1 Jan 1981 Gillian [Robson] came for tea with Kyle & Charlotte.  We all made promises for improving ourselves.  I committed myself to ¼ hour scriptures every day and some exercises every day.


2 Jan We spent a lot of time cleaning upstairs today.  The kids were quite good and worked hard.  At dinner there was one onion left which Gary was putting on his plate.  Joanne complained that she had only 1 onion from that jar, so Gary gave it to her.  She acknowledged that he liked onions better than he did and gave it back to him.  IS THIS PROGRESS ! !


4 Jan Sun What a strange day.  I was cross last night and said bad things.  I only went to Church today because I felt Violet needed me.  As I sat in testimony meeting, not intending to get up, yet with a strong testimony.  


The Bishop got up and said we looked sad, everyone seemed low.  He asked us to live the Gospel 100% this month so that we would be full of the Spirit next Fast Sun and all be smiling.  


Shirley Whitehead stood and asked for forgiveness for sinning.  


Bro. Gott said he hadn’t done all he should have done this last month, but felt he would try harder.  


All of a sudden I was on my feet.  I felt very humble and wept, but said even though I felt ashamed of my conduct at times, I knew the Church helped me, and my testimony was my guide and support.  I felt the Spirit and it was like a healing balm to my troubled soul.  I felt forgiveness and new hope was in my heart to try again to live a better life, be a better mother.  


The Spirit was in our home tonight.  If only we could keep it here.  I know a lot depends on me.  I pray for strength to keep it here.  The Y/W  have a list of goals.  I have chosen 18 of them to fulfil this month.  Maybe I will make it yet, with God’s help ! !


JAN 26 I have been off work 2 days with a cold and found time to think about myself and my home more deeply.  There is a need to stop and contemplate, to slow down and get things in perspective.  I was told on Sunday that I will be released from my calling as Y/W President next Sun.  Whenever I am released I get a panicky feeling of wishing I had more time to prove I could do better.  I[‘d] better learn a lesson from this; time is fast running out and there is none to spare.  I must do the best I can now and always.  I need the love of Christ within me to stop being selfish and try harder to help others.  Oh, yes.  I know what I should do. Please God Help me Do It.


I went to a Special Interest convention at Birmingham a couple of weeks ago.  I always enjoy them but haven’t met anyone yet.  I wonder if I will marry on this earth.  Last weekend was a Primary Workers’ Party.  I went as Gillian Robson’s guest.  They are always fun parties.  Life is quite enjoyable just now.  There is plenty of sacrificing coming up.  President [Douglas] Rawson wants a lot of money for the Welfare System and our new Stake House.  What we need are good money-making ideas.


FEB 16 Had a good family home evening.  Peaceful, and good quality discussions.  Letter from Pam today.  She is trying to organize Gary going over to America.  .  Her sheep had twins.  Does that make me a lamb’s grandmother?  Andrew [is] growing up.  I wish I could see him and love him.  


Karen due anytime .  She has had contractions for a few days.  The phone should ring anytime.  Hope it’s a girl.  We are so excited.  Lewis & Adam are beautiful children.  I am so luck to have these grandchildren, they deserve a better Nana.  I am always going to try to do better, never seem to achieve much.  I am reading scriptures regular.  That is a good start.  Called as Financial Director of the ward last Sunday, need ideas for making money.  I rather like the calling, there are so many possibilities.  I hope I can get people to pull together.

FEB 17 Read scriptures this morning.  Very impressed with Psalm 136.  David looked back and saw the influence in the life of God’s people by the great Mercy of God.  There has been so much to sing praises of in my life.  I would lope to know how the Lord has blessed my ancestors.



FEB 18 ABIGAIL VICTORIA BROWNLOW made her entrance into this mortal life at 11-30 p.m. today.  God is Truly Good.  She is a sweet, dark-haired, beautiful little girl.  Lewis & Karen are filled with joy.  Baby Lewis lays on the floor and reads to her and shows her the pictures.  Adam is so excited about her he almost bounces with excitement.  Our family is growing full of sweet spirits.


