So Fa La Land - Introduction

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So fa la land is a dramatised account of a life of poverty for an early twentieth century Scottish mining household through one daughter's eyes using flashbacks from the sixties.

Before you start to read this book I would like to emphasise that all of the stories are true. I have, of course, had to invent dialogue to match the situations, but much of that is from conversations and recordings. I have filled in gaps where the descriptions of the places and people are unclear, but otherwise the stories all happened, whether it be a ruler smashing into the children's knuckles; Robbie's shoes being open to the weather; my father investigating a lost ashtray; and the extremely rare piece of steak served to my uncle. The rare aspect was nothing to do with how it was cooked, by the way.

Running throughout the story is a regular return to my parents' later years when my father ran a contracting business, then a Bude hotel before retiring. Much of the book is told from my mother's perspective.

The Robertsons once lived at 11 Middle Street, Cuthill near Prestonpans, Scotland. My mother, a seventh child of a seventh child, was Williamina Whyte Robertson, better known as Minnie. The family were in a very poor state and comprised a mining family of eleven children. Some of the stories might make painful reading.

There will also be stories about my father George Harmsworth who came from Boxmoor near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.

George Harmsworth and Minnie Robertson married on January 8th 1934, seven months before the birth of their first daughter Rose and thereby lies another tale.

Please let me know about typos, grammar and spelling blunders. Family ... let me know if I have said something which you believe is not accurate.

(C) 2016/7 Tony Harmsworth

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