Archive for February, 2009

I lurve books

Posted in Family Life on February 27th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

I just had to include this one of Alice at the town library. This was taken shortly after the library opened on a Sunday morning. We were one of the first people to be there and it was really quiet. As soon as I took Alice out of her pushchair she scampered over to the ladybird cushions that you can see in the background, climbed on top and started bouncing!

Alice @ Town Library

Parent’s Evening

Posted in Uncategorized on February 27th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

James’s nursery held his first parent’s evening last night. It was a flexible event allowing parents to turn up at any time between 7.00 and 9.00. I turned up shortly after 7.00 thinking that other parents may well be later after putting their little ones to bed. I was so wrong, the car park was full and I just managed to find a parking space at the end of a dark footpath leading alongside the church.

Once inside the nursery, parents were greeted by one of the nursery managers and offered a selection of drinks. I could then sit down and browse through James’s progress folder whilst I waited for his key worker to be available. As I read the comments in the file I went from chuckling to myself thinking ‘typical James’ to fighting back the tears when I saw a picture titled ‘Someone I love’ with a picture of me. During nursery hours they note developmental milestones on post-it notes and attach them to the child’s folder. In typical James style, he had comments such as “James played on a ride on tractor in the playground and attached a pushchair to the back, pretending it was a trailor”, “James made a plough complete with engine that turned the plough to sow the seed”, “James used imaginative play to serve drinks in the playground including mango and guava juice!”. It was also lovely to see many pictures of him involved in nursery activities.

James’s key worker said that he was progressing well and was very surprised to hear that he was often hesitant about attending nursery. As a plan of activities for the next stage in development she intended to spend more time teaching James to hold a pen and begin to write letters. It was good to see that the typical James personality that we see at home is also evident when he is at nursery.

James Fellows Cullum

Posted in Family History on February 8th, 2009 by admin – 1 Comment

I though it would be an interesting exercise the pick a few people from my family tree and write what I know about their lives. It will help identify where there are holes and may even give new paths to explore. I’ll start with my Great Grandfather James Fellows Cullum.

James Fellows Cullum (1891 - 1976)

James was born in Chelsea in June 1891. He was the second child of James Henry Cullum and Agnes Elizabeth Fellows. He always maintained that he was born within the sound of Bow Bells. I’m not sure that the peel of bells would have been audible from Chelsea! James also maintained that the Cullum family had Scottish origins but I am not able to find any evidence of this so far!! At the time of his birth, his father would have been 40 years old and his mother 25 years old. His older sister, Elizabeth Lavinia Cullum, would have been 21 months old. They all lived just near the King’s Road in Chelsea on a road called Coulson Street. In the 1891 census when James is just 1 month old, they are shown as living at 18 Coulson Street. James’s Grandparents, James and Mary Ann Cullum were also living locally at 14 Coulson Street. They are both shown as 63 years old at this time. Now, there is no sign of a number 14 Coulson Street but we suspect that the whole street has been re-numbered in the intervening years.

Coulson Street, Chelsea

By the time of the next census in 1901, James and his family are shown as living just around the corner from Coulson Street at 5 Lincoln Street. James and Agnes have four additional siblings by this point – Dorothy May aged 8, Henry William aged 6, Albert John aged 4 and Madeline Emily aged 2. They also have a servant called Kate Austin living with them at this address. James’s father is shown as a rent collector living on his own account at this time. Presumably he had other properties that he rented, giving sufficient income for the family to live on. In 2006, this property changed hands for £2,260,000!

5 Lincoln Street, Chelse

By the time of the census in 1911 when James is aged 20, the family is living in Northamptonshire. At one time they lived at Park House, Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire.

James Fellows Cullum (1891 - 1976)

Cullum family, Northamptonshire

In 1915, James returned to Chelsea to marry his wife Phoebe Ann David. At the time of their marriage, James and Phoebe were aged 24 and 23 respectively. It doesn’t appear that they eloped to Gretna Green as family stories would have you believe. As a wedding present he was given Watts Lodge, Northamptonshire by his parents.

