Abigail Beaumont


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175 in stock


By Dorothy M Mitchell

ISBN: 978-1-84991-888-6
Published: 2012
Pages: 230
Key Themes: Mental Health, Family, Relationships, Fiction


This is a story of life just after the Second World War for the working class. It tells of hardships hurting cruel love, prejudice, a Daughter’s agony and resentment of her Mother, love of her father, and her lover. It also speaks of a Grandmother’s deep love for her Granddaughter.

In later years, after much soul searching, and heartbreak of her own Abigail realised. Just what her mother had suffered during her own troubled life. Abigail was to weep for her Mothers hurting, as well as her own. She would experience humiliation of the worst kind degrading and inhuman. She was also to experience deep and abiding love.

Abigail the main character, at the age of 14 years, is in no way as grownup and knowing as a girl of her age in today’s era of growing up fast.

In the 1940s- 50s a young girl in her early teens stayed immature for quite a while. Innocent of the trappings that encourage a young girl in today’s world to be mature much before her time.

The book speaks of all human emotion. Read and enjoy.

About the Author

Dorothy was born in a small village in Yorkshire just before World War 2. began, hard times, food shortages, make do and mend. Mums swapping food coupons for clothing coupon’s. Enemy aircraft overhead with their frightening drone, bombs dropping night after night.

Dorothy remembers the Anderson shelters her dad and many other men erected in their back gardens. Uncomfortably damp and very cold, especially if the sirens went off during the middle of a winter’s night. Coming downstairs and her mum wrapping her in a blanket before venturing outside to the comparative safety of the air raid hut, will never be forgotten.

She recalls the shelter with icicles hanging from the roof during a particularly bitter cold spell. Dorothy recalls the stories her dad used to tell, he was in the home Guard (Dads Army) So you can imagine some of the sadness and also the laughter as the stories were told over and over again.

The War eventually came to an end in 1945. But times were still rather difficult Dorothy remembers her mum and other mums queuing for hours waiting for this little treat be it an extra few sausages or meat. Bread was still on ration into the 1950’s there was a shortage of flour because of the wheat not being grown. Just one of many hardships incurred because of the War.

Dorothy left school at 14 and went immediately to work in a cotton mill, she remembers the working hours were 8 until 6 Five days a week and a half day on Saturdays. Her wages were minute by today’s standards but she managed to give her mum some for her keep and a bit left to buy a few bits and pieces for her-self.

In 1954 Dorothy moved from Yorkshire with her mum dad and younger brother and sister to Evesham in Worcestershire, her Dad fancied a change of scene. His work in the Yorkshire village had been signalman at the village railway station and part-time Barman at the local pub the latter he really enjoyed, and according to Dorothy, her dad looked very smart in his tail coat and dicky bow, the pub was rather posh as Dorothy recalls.

Well it seemed after the war and his stint in Dads Army he wanted a change of scene so he applied for and was successful in getting a job in London as Head Waiter. Dorothy remembers those months without her dad. She missed him dreadfully he sent money home regularly but eventually because her mum was fed up of looking after the kids on her own her dad managed to secure a job with accommodation. So she, and her mum brother and sister
Were it seemed to Dorothy dragged away from her beloved Yorkshire, to what was to turn out to be a dive on the outskirts of London. Dorothy says she will never forget her Granny waving them of from the railway station. Eyes full of tears,

This move was to see the beginning of illness for Dorothy, and the first signs of depression that were to continue periodically to cause much heartache.. It would be many years before she set eyes on her beloved Granny again. Shortly after moving to this new job in what turned out to a bad area. Because of the damp living conditions, Dorothy went down with a bad bout of Rheumatic fever and was in hospital for about four months, this was to be the reason for the first episode of frightening depression.

Dorothy was by now 16 years old, eventually her dad decided that this club was definitely not the place to bring up his family, he applied for another job at a social club in Evesham Worcestershire. He was successful and in February 1954 they arrived at the place that was going to be home for quite a while.


Evesham was a lovely Olde Worldy town back then, full of charm and well known for its fruit growing, over the years it has become modernized but Dorothy feels it has lost some of its unique quality, She still live here, and can’t see herself wanting to leave the town. She was married to a local lad for 36 years but sadly he passed away in 1991. She has two sons and seven Grandchildren.

