MARGARET JANE JOYCE 1881-1973 (by Mike McDonald in 2002)

Jan 1st, 1973 | By | Category: Uncategorized

MARGARET JANE JOYCE 1881-1973 (by Mike McDonald in 2002)

Margaret Pearson (nee Joyce).  My grandmother lived to the age of 92. She had a reasonably happy life, growing up at White Mill and then in Wimborne, and working as a private teacher (governess?) for Sir Henry Hanham and his sister Maud of Dean’s Court, a large house and estate in Wimborne that now belongs to the National Trust.  She herself was educated at home, and was proficient in various pursuits such as playing the piano, drawing and painting, knitting, embroidery, cooking, etc.  She married John Herbert Pearson in her 30s and lived with him in Croydon.  He was an architect who designed a bus station and various office buildings in London and other places as a partner of Fairclough, whose name is now seen on building sites all over England.  My mother was her only child, and she devoted much time, attention, and money to her upbringing.  After her marriage, she did not work and led a fairly leisured life, reading a great deal, especially the works of Thomas Hardy.  She knew the poet by sight in her childhood, and wrote the top prize-winning essay in a competition sponsored by the Western Gazzette in the 1960s on the topic of “Rural Arts and Crafts in the Time of Thomas Hardy”.  Her husband died in the early 1950s, I think – before I was born, at any rate – and either at that time or before that she moved back to Dorset, living for many years in Shaftesbury High Street at a house called Shapwick.  We used to visit her every summer (my mother, brother, sister and I) for 2 weeks, and it was always a nice experience.  She lived for many years with a companion called Miss Lucas, who taught at one of the schools in Shaftesbury.  When my grandmother became unable to look after herself, in about 1965, she came to live with my mother and father in Manchesterand later London, moving to an old people’s home for the last two or three years of her life.  I enjoyed her company, and she certainly enjoyed mine – I was her “favourite”, I think.  She taught me knitting and tapestry and endless card games, and sometimes watched wrestling with me on the telly. She died in 1973.

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