FEB 19 Abigail has jaundice.  Lewis has given her a blessing.  She will be ok.


FEB 21 Lewis escorted Joanne to the Daddy-Daughter party.  I took Adam to see his mum & Abigail.  Mary Brownlow  took Lewis back to Sheffield until tomorrow.  I think Mary is a lovely person.


Mch 1st I was so full of the Spirit today as I sat with my new grandchild in Fast & Testimony meeting.  I couldn’t wait to get up and bear Testimony.  I knew where Abigail had come from, and why she is here.  Violet did sign language to “O, My Father,” it was beautiful.  Elder Westwood asked her to, he is going home on Wednesday.  He is a special person.  


Gary took a  friend, Mark, to Church today.  Who knows where it will lead.  


Betty Leonard taught in Relief Society about Revelation.  I must be more worthy to receive it, then I can get guidance to help bring up Gary & Joanne: that makes sense.


Mch 29 Mother’s Day today.  I[t] was a lovely day today.  Chocolate and a card from Joanne & Gary, and a plastic pinny  and a large talcum powder (Johnson’s’) from Lewis & Karen with a walnut whip and a lovely photo of Lewis & Adam.  All the mothers got a plant from Church.  


There were 10 baptisms today.  We are having a lot, really, there is a good spirit at Church.  There are a lot of Negro people coming in, it is exciting.  


Karen does love her little family, she is an example to the world.  All the family came for tea, it was nice to be together.  I wish I could control my anger more.  Gary does push me, but I must be patient for both his and my sake.


Mch 30 Felt calmer today.  Had Family Home Evening.  It went well, then not, then well, then not, but I didn’t get too angry.  I will keep trying.  The Lord helps me I know.


Mch 31 Still practising the Road Show; we deserve to win, the work we put into it.  Gary is “Andy Pandy.”  I’m a puppeteer.


MAY 3rd [Stake] Conference day.  I haven’t written for a while and so many good things have happened.  


Lewis blessed Abigail and gave her a name at the April Fast day.  He was helped by his father and 2 brothers.  One day, Gary will be able to help.  Lewis blessed Abigail with a sweet & patient spirit, with health & strength, that she would be a joy to her parents & a companion to her brothers.  She is so sweet I could love her to pieces.  Karen is such a good mother and enjoys her calling.  Pam not so well.  There could be trouble with the baby.  I am fasting every week until I hear all is well.  


We did win the Road Show.  I am pleased.  It’s great to be part of a team working together.  I miss the youth now I am no longer able to be with them, but it is great to be back in Relief Society.  


I am to be released from teaching the Deaf Class.  I shall be sad, but, as my beautiful friend Violet says, we must be obedient to the Lord’s will.  She wrote me a lovely letter and a poem; she is my special friend.  


Today was a good day at Conference.  Gary went to a youth meeting early.  He was very happy when I saw him there.  We all came home with a good feeling and a list of ideas for making our home a good and happy one.  I haven’t been on such good terms with Gary for a long time.  I only wish we could hang on to this touch of happiness we found today.  It is so obvious the answer is in the Gospel.


I spoke to Stephen & Hazel (Leonard) today.  I pray that I might feel forgiveness for them.  When I look at Carol I could cry for her.  She is so brave.  Gillian & children came back today.  We had a lovely afternoon & evening.




It all started with a letter to the Bury Free Press …


1981 – AUG 4 Joanne & I set off from home at 12 o’clock lunch time.  The bus left Bradford at 12.45.  We went to Leeds, then to Doncaster, then to Sheffield, where we waited for an hour for another bus to take us to Bury St Edmunds.  There was only 17 people on the bus, so we had plenty of room.  It was a very hot day but not too uncomfortable when the bus was moving.  We were late into Bury.  It was 8.45.  


We took a taxi to where we believed President Page lived.  He hadn’t lived there for 2 years.  The young couple [living in the house at that time] were Americans.  He is in the [US] Navy working over here for 3 years.  They were very kind and ran us back into Bury and found us some whereto stay the night.  It was an old pub with very low beams and full of very old things, almost like a museum.  The beds were modern and very welcome.  We went straight to bed and slept well.