James and Phoebe Cullum with daughter Leah

Phoebe must have fallen pregnant with their daughter shortly after their marriage as Leah was born in June 1916. She was followed by a further six children – Agnes Dorothy in June 1918, sadly a stillborn girl in March 1922, James Gordon David on 6th March 1924, Marjorie Olive on 15th April 1925, Elizabeth Mary on 1st October 1927 and Albert William in December 1930. Leah and Agnes were both born in Thrapston Northamptonshire and all of the subsequent children were born in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Not that there are are little over 13 months between James Gordon David and Marjorie Olive! Between at least 1922 and 1930, James and his family lived at “Hawthorn”, Kettering Road, Market Harborough. This house is no longer standing but was believed to be positioned on the land where The Greyhound pub now stands in Little Bowden.

James did not serve in the first world war (we believe due to the fact that he was a land owner in Northamptonshire).

Sadly, James’s wife Phoebe Ann died on the 8th January 1937 aged just 45. Their youngest child Albert William would have been just 6 at this time.

James and Phoebe Cullum with daughter Leah

James and Phoebe Cullum with daughter Leah

– June 1891, Chelsea – James Fellows Cullum born
– 1891, Living at 18 Coulson Street, Chelsea
– 1901, Living at 5 Lincoln Street, Chelsea
– 1911, Living Northamptonshire and described as a farmers son, working on farm
– July 1915, Chelsea – Marriage to Phoebe Ann David
– June 1916, Thrapston – daughter Leah Prudence born
– June 1918, Thrapston – daughter Agnes Dorothy born
– March 1922, Market Harborough – stillborn daughter born
– March 1924, Market Harborough – son James Gordon David born
– April 1925, Market Harborough – daughter Marjorie Olive born
– October 1927, Market Harborough – daughter Elizabeth Mary born
– December 1930, Market Harborough – son Albert William born
– January 1937, Market Harborough – James’s wife Phoebe Ann dies
– January 1976 – James dies

Writing this entry has provoked a few questions about the life of James Fellows Cullum:
– Which property was 18, Coulson Street, Chelsea?
– Where in Chelsea did James and Phoebe marry?
– Is the family portrait shown above taken at Park House, Titchmarsh?
– Where did the family live in Thrapston?
– How did James and Phoebe meet?
– Did James and Phoebe live at Watts Lodge immediately after their marriage as Leah is shown as being born in 1916 in Thrapston?
– Are there any photos of “Hawthorn”, Kettering Road, Market Harborough?

Snow Business

Posted in Uncategorized on February 3rd, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Yesterday the garden looked as though it had been scattered with a very thick layer of icing sugar. We had hoped that the snow was sticky enough to roll a giant snowball around the garden to construct a monster snowman. Sadly our snowman attempts were a little more modest.

Snowman in garden

Neither James or Alice seemed to really enjoy the snow. They were cold after a few minutes and wanted to come inside. It was only the promise of making chocolate biscuits once we came inside that kept James out in the fresh air a little longer that he would have liked. I must admit that it was a relief though to retreat to a warm spot in front of the open fire.

This morning Alice demonstated a first in her growing milestones – the ability to go down the stairs unaided in about 10 seconds flat. She is a very confident climber and apparently a very confident descender as well! Although she is very happy to crawl around (albeit in semi-crab style) and cruise around furniture, she hasn’t so far plucked up the courage to go it alone. We thought that with her being on her feet well before Christmas that she may be walking by now but she’s happy taking things at her own pace and will get there in good time.

Alice braving the snow


Posted in Uncategorized on February 2nd, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

We woke up early this morning (around 5.00am) due to an alarm going off outside. There was also a good layer of snow outside which was unblemished by footprints. We returned to bed and got up a little later. James just wanted to sit in the breakfast room and stare at the snow coming down. As we listed to the radio, it became clearer that there were many schools in the area closed and sluggish traffic on many of the roads. James was very glad to hear that his nursery was closed for the day (he’d much prefer to stay at home at the moment rather than go to nursery). It seems like one of those fun days for children with no school and lots of snow to play with. This is the view from my home office window as local children have a snow ball fight in the car park next door. It looks like it ought to be a good day for snowmen although colleagues assure me that it’s not the sticking kind of snow that you need to build snowmen (shame).

Snow from the window

It’s good to see Alice chirpier today after she started to cut her seventh tooth on her left hand side yesterday. She spent most of yesterday feeling really sorry for herself and with a slight temperature.