When we moved our household goods down from Oldham everything we could get into the house ended up in heaps in the garage. Last week Matthew took away four surplus chairs and that has made the heaps smaller and less intimidating- and this morning we've starting going through them. There are discoveries to be made: I'd given my binoculars up for lost and now I've found them- and several small, cheap ornaments we're attached to have surfaced and been distributed around the house.
We worked our way through the heaps and came to a wheelbarrow holding two cardboard boxes full of Royal Worcester bone china. I knew they were there because I put them there myself three or four years ago, but hadn't ever really looked at the contents. The pieces resolve into two sets- one a dinner service I remember my parents buying themselves as a special treat- so not so very old- and the other the remains of a tea set- consisting of 12 saucers, 8 cups, 11 small plates, two large plates, a milk jug and a slop bowl. I showed my mother one of the plates and she said, "Ah yes, this is what my mother thought of as her best china." It's remarkable what she remembers. Most of her life post 1945 is now a blank but she can still access her childhood. I researched Royal Worcester marks online and couldn't make head nor tail of them but if the set was my grandmother's- possibly a wedding present- it's going to be something like 100 years old.