Christmas at Thornleigh House

An extract from John S.W Moxon’s memoirs

Contributed by Gerry Woodford

Thornleigh House Leicester

Thornleigh House Leicester

Christmas was the time that the family returned sisters nieces and nephews, and what a great occasion it was. At that time there were many more carol singers than there are to-day. They used to stand in the front door porch, sing and then pull the big brass handle, awaiting their reward. Mince pies stood on the table between the door and the stove and they were always eaten whether by carol singers, Santa Claus, or children I know not.

The great occasion was Christmas lunch which was always eaten in the dining room and with as many of the family who were able to come. The table was fully extended and took up most of the space in the centre of the room. Aunt Maud would bring a huge turkey and put it on the serving leaf in the side- board. It was always my place, and I don’t know why, to sit next to my Grandmother. She was in her best dress which was either black or brown with a startlingly white lace collar. With great ceremony she would take up her starched serviette and secure it with a diamond headed pin under her chin and then the meal would start with Aunt Maud carving the turkey. The pudding just melted in your mouth but more important were the silver sixpences you might find amongst the currants.

I wonder why the children used to be lucky and their parents unlucky? Afterwards the cousins would go into the lounge to show each other their presents and no doubt quarrel over them too.
Eating did not stop with lunch. We had tea and then there was supper! These were happy times or seemed so to me as a child. Christmas was magical and somehow it always managed to snow.

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