Barbara Longley - This is My Life

If you enjoyed these pictures and would like to see the full album of photos for me and my family, then send me an email and I will arrange a guest visit to the MyFamily site

Me & Uncle George at Uttoxeter.

On my Uncle's George's knee in the front garden of St Anselm's House, Stafford Road, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire where I was born. Uncle George was mum's twin brother who died when he was 21. He was the one who chose my name. I mainly remember him making glass rings from bits of glass held in the fire on the end of a poker.



This is a recently acquired photo of myself with my Uncle Paul holding me, Uncle Dick standing, and my grandad seated.

Taken at Bank House - Uncle Dick's and Aunt Polly's at Alton, Staffs.

Me as baby.


I was quite a chubby baby and mum said that my picture was used locally to advertise Cow & Gate Milk



This is one of my favourite photos. It was taken in a studio and the dress was made by mum.

At Uttoxeter 2 years old. This was after a day of scrumping rhubarb from Mrs Martin the lady next door, with my friends and her daughter Valerie Martin. One of the little girls was born with her feet facing the wrong way.

Here I am sitting in my Grandad's wheelbarrow. I spent all my time with him helping him in his shed and climbing ladders. Climbing got me into a lot of trouble. I had a police record at 2 because I'd escape over next doors fence and work my way down the road and the police would have to bring me back.

Here I am helping grandad at our house in Uttoxeter.

You couldn't keep me on the ground.

One day when I was 2, I climbed onto the garden fence and saw a bit of rope hanging from the clothes line. I wound it round my neck and jumped. I saw my gran scream from the upstairs landing window.

My sister Rosemary was also born at Uttoxeter.

When I was 3 we moved to Didcot in Berkshire, to live with Dad's sister, Aunt Maude. Later we lived with dad's parents and then moved to Ryman's Camp.

Here I am age 5. The picture on the right was my idea of a wedding. I am the bride in knickers, vest and tap shoes carrying a bicycle pump. My sister Rose in headscarf and carrying a cardboard box is bridesmaid!

Me & Rose dressing up.

My first school was a Catholic school at East Hendred in Berkshire.My memories are that we wrote on slates, the headmistress had baby twins who were both born blind, and the school smelt of bleach. I hated it because every day the Elsleys, a large family with 15 children older than me, used to threaten to hit me if I didn't hand over my sweets, and a girl called Jean with a limp who was supposed to be looking after me used to tell me that my mum would be dead when I got home. Once I was naughty and I had to sit and eat my dinner outside at an old desk in the snow for a week. All morning was spent on religion. Our teacher was horrible. She had only one front tooth and I would sit mesmerised by a permanent stalagmite of spit that dangled from her tooth as she read to us from a huge bible. One day a man from the school board came round to our house and told my mother if she cared about my welfare, she should take me away from the school.

Next I went to Northbourne Infants in Didcot, which was better, but we seemed to spend most of the time reading Peter Rabbit books.

Then my mum asked if I would like to try another school and I ended up at Mereland Infants, where I stayed, moving up to Greenmere Juniors later.

We were brought up as Roman Catholics which I hated. It meant that you had to go to church on Sunday and wear your best clothes and were not allowed out to play.

Me & Veronica Butcher

Here I am ready for church with Veronica Butcher (twin of Michael). I got into trouble for telling their mum that our mum called them 'The Skinny Twins'.We always had to wear horrible matching crochet berets and kilts.

The other picture is First Holy Communion.Our frocks were made with rows of tucks so they could be let down several times. The cardigans were knitted long and tucked up so they lasted a long time. Our socks were bought too big and folded under the foot - very uncomfortable but they lasted a long time too.

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