition whilst on holiday. She looks so glamorous! She's number 4 and I can't get over how fabulous her outfit is.

A typically eighties wedding photo! This is my parent's big day. I can't believe Nan let Grandad wear that awful brown suit...

At the christenings of her first Grandchild (me) and Great-Grandchild (Lily).

I don't tend to throw the word 'inspirational' around too much but I'm going to apply it here. My Nan is an everyday inspiration. She raised four children with very little money coming in, put up with Grandad during his miscreant stage, went out to work and taught herself shorthand, looked after both her parents in their old age and even housed most of her Grandchildren at one point or another.

I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to look back at these photos, hear new stories and share them here to later share with Lily and Ollie. I'm going to miss having my Grandparents as close as they are now, but am so very pleased that they're going to be happy in their new home. They really do deserve it.
Unknown said...

Gosh — a proper Pearly Queen!! That's awesome — I'd give my right arm for her costume, to wear at festivals!! How brilliant!

Love the old pictures too. Sadly I've lost my grandparents now; my nana died earlier in the year. You're so lucky to have yours still even though they're moving away :)


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