Rose Higgins

rose 3Today we ventured out to Banbury to meet with Granny and Grandpa Pugh and of course Uncle Phil. It was a lovely clear day but….. freezing cold! We met up and did a little shop about before heading to a warm place to have some lunch. Whilst we were waiting for our lunch to arrive Granny Pugh gave Becksie something that immediately jumped into her list of treasured possessions!

Now Granny said she had just found said item in a charity shop sale and the item had cost just 25p! So……. what costs just 25p but has delighted Becksie so much?

Rose 1The answer is the ‘ Handbook of Cookery’ which was presented to Rose Higgins in 1910.


rose 2Now this book is extremely tatty and stained but it is a complete and utter delight. It has a loads of recipes and every other page is blank so that the owner can add their own recipes and notes! And……. guess what…….. Rose Higgins has done just that.

Now we don’t know Rose Higgins but from reading the book (Becksie is in LOVE with it and can’t stop looking at it) we have gathered the following pieces of information:

  1. Rose in 1910 was in education in the Leyton district of London
  2. She attended an ‘instruction in cookery’ course at Cam Hall Centre
  3. She liked or someone in her life like Bournville chocolate (one of the recipes is on the back of a piece of Bournville wrapper)rose 7
  4. Shortly after  the 25/10/1937 Rose received a parcel she had ordered from ‘Sumner’s Typhoo Tea Ltd ‘Typhoo’ Buildings, Bordesly Street, Birmingham – the parcel contained 1 no.126 Black and 1 no.127 (we assume this was ermm….. tea?)rose 6
  5. This parcel cost her 11 shillings and 3 pence and a D. Hoff was the cashier
  6. Rose had beautiful hand writing

We know this is not much information but we feel that at least we know a little about Rose. It is very very sad that this book ended up in a charity shop sale as it should by rights be with Rose’s family and be a treasured item but……… Becksie now has it and will indeed treasure it. So as this book is way too beautiful to just sit on a shelf we intend to use Rose’s recipes and over time share them with you.

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We are very excited to get started on some of Roses suggestions for example ‘Randolph gingerbread’ (don’t they sound grand), ‘Ground Carraway Seed Cake’ and ‘Milk Rolls’ however……. there are a few that we won’t be making! These include cough mixture requiring 2 pence worth of laudanum (tincture of opium) or tincture of opium sulphate!

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So watch this space for recipes from Rose Higgins (why not sign up for email updates if you haven’t already done so – there is a prize draw coming soon for our blog followers) but don’t fear we won’t try any of the cough syrups!!

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16 thoughts on “Rose Higgins

  1. WHat a lovely little snapshot into Rose’s life. Glad its not just us who treasure pieces of social history! Looking forward to seeing (and maybe trying) a few of the recipies. :o)

  2. How lovely – what a real treasure to find! I hope you discover more about dear Rose Higgins. With her liking for chocolate, tea cooking and baking she sounds like we’d have been great friends. I knew it was worth me staying up late to catch tonight’s install ent!

  3. I love that. I have my Granny’s Farmer’s Weekly cookbook from the 1940’s and the recipes have the names of the farmer’s wife that submitted them. I often wonder if the family of Mrs Jones from Camarthenshire are still making her lamb stew, or whatever, like we are.

  4. Hi, found you through Moneysavingexpert. I tried foregoing supermarkets for a month a while back, it was hard. Your blog is fabulous and has provided the inspiration for me to try again. I am a childminder and often have to feed 6 children and 2 adults, so the same challenges just more food! Best wishes to your family and I shall be following for more fab inspiration.

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