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.
Sylvia’s story is told here with great love by her granddaughter, Hannah.
This is a story about Sylvia Wright (nee Shaw), my gran. Sylvia was born on the 12th December 1947. I am writing about her because we are very close.
My gran grew up in Eaglesham with two sisters, one older called Louise and one younger called Joanne. My gran’s parents lived together, her dad was called John Shaw and her mum was called Ethel Shaw (nee Carslow).
My gran had a great childhood; she loved playing with her horse and her friends. My gran got a surprise horse one Christmas and she was so excited! She went camping on holiday once and she loved that too. My gran saw her grandparents once a month but they weren’t overly loving towards her and her sisters. My gran went to Eaglesham Primary School then to Duncanrig High School where she took maths, english, history and home economics and she enjoyed school until she left when she was fifteen years old in fourth year.
My gran achieved her riding instructing badge and passed all pony club badges and her first job was working at the stables. She taught people how to ride and she loved her job because she always loved horses and being outdoors.
My gran met my papa when she was at the dancing. My papa is called Ralph Wright. When my gran was due to get married her friends pushed her around in a wheelbarrow and dumped her in the midden at the stables! My gran got married when she was twenty-two. Before my grandparents had children they moved to Cornwall in England. They had my uncle down there but came back to Scotland two years later to have my mum and lived in Strathaven where their kids grew up. My gran stopped working when she had children then went back to work when they went to High School.
My gran has four grandchildren; me and my little sister Megan and my two cousins Rachel and Abbie. My gran moved to East Kilbride five years ago and now lives five doors down from me. I always go to her house on a Saturday for breakfast. My gran has always loved animals so she got a black Labrador called Ruby.
I would describe my gran as very caring, easy to talk to and loving. I told my gran’s story because she is a very special woman in my life and I would like her story to be told. I think it’s important to write about women in your family because soon they won’t be alive to tell their story and no one will know about their wonderful lives. I am glad I have written about my gran because I have learned information I never knew about her.