Beth Baxter has inherited a few items from her family home, but her most treasured is a miniature iron that was used to iron hair ribbons for five little girls more than 100 years ago.
Beth told Nora McElhone about her Everyday Heirloom.
I live in Kirkcaldy now, but I belong in Markinch – that’s where I was brought up. My mother, Davina Hopkins, was born in Leslie. She was the youngest of five girls and her oldest sister was born in 1890 and she lived until she was 108. My mother died six weeks before her 104th birthday – so I think the iron must have been bought well before 1900.
I did know my grandmother, Elizabeth Laing Henderson, I’m named after her. She was 96 when she died and well, I’m 89 now!
My name is Elizabeth Laing Hopkins and I think everybody was called after their grandmother in those days! So many cousins were all called Elizabeth Laing but my mother shortened it to Beth, some were Lisbeth, some were Lizzie…
My mother always said that it was for ironing ribbons for when she tied her hair up before she went to school. It always just sat on her fireplace and that’s where I have it now – on my hearth.
The iron is my favourite Everyday Heirloom
I also have the little white and gold china shoes that would have sat on top of my mother’s wedding cake, but the iron is my favourite.
Growing up my mother and her sisters would have had a range cooker in the kitchen and the iron sat heating on the range before my grandmother used it to iron hair ribbons for the five girls.
You wouldn’t think of spending time ironing something like hair ribbons now but they were brought up the hard way really, weren’t they?
I don’t use the iron now – I wouldn’t know how to heat it! I wouldn’t want to put it on my hob, I don’t think.
I just always loved it sitting at the fireplace – it’s just something of my mother’s really and of days gone by. You always try to keep something and you certainly can’t keep everything. We had to break the house up when my brother died two years ago – he was nearly seven years younger than me but he never married so he was still in my mum’s house.
Do you have an Everyday Heirloom that you still love to use? We would love to hear about it. Email Nora McElhone email@example.com with details of your object and why you treasure it so much.