She was a collector. Three thousand pot dolls; three hundred pot pigs; ten children; all this jewellery. Boxes and boxes and boxes. Knots and flowers; circles and hearts. Silver, gold, plastic, stone.

1940s at Stockport Market, she sifted through strings of glass beads – tiger-eye, coal black, amber, rose. Each morning, she’d pick whatever suited her mood, matching or not. Ten kids and always dressed up – a dress patterned with flowers; a neat swipe of lipstick.

We sold the jewellery to pay for her funeral, then for a headstone. And yet here it all still is – clustered in tins, hung onto rails, pierced through sheets of cardboard, for other fingers to dance across, pick out, take home.

Inspired by a conversation with Annette at Stockport Market’s Vintage Village


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