AUG 5 Rose early; had breakfast 7.30 and [the] man from ‘The White Hart’ ran us back up to the bus station.  I inquired as to buses to ‘Gt Ashfield.’  Nobody seemed to know where it was.  Eventually, one of the drivers told me to get on a Walsham le Willows bus and instructed the driver as to where he should put me off: ‘By the hump backed bridge this side of Badwell Ash.’  I was the only one on the bus, which was a double decker, and I was duly put off by the hump backed bridge.


It was a mile walk up the road from there to Gt Ashfield.  I came upon 10 council houses in a row with a church beside them.  This was the main street.  I called at no. 8 and met Barbara Mulley.  She was very kind and helpful.  We had a cool drink, then she got the keys of the church for me.  It was lovely going into the church.  It is a very, very old one and full of atmosphere and memories.  I know my grandmother was married there.  


I was allowed the keys to the vestry but I couldn’t find the registers.  I ten wandered around the graveyard for a while and found 1 Goodwin grave.  There are some Scase names in the church and 1 Goodwin name on the Roll of Remembrance from the 1914-18 war.


Barbara gave us some sandwiches and a drink, then took us to Daphne Ruddock’s home.  We walked through the meadows.  When we stopped it was so quiet you could almost feel it.  Daphne ran to put the kettle on and got out the photos.  She gave me a photo of “Old Knot.”  We walked along to visit old Aunt Mary, who is over 80 and very sprightly.  She was a big help with names and I got all Old Knot’s children as far as I know.


They have such big gardens.  Most of it is used growing their own fruit and vegetables, but they love flowers too and all have lovely flowers in their gardens.  


We discovered that there wasn’t any buses going through Gt Ashfield that day, so we set off to walk to Elmswell to see Harry & Ivy.  It was a long, hot walk.  It was 80o or more and the bags were heavy.  How I wished I had my bag on wheels.


We were disappointed at not being able to call at Albert & Gladys’ home.  We thought it was a long way out of our way, [whereas] in fact we passed the end of the lane where they lived.  


When we finally arrived at harry & Ivy’s home we were made very welcome and had a lovely tea.  Harry showed us some photos.  When he talks fast I can’t understand him, but we got along fine.


He took us in his car to visit Albert & Gladys who very kindly offered us a bed for the night.  Before we settled down, we went to visit Cyril & his wife and their neighbours, who are also related.


They all seemed as excited as I was and made us feel very welcome.  They thought the 3 mile walk was a fantastic feat, which rather surprised me.  I would have thought the country folk would walk a lot.


Back to Albert & Gladys’ home; a drink of hot chocolate and buns and to bed in a beautiful high bed with carved bed ends.  It was a really comfortable bed.  We both slept like logs.


AUG 6 The birds woke me very early, but I went back to sleep.  When I woke at 7 o’clock, the cows were lowing in the meadow.


This is a ‘TIED’ cottage as Albert works on the farm across the road, and the cottage belongs to the farm.  He has a medal from the Queen for 51 years service on the farm.


After a bath and a good breakfast, we went across to the farm.  I peeped through a crack in a door and a cow was peeping through form the other side.


Joanne was allowed to ride on the big white Shire horse that Albert worked with.  He can’t drive and the farm owner keeps a horse so he can move hay about to feed the animals.


There are many acres of sugar beet growing round about and a lot of corn too.  Everyone grows as much of their own vegetables as they can.  The gardens are lovely


We had orange juice & biscuits on Gladys’ lawn, and sat shelling peas for dinner.


Harry came at 11 o’clock to take us to his house for dinner.  His wife, Ivy, was very busy.  The table was laid beautifully.  I called at a shop and bought 2 birthday cards.  It is Gladys’ birthday today and Harry’s on Saturday.  I bought a ‘Royal Wedding’ tin of Quality Street for Gladys & a tin of biscuits for Harry.


Had a lovely dinner of roast pork.  Harry retired from the bacon factory near by and gets all his meat half price.


