16th Jul, 2019

Picture of 'Granny Lewis' leads to major reunion for Redditch family

AN old photograph of ‘Granny Lewis’ in the early 1900s led one Redditch family to have a massive reunion last week.

The picture, of Albert and Elizabeth Lewis (nee Wiggett) outside their Faggots and ice cream shop at the top of Beoley Road, was posted on the Redditch Past and Present Facebook page.

It didn’t take long for members of Granny Lewis’s extended family, most still living in Redditch, to recognise their relative and before great grand-daughter Leigh Walton realised it, she was organising a reunion.

“One member of RPP set up a new Facebook group for the descendants of Granny Lewis – aptly named ‘Granny Lewis’ Beoley Road Shop’,and we held a reunion last week at Bridley Moor and Batchley Social Club,” said Leigh.

“I thought five to 15 people might turn up but there were around 60 family members there – many of us had no idea we were related, although we ‘knew’ each other somehow.

“One great grand-daughter travelled from Uttoxeter, but most of us were local-ish.

“Everyone had different pieces of the puzzle as we worked out where we were all related.”

Granny Lewis was a smart businesswoman; she bought one of the first ‘motor cars’ to be seen in Redditch and, says Leigh, was the driving force behind the success of the business.

Leigh added her genes have made for a line of strong women through the generations; six of her daughters are still alive with Leigh’s mum, Nellie, aged 87 and one daughter, Vera, 100 in October.

“Granny Lewis was definitely the head of the family; a lot of her grandchildren are still making the faggots and my son wants to know the recipe too so he can carry on the tradition,” said Leigh.

Leigh is a published author who has spent the last 18 months travelling the UK by narrowboat with her husband and two dogs. Her latest book, relating tales from their journey from her dog’s point of view is called ‘Travels With Martha’ and is available from Amazon.

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