Frances Woolley considers the value of history.
I’ve reproduced one of my favourite records here – my great-great-grandmother on my mother’s side, Marian Vandermin. She lived at 5 Peckham Grove – oddly enough very near to where my cousin Jan lives now, and to where I lived as a grad student. The record paints, for me, a vivid picture of her life – she was widowed when she was younger than I am now, and here she is in 1901, a single mom with four children, running a business as a yeast merchant. Her sister-in-law lived just two houses away, and ran the business with her. Thank goodness they had servants – they would never have coped otherwise.