Hedge-high Snow, Paraffin Incubators & Bridesmaid Duty – a Lincolnshire Childhood
Jo Houlden was born in 1943. Her sister, Joyce Thorndyke, was 15-years older and entered service at South Ormsby Hall as a cook in 1942. When Joyce married Harry Parkinson in June 1948, Mrs Massingberd-Mundy hosted their wedding. Joyce and Harry didn’t get their honeymoon until 1949, and chose to spend it at the Isle of Man TT as they were both motorbike-mad.
Jo was nearly five-years old when she served as a bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding. She remembers the reception, held in the Hall’s ballroom. She also recalls being part of a group picture near a big hedge. In the run up to the wedding, Jo visited the Hall a few times. She grew up in a farmer’s tied cottage with no bathroom and no running water save the pump across the road. Consequently, the Hall’s kitchen, with Mrs Massingberd-Mundy in charge, made quite an impression. In her mind’s eye, Jo can still see a huge interior with glass jars everywhere, presumably for preserves as there was little or no refrigeration. She was also intrigued by the dumb waiter and was given a ride in it.