2:324 GOMM, Amy Frances, ‘Water Under the Bridge’, TS, pp.163 (c.55,000 words). Brunel University Library.
Born 1899 in the Oxfordshire village of Charlbury. Father worked as an assistant engineer/electrician on a country estate. Mother also worked in the ‘big house’. 6th of 8 children (5 boys, 3 girls). Educated at village school and Oxford Central Girls’ School (to age 14). No mention of marriage. Moved to Oxford when still an infant; lived with relatives in Charlbury before returning to Oxford; moved to Ealing in 1920.
Helped out in the family’s home laundry business (aged 14); first paid employment was as a sorter in a laundry; waitress and assistant at a creamery/restaurant; unemployed; used 2 years’ savings (£12) to pay for a secretarial course; engaged as a shorthand typist (1920) with a multiple tailoring shop but worked as cashier, book-keeper and tea-maker.
No details of interests or activities.
Jointly written with her sister, Laurie, the narrative is based almost entirely on family life in the opening decades of the twentieth century, first in a small village and then in the city of Oxford. The topics mentioned include ancestry; the blacksmith’s shop; health; anti-vaccination riots; the home; domestic routines and chores; dress; traditional remedies; customs (Palm Sunday); schooling; Christmas celebrations; home entertainments; children’s games; food scarcity and rationing (1914-18); post-war unemployment.
Image reference: http://www.londontaverntrails.com/trails/oxford.html (London Tavern Trails)