After dinner, we went to see Lil Stannard at Wethernden.  She was very helpful and showed me death cards for Old Knot & his wife, which gave me their birth dates.  Lil came from Yorkshire.  She lived at Bolton Woods at one time.


We then went on to visit William & Molly Goodwin.  They live in a big house and have a farm down the road a short way.  We went to look round the farm.  It is a pig farm.  We saw pigs in all shapes and sizes.  They had a few sheep, ducks, geese, 4 dogs, 10 cats, and some chickens.  Joanne told Will’s daughter, Carol, that the hens were fighting when, in fact, they were mating.  We had a lovely tea back at the house, then talked about the family.  Molly gave me a few photos.  Joanne was so tired she slept on the couch for a couple of hours.


Then we went to see the old burnt out railway carriage that my grandparents lived in at Norton.  It still stands all by itself in the field.





Back to Albert & Gladys’ for supper and bed.


AUG 7 Had cereal and a fresh egg for breakfast, then caught the 10 to eight bus at the end of the lane to go into Bury St Edmunds.  Did some shopping first: a shield for Joanne’s bracelet, an egg-timer for Gladys to remember us by.  She is so sweet putting us up and she really makes a fuss of us.  Albert gave Joanne £1 to spend.  She put it towards her shield.  We then went to the register office and looked through some books of church records.  I got 3 birth certificates; one of “Old Knot.”  


Rang Karen to say I had got tickets for home tomorrow.  Got a bus back to Elmswell.  Called at Harry’s for tea, then he ran us back to Albert & Gladys’ home.  I had a little run to the old Railway Carriage to take a couple of photos.


We sat and talked till late that night about church and families.  I wish I could have stopped longer.


AUG 8 Up early.  Had light breakfast.  Gladys put us a lovely packed lunch up; crisps and sweets and drinks as well.  We caught the 10 to eight worker’s bus into Bury and home in time for tea.



[Her reminiscences of her visit … ]


The country is flat so most people have a bicycle to get about on.


In Great Ashfield there was a Pub, a church, and a Post office, which only sold stamps and paid out Pensions.  The church is so old, it was mentioned in the Doomsday Book.  My Grandparents are buried there but there wasn’t a stone to say where.


Elmswell was a bit bigger.  They had a co-op, and a Mace shop,  a garage, a Post Office, and a Railway Station, and a Bacon Factory, and quite a few more houses.


Most people remembered “Old Knot.”  I was 7 when he died.  I am sorry I was never taken to see him.  He wasn’t all he should have been, apparently.  He owned a donkey and cart, and he drank a lot.  When he got to the pub he would give the donkey a pint of beer, get drunk, then curl up in the cart and go to sleep, and the donkey took him home.  He had a broken nose.  I was told he fell in a ditch when he was drunk one night and broke his nose.  My Great Grandmother (“Old Knot’s” wife), died 1909 so he lived a long time without her, 31 years.  Some of that time he lived with his daughter, Emma, who was very strict and he didn’t get his own way with her so much.  One of his sons was called Arthur  and it was Arthur’s sons who I became most friendly with; Albert, Harry, and William.  Albert had the bed, Harry had the car, and William had a farm.  Oh, yes.  There was Cecil [Cyril?] as well.  All lovely people. 


It seems the Goodwins tend to have nicknames.  Here are some I heard: 


William Goodwin Old Knot

Albert Rabbit

Cecil [Cyril?] Tit

William Wimp

Harry Tucker

Walter Dumps

Herbert Charles Cully

Bertram Wig

? Dod





 Mary Ann Goodwin (my grandma), wife of William Goodwin.  Died July 24 aged 63.


 Caroline, widow of late Water Goodwin, Died April 13 1947 aged 86


 William Goodwin (my granddad).  Died Jan 31st 1940 aged 92 years. Buried Gt Ashfield Feb 3rd.




 Sarah Ann Goodwin.  Died Dec 1949.  75 years. (and in the same grave … )


 Henry Goodwin.  Died 20 June 1956.  85 years.  (I was told this was Grandfather Knot’s brother).



IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918


Goodwin, Herbert Leonard.