Dorothy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when she was 37 she married Ken her lovely second husband some years ago she says Ken is her rock. She is now in her 70’s and has had many relapses over these past years. When it first showed itself Dorothy had two near nervous breakdowns, She still has recurring depression, the latest came last year when she was diagnosed with yet another serious illness by the name of ANGIODISPLACIER. Dorothy almost died before the illness was discovered. Spent three spells in hospital having test after test, thus a really bad dose of depression for which she is still being treated, landed on her with a vengeance.

But she says thanks to this latent gift of writing and when she started to make sense of the latest bout of hell she began to fight once more, because now she had something else to focus on! .

Dorothy is an accomplished writer with five novels under her belt. This is due to Darin Jewel of THE INSPIRA GROUP who sent some of her work to CHIPMUNKA PUBLISHING they picked her up and give her a chance to show what she can do. Dorothy also writes poetry and has two small publishers, one of them in California!

Dorothy would like to thank Ken her husband for his support her sons David and Andrew. Ben and Gabbi 2 of her Grandchildren for all their help, and finally but by all means last. Her thanks go to Martin. P Buckley, fellow writer and friend. “I love them all”. Says Dorothy
“Thank you all for your help and patience”.

Book Extract

William had worked as signalman she missed the life, the routine and the stories William used to come home with, like the odd, hapless chicken that had died in the cramped crate while en route to its destination. The poor thing, but as Alice had pointed out, it would make a good meal no matter how it had met its death. Everything had to die, so be it the odd bird or rabbit that had met its end in a crate on the railway station. It might as well be in her stove as anybody else’s! Things were still tight after the war. They had been hard years, horrible years. No room for sentiment these days.

For Alice however, 1940 had been the worst. She had paid for the sin of adultery. Losing Peter had ripped her apart. Nine months she had carried him, was it the fault of the war? The air raids! the bombing, the fear? Well, whatever the reason, Peter was born dead. Alice had given the dead boy a name: he deserved that much. A few years earlier she had lost Richard Hope – her one true love – and that had been bad enough. To do that with another girl had broken Alice’s heart. Perhaps if she had let him have his way with her, it wouldn’t have happened, but she didn’t. There were many ways to break a heart, and Alice had experienced a few of them.

Back at Grove Gardens, the family reached number ten. The house was semi-detached with Pebble dashed walls and Bay windows. Grove Gardens was situated in the centre of the Village there were twenty-five houses in all.
The sweet shop that Thornberry owned was at the end of the street. It should have been hard times for the Shop owner. True, during the war the shelves that had sported every kind of chocolate and confectionary were almost bare. Rows of sweet jars standing sentinel and empty of any kind of sweetmeat: a testament to the madness of a maniac who had wanted to rule the world. It was said by some well- informed, residents of Apperley Monkton. That Thornberry was worth a bob or two. It was something to do with the black market. For whatever he was dealing in, the man always seemed to come up smelling of roses. Thornberry wasn’t liked and neither were any of his fat, well fed family.

Alice and the children arrived back at the house. Abigail, noticing her mum looked tired, took the heavy case from her.

Harry had just spotted Fred Mullins from across the street.

“Can I go out to play Mam?”

“You coming conckering, Harry?” the lad said, licking snot from his crusty nose. “By’, but tha’s been away a long time.”

Alice motioned her son indoors, “Later, when you’ve had your dinner.” She put the shopping basket on the kitchen table. Her Mother was good: the meat and potato pie would make a lovely meal. Alice opened a tin of peas and prepared the thick gravy.

The meal over, young Harry straining at the leash to go collecting conkers with his pal, shot from the table.

“Can I go out now, Mum?”

Alice looked at her son, “Go on, then. Only half an hour mind! . Then I want you to fetch the tin bath from the yard.”

“Oh, Mum, I don’t need a bath,” said her young son.

Alice dried her soapsuds hands on her pinny, “Well, judging by the tide mark on the back of your neck, I would say that is just what you do need.”

Abigail, drying the pots, smiled to herself. Harry would make any excuse to avoid a bath! he was a dirty little devil. He seemed to revel in all things mucky! She always tried to get in the tub before him because the first in got the clean water.

When all the Beaumont children were bathed and smelling of carbolic soap, it was time to cut their finger and toe nails. This meant another battle with Harry: “You cut too close to my skin, I don’t like short nails.”

Abigail wasn’t aware yet, but echoes from her past would stay with her for the rest of her life. They would bring comfort into a life that would bring great heartbreak and sadness until she found her true place.


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