Dear Joan, I am writing a memoir for my twin seven year old
grand-daughters. I am English but have lived in Canada since 1956.
My husband was Hungarian. My son, now a professor at a university
in England, is married to a Chinese girl from Shanghai. So with
that diverse background, she and I decided to record our respective
histories for her two daughters. (Both her parents were professors
and she has incredible stories of the Cultural Revolution etc.)
My question? Sometime in the early part of the war, perhaps 1940,
or 41, when we lived in Manchester, my brother was sent away to
a school in Knutsford for his own safety from the bombing as I understand
it. I thought the school, which I remember as being a sort of "stately
home" - I was maybe four or five - was called Brierton Hall,
but I cannot find any reference to this on the Knutsford web site.
I remember it having a huge staircase, which he frequently used
to sleepwalk down. And I remember a river or lake in front of it
where a horse got stuck in the mud, and had to be hauled out with
ropes! My brother died when he was twelve, and my parents are both
deceased. Why is it that we wish years later that we had asked more
I would be most intrigued to know if this rings any bells with
you. My son and his family are having a wonderful time exploring
England's ancient history. Everything, he says, is "just down
the road" by Canadian standards, and therefore easy to reach.
You search out old castles and cathedrals, whereas in Canada the
logistics are quite different - you travel five hours to ski on
a particular mountain, for instance. His family is quite mesmerized
by the different cultures. And China, where they have also lived,
rivals England in history, and Canada in vastness.