Scase, Arthur James (died in war)

Scase, Charles

Scase, Cyril Walter MM (died in war)

Scase, Ernest

Scase, Herbert Phillip


[? = uncertain]




James  -  George  -  Walter  -  Henry  -  Mike  -  Harriet ?  -  Rosie (Mrs. Dolan)


Thought Old Knot’s father’s name might be Sam.

Hannah Scase related to Matthews



Here the exercise book entries end … 




SEPT 15 Joanne is 11 now and a Merriemiss.  She is one of the nicest children I have ever known.  She is so willing to share the work and such a happy girl.  During school holidays she goes to stay with Lewis & Karen.  She is such a help with those babies that Karen doesn’t like her to come home.  Abigail is like a dolly.  


We went to Mablethorpe in July.  Gary went with Lewis, Karen & family in a caravan, and Joanne & I went with Gillian and Lily Pritchard in the house “Tacapuna” where we stayed before.  

We had a lovely week.  First 2 weeks in August was the general hols from work.  


Norma’s letter in The Bury Free Press



On Tues. Joanne and I went to Suffolk [see pericope above].  I had written a letter to the local newspapers [Bury Free Press, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk – see above}, which they printed, saying I wanted to meet my country cousins.  It was a very rewarding few days.  We met many cousins and got a lot of names for our Genealogy.  


When I came home Gary’s ticket had come to go to America.  I took him down to the airport on Tuesday Aug 11.  There was trouble because the American flight control people were on strike, but eventually, at 10 o’clock, he set off.  I felt very sad when he went.  He wearies me with his youthful exuberance but I do love him.  


Pam is near to having her baby now.  I am fasting each Sunday for her.  I hope she doesn’t have any kidney trouble.  


We may be made redundant at work.  There is such a lot of people out of work.  I hope I can get another job.  


All the paperwork is done for my Grant to have the bathroom upstairs but I can’t let them do it if I lose my job.  It really is disappointing after waiting all these months.  And yet I have so many blessings I can’t grumble.  


I am trying to tidy my back garden.  I have given myself a goal of 1 yard a day.  It is paying off.  I have really got it going.  It shows if you keep at it you can do anything.  


I have an exercise bike now.  It feels good to keep fit.  


I wish Gary would write.  I have only had 1 letter since he went over a month ago and I watch for the postman every day.  


Anna (Nadja’s mother) and her husband have separated; that is very sad.  They were married in the temple.  I hope I make the right choice if I ever meet someone.


SEPT 23 Last night, 22ND SEPT little EMILY BECK came into this world.  I pray she might enjoy her stay here and benefit from it.  Pam rang me when I got home from work.  It was about 9 o’clock in the morning there [USA].  She had a quick and easy birth and all is well.  I have been fasting & praying for her for a few weeks now.  I will fast on Sunday and give my thanks to the Lord.


Gary is having a wonderful time over there.  He is obedient and seems to love work.  Why couldn’t he be like this here, we could have been so happy.  Pam seems to think I’m to blame.  I feel hurt today.  Gary doesn’t seem to be missing me or home at all.  It’s good that he is independent, but I would like to be missed a little.  I miss him.  I know I am not a perfect mother but am I so bad that I can only bring out the worst in my children?  And yet, they have grown up to be righteous good people in spite of me.  


If only there was someone who could tell you, honestly, where you were going wrong.  Pam cannot possibly judge my position and how I coped with all my problems, not just Gary.  Maybe she can see some aspects clearer.  I am glad he is loved over there.  How do you convince someone you love then when you have to tell them off every day?  At times I said I hated him.  He knew that wasn’t really true, I just hated what he did and the trouble it caused.  I told him that if I had a husband I could talk to I wouldn’t have felt so hopeless at times.  Nothing worked.  I did try, I know I did.


Sis Ronnie Whitehead gave me some strawberry plants last night.  I put them in before I went to work this morning.  I did 8 miles on the exercise bike this morning.  We have mice, I think I’ll get a cat.  That should please Joanne.  


Almost forgot; Alan McLean is 2nd counsellor in the Bishopric.  I feel quite proud of him.