In England at the turn of the century, in the drab mill towns, a man or woman was hired to be a “Knocker-Up.” Their job was to rise in the early hours of the morning and, in the case of a woman, don clogs and shawl, then proceed down the streets, carrying a long stick, going from house to house tapping on the upstairs windows to awaken the occupants for their early morning stint at the mill.
My mother was a “Knocker-Up.” I came from very humble beginnings. My mother was born in Bolton, Lancashire in 1882. Her life was like something out of a Dickens novel.
My youngest son, in particular, seems to be fascinated by the tales of an ordinary family living in a small town in the Moorland country of North Staffordshire. So much so that he suggested that I write them down. And so I begin my “Reflections of a Knocker-Up’s Daughter.”
Mary Tatton Drummond