Email 14 Feb. 2013 from Stephen Walmsley to Peggy Robinson.
I was delighted to hear from you.
I found your email very interesting. I did visit Trimdon in 1974. With my then wife, (the mother of my two children) I called on Aunt Annie and Hilda. Our children were tiny. My son was only a few months old.
Aunt Annie and Hilda were both living in a small flat at the time. They introduced us to peas porridge, which I had only heard about in nursery rhymes before. They were very kind to us. That was the only time I met Aunt Annie. I remember her brother, my grandfather, Arthur Shorthouse, very well. He died when I was 10 but I saw quite a lot of him as a child. He would come to stay on the farm sometimes and help my father with the harvesting. My mother would take us kids to Sydney to stay with him and my grandmother and he would take me fishing at Balmoral, one of Sydney's most beautiful harbour beaches.( I had lunch at a Balmoral Beach restaurant recently and pointed out to my wife and other fellow guests where grandfather Shorthouse had taken me fishing.)
I remember Hilda quite well. I recall when she and her former husband Stan arrived in Sydney, and then in Bulli, where they stayed for a time with Aunt Jenny and Uncle Charlie Richardson. I recall as a child looking at their luggage which had come with them by sea, and which looked very different and very exotic.
Then there was the dreaded divorce, and many hushed whispers after they separated. I recall Aunty Jennie was incensed when she learned Stan had been seen out walking with another woman, who not only had a large number of children, but was also wearing a hearing aid. As a child I of course was told nothing directly, but picked ups bits of information here and there by a bit of judicious listening.
Of course I remember Auntie Jennie and Uncle Charlie very well. My mother was very fond of Auntie Jenny and we saw a lot of them when we were young.
It is lovely to be in touch with the Shorthouse family again. I often get asked for my mother's maiden name for security purposes and often use the name as part of a password for various accounts, so it is especially nice to have the name come back to life.
Please ask the family members to keep in touch. I have sent on your email to my brother Mark, and I will send on a copy to my cousin Ailsa, whose mother was Ruth, my mother's sister.
With warm regards Stephen Walmsley