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Shiny Pennies and Grubby Pinafores: How We Overcame Hardship to Raise a Happy Family in the 1950s

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After her years in domestic service, Winifred Foley married and started a family. But while scraping a living as a charwoman in a rundown north London tenement, she continued to long for her home in the Forest of Dean and the cherished relatives she had left behind.

Determined to give their children the rural upbringing she had enjoyed, the young couple moved to an isolated, crumbling cottage not far from the forest. But even in the 1950s, they lacked heating or running water, and money was tight. Food was begged, borrowed or homegrown, and their clothes were hand-me-downs. It was a primitive life of hard work on the land, struggling to make ends meet and finding strength in the embrace of a loving family.

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