Sunday, 20 September 2009


Great Aunt Kate

Great granny Annie moved to Birchington with her second husband James Huckstep. This marriage caused a rift and split her family, all but the youngest children going their own ways. Kate was one of those who stayed and lived with them in Birchington. Indeed she married James Pearce, a local boy, and lived out her life there. Kate was my mother's favourite aunt and, because money was tight when my parents married, she and Jim gave mum and dad a holiday by the sea for their honeymoon.
When I knew her Kate was an old lady with long white hair and a slightly curved nose and chin. One time Jim fell ill and was hospitalised. Kate visited wearing all black. She looked at him and wandered up and down the ward muttering to herself. The other patients, all of a similar age to Jim, got increasingly worried, so the nurses had to ask Kate to leave. Now why did they think she was a witch casting a spell? Kate was not wearing the traditional black pointed hat, so surely she was misunderstood!
When Kate died, in her eighties, Jim was not able to get her buried in the parish she wished so bought a grave in the near by village of Saint Nicholas at Wade. When he wrote to my mother to break the news of Kate's passing he was so sad that he had not been able to comply with his wife's wish.
Poor old fellow could not live without her and followed within six months. I visited them as part of my round Kent trip. I suspect I am the only one to remember them.


Sounds like she married for love which is wonderful. It must have been a bit of a scandal in those days to be a divorcee. Who cares so long as they made their life happy together. Wearing black can be rather slimming and sexy. A woman before her time perhaps. Generous too.

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]