Wednesday, 16 September 2009
D H Lawrence
So having urged you to do something for Heritage Open Day what did I do? Well I'm ashamed to say despite being a Nottinghamshire lass I had never visited the home of D H Lawrence although I've loved his writing since my school days, partly because of their evocation of the local area. So off to Eastwood to visit the humble dwelling of David Herbert (called Bert to his nearest and dearest.) While out I realised that at the car boot earlier on Sunday I'd seen a very old Penguin copy of Lady Chatterleys Lover with the original illustration and marked 3/6 and had left it on the grass under the table where it lay - wiothout even asking the price! I could kick myself as I shall probably never see one again and the fact it had just been tossed on the ground meant it would probably not have cost much. At the DHL museum it was in a glass case!!
I suppose the place is a bit of a con really as although he was born there, there's very little that was actually owned by the family. (I did like this old cupboard with its pretty lining.)
You were allowed in all the rooms and I loved the screen in the room in which they think he was born!
The attic bedroom was sparsely furnished as it would have been in Victorian times and the rag rugs had certainly seem better days!
This picture shows a vignette in the "front room" which would only have been used "when the vicar came or when a family member was lying in state in their coffin"
The room had a window sill on which were displayed linens as DHL's mother had, in the window, as she tried to sell them. She didn't have much luck as the Eastwood folk were an insular lot and wouldn't buy from her as she was a newcomer to the area! The guide said the local folk are still very much like that and it took a long time before he was accepted!
It's a shame thae front room was so little used as these were pit houses built for the miners families and there were often 10 people housed in them - what a waste of a quarter of the living space...
Apparently the house is decorated with far more items in it than the family would have owned but is to give an idea of what might have been in there. Much the same as many of us use for decor now - embroidered pictures, cabinets full of lovely bits and pretty floral wallpaper.
This picture believe it or not shows the sink in the back corner of the kitchen - the grey slab with a one inch lip to hold the water (which would have had to have been brought inside). Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the old range.
Opposite the range was the sewing machine and it was good to see an old bottle full of mother of pearl and linen buttons and a stone bottle with a (very old) hydrangea head. I don't think it would have hurt to have brought a fresh one in this year!
Then outside to the wash house - anyone who saw my post a couple back might wonder whether I coveted the old copper and the dolly tub but I have to say I managed to contain myself.
The outside wash tub looked entirely at home hanging on the wall but what a shame that Health and Safety has to be everywhere and spoil the image with one of its intrusive stickers!
I had to smile at the mangle which brought back an old memory of my mothers old mangle - not quite as archaic as this but just as vicious. I remembered trying to see whether the rollers really could trap your fingers. I found that they could indeed be incredibly vicious and still bear the scar on my finger today where it was crushed!
Have a good week,