Wulf's Webden

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Reflections on History


Jane and I have been doing some decorating in our hallway. She had mentioned that she wanted a mirror to create more space and light so, when I saw a couple of mirrors offered on our local Freecycle group on Saturday morning, I asked for them and was invited to pick them up later that day.

I had not expected to find the mirrors attached to old wardrobe doors but at least this gave them some extra protection for the journey home. I have taken one of them apart now and discovered a label on the back of the mirror which suggests it was made eighty years ago, which fits with the quality of the woodwork (the mirror was held in with wooden shims, each held with a couple of small panel pins).

My first thought was that the mirror had been made when my grandparents were young people. On Sunday, I watched the first episode of Coal House on the BBC’s iPlayer, which took three families back to living in a Welsh coal mining village, c. 1927, one year before the mirror was made.

That caused further reflections on how life in the UK has changed in the intervening years. A coal mining village was probably one of the harder places to live but even the people living in my house at the time (built 20-30 years earlier in an urban situation and probably occupied by a middle class family) would have been a world away from comforts and conveniences I take for granted.

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