It was 1986; the old homestead was still standing strong although no one had lived there for over a decade. It was home to my Grandfather who had passed away many years before. The wood panelled front door that was once painted white had started to chip and weather.
As I turned the lock and pushed the door open, dust particles flew against me, the air was stale and thick. As I entered, my eyes opened wide with delight. The old stove was still there in the centre of the open fireplace as it always stood. His old black grandfather clock still hung in the corner over the shelf where the wireless set used to sit. As I walked around the old kitchen I remembered times past, of stories my Grandfather told whilst sitting by the fire, those were the days!
I went down the hall and hesitantly pushed against the closed door; it opened with a low moan. Inside, the small rectangular room was all but bare apart from an old bed frame and a large trunk, ‘treasure’ I thought. Excitedly I unbuckled the leather straps, within was some old photos and as I flicked through them I smiled.
Also in the trunk were several shirts, some were his ‘Sunday’s Best’. There was one shirt in particular I recognised straight away as it was his favourite shirt. It had been worn to the bare thread and was cream with a faint blue stripe it was made of cotton and had four buttons on a half placket down the front. The shirt was collarless but that’s the way he liked to wear it, you could attach a stiff collar but these were usually only used for going to mass or some other special occasion, though not used on this particular shirt. I remembered fondly that he loved this shirt, “met my wife wearing this shirt” and “they don’t make them like this anymore” he’d say thoughtfully. My Grandfather’s shirt, now there is a thought...
The Lee Valley Grandfather Shirt bringing you back to a place you thought you’d left forever.