I unexpectedly stumbled into my grandfather’s childhood home in August 2013. I was on a National Trust ‘crawl’ with my father when he noticed a sign to the village where my grandfather, Walter Parker, grew up. When we arrived at what had been Walter’s front door, I discovered it had been turned into the Thorney Heritage Museum. Imagine my joy on discovering the museum open.
Incredibly, the volunteer on duty, Jeremy Culpin, recognised the Parker name related to a lady born in the village in 1918. Mary Skells, née Woods, turned out to be Walter’s niece and lived in nearby Peterborough. Mary, her sister ‘Rene, our Cousin Sue and I had a few delightful years making up for lost time. I never imagined I could meet people who knew my grandfather born in 1885. I wouldn’t have dared hope to find lost cousins and at last start the journey to understanding my Victorian grandfather.