The Grantidote and Calderglen High School English Department worked together to discuss the importance of women’s stories and experiences and how both are so often overlooked when we consider the fact and fiction-based storytelling surrounding our lives. This forward-thinking school’s English department runs a yearly project for second years, asking pupils to research and write-up family history around World War I and teachers had observed the stories coming back were never about women. So, to address the missing archive and representation, Calderglen High’s Herstory Project was bravely born.
A little of Isabel’s story is told here by her great-grandson, Ryan.
Isabel (Stewart) Knox was known to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as Granny Bell. She was an evacuee during World War Two and I’ve heard a lot of stories about her from family.
Granny Bell grew up in Maryhill, Glasgow. She lived with her parents and had nine brothers and sisters, some of her brothers were step brothers. She sometimes went on holiday to England to visit her family. When she was younger she was given the name ‘Dizzy Izzy’ because she was a bit forgetful and gullible.
Isabel’s first job after leaving school at fourteen was working in a dress shop. When she started her job she was sent to get tartan paint (as a joke) and tried to find it but obviously couldn’t. She then went on to working as a nit nurse. Later in life Granny Bell married Bill Knox and had three children named Debbie, Ann and Heather.
In her last few years of life Granny Bell was diagnosed with dementia and stayed in a care home. She had around four grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Granny Bell died on December 2016 of heart failure.
I’ve enjoyed finding out about Granny Bell’s life and have learned so much more about her. I think sharing her story will continue her memory and be good for future generations and I’ve enjoyed this experience.