Auntie Edie

It is the early-to-mid 1950s, I’m around 8 years old. We arrive by train from Lincoln at the old Manchester Exchange Station. Uncle Wilfred meets us; we transfer ourselves into a taxi, cases affixed to the side, and set off. At the first corner the cases take on a life of their own, leave the taxi and slide across the road. After a brief panic, cases are soon retrieved and re-affixed. Wilfred chuckles, my father says ‘crikey’. Wilfred was always chuckling, could always see the funny side of things. My brother and I rather liked him.

Driving north, we eventually arrived at number 1347. I’ve never forgotten that number – we didn’t have streets that long in Lincoln.

Aunt Edith was there to greet us and give us tea. Everyone called her Edie (Eedee). Edie was actually my mother’s mother’s cousin, but just slightly older than my mother. They had been friends from way back.

Edie had a wry toleration of Wilfred’s constant attempts at humour. We were impressed by his new fangled camera – the ‘viewfinder’ was a rectangular metal frame. We eventually received pictures that came out all right and went into the family album.

We enjoyed a week’s holiday with Edie and Wilfred and went to Blackpool, Boggart Hole Clough, Heaton Park, and the long-defunct Belle Vue Zoo.

Sadly, we never saw much of them after that. It was a long way to Manchester and the train was the only practical way to meet up. No phone or car.

Many years later, communications between Edie and mother had dried up. Being in Manchester, I went up to number 1347 on a whim and enquired if they were still around. They were not known to the current resident.

Featured image of Manchester Exchange station courtesy of Ben Brooksbank and Wikimedia Commons.

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