“My mother sat at the table prodding at her cold dinner, she looked extremely worried. She kept reassuring me that my father would return home any minute now, I think she was just trying to reassure herself, and if anything had gone wrong down the pits; we would have be notified. Her face was a sickly grey colour and she looked as if she was about to burst into tears any minute. Thousands of men died in accidents down those cold, dank, dark pits. It was not uncommon for a whole section of tunnel to cave in, or deadly fire damp could have occured leaving 30 or so men trapped in the dark, many were never rescued, dead or alive.
The door slammed, there was the padding of dusty leather boots against the tiled floor, and my father entered the room drearily, his eyes encrusted in black soot, his face a dark, greyish powdery colour. He had smudges of black all over his face. My mother shot up from her chair shouting “Aubrey, Aubrey”, she wrapped her arms around him and started to weep emotionally. ” My father was brought up in a working class family; they lived in a council estate named Graig View, situated in a small village called Machen in the southern welsh valleys. Their life was a sharp contrast to my grand mothers childhood.
She lived in a large converted chapel, although the chapel was by no means modern, my grandmothers family were reasonably well off. The old chapel is now in ruins, just an ivy covered shell of its former glory. My grandmother’s parents were extremely traditional and she had a very conservative up bringing. During the war, she left her parents reasonable wealth in turn for my grandfather, who was not fighting because he had an essential job. He was a working class man from a neighbouring village called Bedwas, he had been brought up in a very small terraced house along with his 10 brothers and 2 sisters.
His upbringing was extremely religious; his father was a Plymouth revering. Throughout my grandfathers life he could quote substantial parts of the bible. He was musically, very talented and if he was richer may have had the chance to become well known, or even famous. He was also a very talented artist and painted hundreds of paintings. He painted things that inspired him; often local landscapes. My grandmother shared his passion for the arts; she played the violin, clarinet, and flute. Despite the artistic talents my grandparents showed, my father is completely tone death and is not particularly artistic.
Compared with my grandfather’s upbringing my father’s upbringing was quite affluent and liberal. My father had a reasonably good upbringing. He was an only child, which was very rare for his time. His mother, my grandmother was a working mother, in a local department store. So in many ways my father’s family and upbringing was quite radical for it’s time, as he was an only child with two working parents. However In other ways it was very traditional, My father explained; “my mother, always cooked very traditional food, we always had plain fish on Saturdays and a roast on Sunday. ”
My grandfather had succeeded in changing his son’s lifestyle and making it better than his own. My grand mother explained to me that one of the reasons they only had one child was because my grandfather came from a large family and wanted my father to have more privileges, room and material possessions. Although my grandfather was very strict when he had to be he was a reasonably liberal father and did not loose his temper easily. Although my grandparents encouraged my father, through infant school and the beginning of secondary school he was “thick”, but after settling in at secondary school, he started to achieve good grades.
After a while he started excelling in many subjects and was consequently moved up to higher subject sets. When my father did his ‘O’ levels my grand parents encouraged my father to do as well. After his ‘O’ levels he moved from the secondary modern he was attending to a grammar school. In the area and time my father grew up in there was an attitude that you had to do as well as you possibly could at school. It was the only was to escape from the coal pits. After getting good ‘O’ levels, my father then went on to do his ‘A’ levels and went to University to study electronics.
His chose his carrier, which was designing radars for military aircraft because he enjoyed electronics at school and was good at science. My father now works with Apple computers. My father never really ‘meet’ my mother she was just ‘always there’. My father lived not far from my mother who lived in a reasonably large Edwardian house. They were friends as children and as they got older they started dating. My father’s ambitions were to break away from the mould and be more financially secure than his parents were.
Before my parents got married the moved in together, this was frowned upon at the time. They moved to London where my father worked as an electronic engineer for GEC Marconi and my mother worked as a teacher near Wembley stadium. My father says his greatest achievements in life are, getting a university degree, getting married and having me. I think one of his achievements is the fact that over two generations his family has come from living in a small terraced house with little money to a large detached house with lots of money.
My father has always tried to be more open with me and he is a quite laid back parent. He has tried to make the father- son relationship more of a friendly relationship. He has tried to create a good family atmosphere. A couple of years ago he was made redundant, he took a year out of work so we could have longer holidays. ” I have tried to, especially since I’ve had children made family activities a priority over work related activities” His ambitions for me are to be happy, reasonably wealthy and successful.
His immediate ambitions for me are to get good results in GCSE’s & A levels and go to university. I would like to find a girlfriend, and eventually get married if everything is right. If I were ever to have children I would be more open and spend even more time with my family than my parents have. I would be a liberal, but strict if needed. I would encourage my Childs artistic side, and would not force religion of any kind upon him or her. I would set aside an hour a week where the family can discus their problems and talk. I would have two or three children.