Friday 8 June 2018

A Beautiful Love Story...

Hello lovelies...
How are you all?

Do you ever have those moments in life where you question why? what? when?
I'm a curious bod, always have been and guess I always will be.
Since a young child I've always questioned everything!

At times, especially during my school years it has landed me in deep water...
...and yet at the grand 'old age of 50 something I'm still curious and still asking 'but why?'

In everything I do and see I try to see past the obvious.

I believe things are often laid down in front of us for a reason, 
sometimes unbeknown to us as to why at the time...
And yet I still question 'why?'
I love relaying stories, finding out a past history and creating new tales.
If you never ask 'why' how do you ever find out the beautiful information?

So why am I saying all this?
well I want to share a beautiful tale with you all that I discovered on my holiday in Cornwall recently....
I've already posted snippets on my Instagram and Facebook pages and received such an enormous support to continue to look further that I have decided to share it all with you lovelies.
(The details I have discovered below are all online so I hope that I
 have made the right connections)

Vera & Charlie...

After arriving at our little cottage in Cornwall we were very keen to explore our new little Cornish home so started out on a little car trip of our area and discovered Penzance.
This really where my story begins...

Having never really known what was there we were surprised to find a good old fashioned promenade, you know the sort..... iron railings all along the shoreline coupled with benches at prestigious gaps to rest those weary bones; 
to take five mins to sit and take in the air as you reflect as you gaze out to sea.

So, of course strolling along the prom, as you do, Mr T and I thought it would be rude not to partake in choosing a seat to take in the view, as our Edwardian ancestors would have done all those years ago...

A wooden bench greeted us with the most beautiful view overlooking the bay towards St Michael's Mount.
It was still quite early for a holiday resort to be alive so there very few people about.
The sea was smiling as she glistened in the morning mists.

As we sat there Mr T and I felt a real serene calmness.
It was the start of our two weeks in Cornwall
and all was well with the world.

We watched Penzance slowly awake as people walked or rode bikes along the prom. 
Pushchairs bustled while babies slept.
Joggers perspired taking in the morning heat.

And dogs walked their daily strolls.
And all the time Mr T and I 'took in the view'.

After what seemed like an absolute age we decided we really should make a move and on leaving our spot I noticed there was a small plaque on the back of the bench where
we had been sitting...

So of course.... you know what I'm going to say...
I was inquisitive straight away.
Who was Vera, our land army girl?
Where did they live etc etc...

My first task was simple...
Could I find any records of Vera and Charlie?

I was so pleased to find the following printed in 2014 -

James Charlie and Vera Platinum Wedding Anniversary
Happy 70th Anniversary December 16th 1944-2014
Have a lovely day together
Many years of hard work, love and devotion to each other and your family.
Loving you always Mum and Dad
Nanna and Grandad
Caroline, Tim, Cora and Joe

The next piece of the jigsaw was to find a little more about them both...
Sadly I found the following -

James Charlie
On Thurs 23rd June 2016
William Frederick Charles, aged 92 yrs,
passed peacefully at home.
Formerly of Bodrifty Farm, Newmill and Penzance.

Dearly beloved husband of the Late Vera James 
and a much loved dad and grandad.
Funeral service to be held at Gulval Parish Church
on Mon 11th July at 11am.
Followed by cremation at Treswithian Downs Crematorium,
Cambourne at 3pm.
Family flowers only please; but donations if so desired
for Oxfam and R.N.L.I.

And so the next corner to turn was to find out a little more about Vera
if I could.

How easy would that be?
I so wanted to know more...
I was so over the moon to have found the next jigsaw puzzle piece.

I found a snippet via a google search  in a book written by
Julia Summers.

I really hoped I had the right lady...

Here is some of the text for you to read:

Vita Sackville-West felt sorry for the Land Girls:
"their uniform seems to suggest a bashful camouflage of
green and fawn to be lost against the grass or stubble.

She knew that many of them had worked in towns and cities
before the war and had worn silk stockings and jaunty hats,
but now were consigned to corduroy and clumping boots.
Vera James was just one such young woman.

Before the war she had worked as a court dressmaker in London
making ball gowns and coming-out gowns for royalty
as well as the Queen of Yugoslavia, who spent the war
in London.
Vera James joined the Land Army for a change in scene.
And a change it certainly was:
the first message given to girls who arrived at
the Duchy of Cornwall Farm at Stoke Climsland after joining up was
'cut', 'cut', 'cut'.
Nails had to be short, especially for milking cows.
Despite this, Vera came to love life in the country and she never did
return to dressmaking in London.
She married a Cornish farmer even though, she admitted
"I could not understand what he said a lot of the time".

Can you imagine what I thought as I read that?
Not only had I found out a little about Vera...
she was a dressmaker!
My little heart was singing....
I wanted to speak to her so much.

Of course, I could have mixed up the wrong Vera with the wrong Charlie
but for me it felt right.
It felt Vera had let me know it was the right story when we had actually sat on her bench.

How many times had her and Charlie sat and 
watched the tide change?
In all of their troubled times,
how many times had they been calmed by the gentleness of a shimmering sea?
Hoping beyond all doubt that a new horizon would bring peace and happiness to the 
troubled world about them.

How many sunsets had they seen?
What sadness or happiness had they shared?
I so wanted to know more...

As hubby and I often sat and looked out to sea during our two weeks holiday 
I really wanted to believe in my heart that Vera and Charlie were a happy story.
That they shared a lifetime of smiles
 despite the hardship they had obviously endured during the war.
To ask her what life was like as a court dressmaker?
How different was wading in wellies, milking cows!

I have a feeling we could've whiled away a few hours over a cup of tea and 
slice of homemade cake with many a tale...

You never know with the power of the internet 
I might come across some more gems of their lovely story 
but for now I am happy to leave their romance 
safely tucked away in the moorlands of Cornwall.
I will of course keep researching as and when as I'm a little hooked on a little romance being the old romantic that I am....

Much love
x x x

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I love to hear your thoughts and appreciate your fabulous snippets that make me smile....

Tilly x