The person who was my hero when I was five years old, and remained so for the rest of her life was my Grandma.
She was tiny and bird like, her eyes pierced into you, she knew what you were thinking. When I first knew her, she had been widowed early and brought up two sons and three daughters on her own. Ruling them with a rod of iron. My mother was the youngest, my mum and I visited Grandma every day.
Grandma never said ‘hello’ when she opened the door, it was always ‘you know where to hang your coats’. She never kissed or hugged you, but you just knew she loved you. We weren’t allowed to ‘be idle’ Mum had to do her share of housework and cooking. I was allowed to play with the huge tin full of buttons! Until the day I was three, Grandma said I must learn to knit, sew, read and write, and set about teaching me to be useful. This was war time, I had to knit the dish cloths and ‘pot holders’ (Mum got to knit curtains – can you believe it?)
Grandma called me Westminster, why? I never found out….
She used to earn a little money doing wallpapering and painting, at the age of 78 while painting a ceiling, she fell off a ladder, at the hospital they said ‘she wouldn’t live the night’, this strong little woman did, she remained in hospital for fifteen years, dying at 94 years of age.
Her influence has never left me, my admiration for her has never diminished. My HERO!