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Monday, January 11, 2010

Memories on Mondays - The Harrings

My Paternal Great Grandparents - Alice Mary (Nicholls) and George Henry Harring

I don't have a lot of memories of Grandpa Harring as he died just before I turned 6, but I do remember him as a quiet man. Through later genealogy research I found he had a very hard childhood and came over to WA from NSW to start a new life as a young man. He met and married Alice and developed a lot of North Perth by building houses and shops.

Grandma is another story - I remember her as being tiny, but very feisty. I remember they had this big house they built but the only place you ever sat was in their kitchen - on special occasions you were allowed to go into the lounge and on those occasions Grandma used to play the piano - I used to love to hear her play.

The kitchen at Grandma and Grandpas was always cosy, there was always a kettle on and cups of tea being had. The tablecloth was always covered with newspaper - just in case there were spills - I don't know if that was only when children came to visit but it was always there when I was there. Children were supposed to be seen and not heard, but I always remember that never stopped me being part of the conversations.

Grandma's kitchen always had a work in progress - a string of silver milk bottle tops (those were the days when milk came in glass bottles and was delivered to your door). Grandma would wash them and add them to the string - when it got long enough she would use them in the garden to stop the birds eating the grapes.

Grandma and Grandpa's house was full of dark jarrah furniture - big beds, big cupboards and big wardrobes. They never pulled the big heavy drapes back in any of the rooms and so as kids we used to peek into the rooms as we passed and wonderful what could be hiding in there.

The kitchen was the only room where there was light and warmth. After my Dad and Mum divorced in 1967 I saw little of this Grandma, but I still remember her in her old cardigan, with her hair pinned up sitting in her kitchen drinking cups of tea.

The Harrings - back when roads were still sand
circa 1907


  1. Yes, the newspaper was there even when only adults were present. She had a beautiful velvety red cloth on the table which would get turned back and then the newspaper put down on the table itself. She would have a teapot on the side of the wood stove which was often quite 'stewed' but that was the way people lived. They had a struggle when they were young but later. when they were more than comfortably off, they lived very frugally and nobody would have realised that they were, in fact, quite well to do. Perhaps I should write down for you my memories of your great-grandparents for you to add to your family history.

  2. Yes I remembered the red velvet cloth, but then wondered if my memory was correct so didn't put it in, did it have gold fringing? Would be good if you wrote down some memories to pass on to future generations.



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