Thoughts On

Roslyn, 71 Lordship Road, Stoke Newington in the 1920s

By Marion Bolitho whose family used to live in this large house years ago in Lordship Road, almost opposite the site of the present Grazebrook School.

These family memories were written in February 2012, so some of them must have been from a 100 years before.


Roslyn, 71 Lordship Road, Stoke Newington

This was the home of my grandparents, Harry and Louisa Jones. They lived there with 6 children until about 1932 or so, when they moved north to Winchmore Hill, by which time their children were adult, although some were still living at home.

Unfortunately I have never been to the house.  I took my mother to explore Stoke Newington and have a look at her old house when she was in her late 80’s but sadly the house had been demolished and there was just an empty space. So these are memories of conversations with my mother, aunts and uncles in the past and their recollections of life there.

My grandparents started their married life living at 119 Manor Road. I believe they moved to Lordship Road in about 1906. My grandmother’s mother and sister also lived in Lordship Road at No. 87 and the Jones family moved to no 71 to be near to them.   My Grandfather had been brought up at The Towers, 94 Dalston Lane, Stoke Newington.

The house was large and detached with a front and back garden.  It had four storeys and I know they had some live-in help – a maid, but also a number of people who helped out in the house on a daily basis.  These included a lady called Miss Ainsworth (my mother referred to her as “Ainsy”) who did the mending.  I remember my oldest aunt saying they (the children) used to complain because on Sundays they had to do the washing up as the maid had the day off.

A Tennis party in 1925. My father is the man in a blazer to the left of the picture and my mother is the fourth in from the left.  My grandparents are the couple to the right.

There was a grass tennis court in the back garden and it was a family tradition to play tennis on Saturdays when there seemed to be a regular tennis party. The extended family – my grandfather’s brothers and families came too as well as friends.   However they were not allowed to play tennis on Sundays. My grandfather at some point was the secretary of the local tennis club.  There was also a set of parallel bars somewhere in the garden and my father recollected that my grandmother had been most alarmed at the antics he got up to on the bars!

The family consisted of two boys and four girls. (Marjorie, Bertram, Armorel, Dorothy, Lionel and Evelyn).  My grandmother seems to have been very fortunate and none of her babies died, which might have been expected at that time. They were all born at home. The children went to a nursery school in Paradise Road.  They went out and played in Clissold Park and my mother talked, riding a tricycle in the park and learning to skate on the frozen pond (lake) in Clissold Park in winter and my grandmother was a good skater too.  The winters must have been colder then.

The two boys went to Merchant Taylor’s School. The eldest girl went to North London Collegiate School and the other three to the Skinner’s School for Girls. (These were all private schools).   Both boys studied medicine and became doctors, the eldest girl did no further study but the other girls studied to be a Physical Education teacher, a Physiotherapist and a Gardener.

My grandfather was an architect and had an architecture practice with his brother, but also helped to manage properties owned by his father, who had been an architect and builder.  My grandmother did not work but managed the house.   My grandfather was quite a religious man and was at various times Churchwarden at local churches (St Mary’s?).  He used to have disagreements with the clergy at various churches and used to change his allegiance from time to time. My mother recalled the fact that they were not allowed to play games on Sundays and had to go to church twice in the day. However there was a friendly lady who regularly fed them sweets while they were sitting in the pews.

My grandfather was also involved with the Stoke Newington Dispensary, which I think offered medical advice and medicines to people who could not afford the normal costs.  This was a long time before the National Health Service came into being. 

The Jones children in 1913

The children were born between 1899 and 1911.  During The First World War – 1914-18 so many young men lost their lives and as a result there were insufficient young men for the girls to marry.  So two of the girls never married at all, and the other two married young men from elsewhere…my father was an Australian and the other sister married a South African.   The two sisters who didn’t marry remained living with my grandparents and cared for them until they died.  They then continued living together.

The family had a holiday away in the summer every year.  My grandparents didn’t drive they didn’t have a car, but went by train.  They would go away for a weekend at Easter to find a suitable house to rent for some time in the summer and then the entire family would be packed up and they would spend August by the sea.  By the 1920’s the family became interested in playing golf.  They would rent a house that was near to a golf course and the family holidays would also include cousins and friends as well. 

This was a very happy family and they enjoyed living in the house.


Grazebrook Primary School

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last revised: February 12, 2012