Eadie is another character who had to undergo a name change to avoid confusion. She appears in only three chapters, near the beginning of Barefoot on the Cobbles, yet her role is an important one. It is through Eadie that we first glimpse how Albert might react to parenthood. Her story has been handed down through the family and is told in the novel with little elaboration.
Eadie was born on 14 May 1884 into a large family, who lived in what was then called Ivy Cottage, Bucks Mills; the history of the cottage will be posted in a couple of days’ time. Her father was a fisherman, known as ‘Crumplefoot Tommy’. Her mother, Ellen, struggled to cope and when Eadie was about six, she was informally adopted by Ellen’s brother, William and his wife Mary. From that point onwards, Eadie spent her whole life living in Rose Cottage in Bucks Mills. She married her first cousin, Walter in 1908, amidst a certain amount of disapproval because of their close kinship; they were in fact cousins several times over as Eadie’s parents were also first cousins. Eadie cared for William and Mary in their old age but somehow found room for eleven children in the tiny four-roomed cottage. Walter died in 1938, when the youngest child was only eleven and Eadie died in 1955.
‘On the step of Captain Joe’s substantial house sat a weeping child, dishevelled and dirty, her tears tracked by the grubby smears on her sun-stained cheeks. A young fisherman was walking towards her, on his way up from the shore. As Albert approached, the girl’s hand scrubbed across the bottom of her nose and she sniffed heartily. The other hand failed to push her dark hair from her eyes. Her faded ribbon had long since ceased to perform its duty.’
Barefoot on the Cobbles will be published on 17 November 2018. More information about the novel can be found here. Copies will be available at various events in the weeks following the launch or can be pre-ordered from Blue Poppy Publishing or the author.
More information about Bucks Mills can be found here.