Tea at Mushroom Green – Eliza Ena Bradney and Olwen Meller

Aunty Ena, as she was known, was born on April fools’ day in 1907 and lived until 2006. Sadly, she just missed her 100th Birthday. She lived her whole life in the Black Country, Dudley Wood – an area known for chain making. Her family had a chain shop. Olwen Meller who now owns the tea set was her niece and Olwen is my mother-in-law.

She married her husband Ralph Parsons in July 1934. They had their wedding reception at Mushroom Green, pronounced “Musham”. It was a very hot day because Aunty Ena told Olwen that instead of having a stiff collar, the Minister’s collar was like a limp wet rag by the end! The tea set was a wedding present. It is stunning. The tea cups have a lovely shape and the floral design is very pretty. It is marked “Lawleys Regent Street”.

Aunty Ena and Ralph lived very happily in a house built by her brother in Mushroom Green. It had a wonderful garden, which my husband recalls had half a railway carriage including a gramophone, which was quite magical as a child. People travelled from miles away to see it. The area seemed more special by virtue of the contrast with the industrial feel of the rest of the area and Aunty Ena loved it there.

Sadly Ralph was killed in a car accident in 1953. Aunty Ena felt this loss terribly for the rest of her life. Although Aunty Ena no doubt felt very alone, her family rallied round and ensured that she played a major part in their lives. Although she had no children of her own, my husband has many happy memories of family holidays they spent together and of her constant willingness to play games with him. She was a much loved Aunt and Great Aunt. She saw so much change in her long life. She would be surprised to find she was on the Internet (or to know such a thing existed) and if I were to have told her of my plan to write about her and her tea set she would have told me not to be so “saft”.


4 thoughts on “Tea at Mushroom Green – Eliza Ena Bradney and Olwen Meller

  1. You may be surprised to know,Julia, that Uncle Ralph was also born on 1st April two years earlier. He was a lovely man and, although I was only eight when he was tragically killed, I remember him very well. He was very kind to us children and always bought us sweets and sherbet, which, for some reason, we called ‘cali’ from the sweet shop next door to where he worked. He would also take us with him for an ‘outing’ when he went to visit his elderly father at Cradley. His death affected the lives of our whole family.

  2. Hi,
    Me and my family now live in Ena’s old house. The Garden is still well looked after and used regularly for tea drinking in the summer. It was nice to read the story and think of all the fun people had here in a bygone age.

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