The Milliner's Apprentice
Girlhood in Edwardian Yorkshire
- Hazel Wheeler
15th May 2009
Travel back in time to village life in rural Edwardian England; a time when children wore starched white pinafores and enjoyed such innocent pleasures as playing with the little windmills given to them by the rag-and-bone man. In this evocative narrative of her mother's idyllic childhood, growing up in Jasmine Cottage, Boroughbridge, Hazel Wheeler recreates the life of a country constable's family through story, anecdote and song. She describes Hilda's first day at school, the fortunes of her elder brother Willie, who became a footman in London, and that auspicious occasion when Hilda won a prize for the best essay on Citizenship on Empire Day in 1915. She recalls Hilda's first day as a milliner's apprentice and her subsequent move to become a wartime post girl. Throughout these fascinating sketches of her mother and her family, Hazel also describes the close-knit community in which they lived. This serves as a vital backdrop to the delightful tales which make this book so enthralling.