She was one of nine children, and from what my mother tells me, a bit of a rebel in the family. She certainly knew her own mind, although even as a young woman working away from home, she still feared her father.
Alice went into service as a scullery maid somewhere in Derby. My mother remembers being told that she was given a lift home to Blyth once by the young master of the house and he asked her to hold the wheel of the car while he took off his jacket! Alice couldn't drive, and nearly put them into a ditch.
She was a major influence in my young life, as my mother lived with her when I was born. I used to spend a lot of time in her house, where she specially bought comics for myself and my brother to read when we went there (she only lived over the road from us, so we were there practically every day.) I remember later in life staying with her after we had moved to Scotland, and she would be up early and off to the bakers to get freshly baked rolls for breakfast, but I think she forgot there were others in the house still asleep, and she used to slam the doors.
She died in June 2002, a day I will never forget. I was living in England again at this point, and had arranged to go and visit her one Saturday. I cancelled it, and arranged to go on the Sunday instead, as my parents from Scotland were also visiting that day and it would be a chance to see them too. I never got to see her again, as she died on the Saturday, and I probably would have been there when she died if I hadn't cancelled the visit. She was 90 years old, but still an alert, vital woman to the end, and I miss her terribly.
Read more about Mary Elizabeth Metcalfe and John Charles Brownbridge.