Mrs Becher's Diary


Alice Tiffin, July 1938

There has passed to her eternal rest Alice Tiffin aged 71 and her place in Tylers Green will be hard to fill. She was a lass of the North Country with a rugged face, pale and deeply lined – blue eyes deep set and a chin full of determination. The sternness in the face was softened by a look of patient resignation and a quick spontaneous smile. She had worked hard to the very end. A cook by profession she had seen excellent service with titled families and her humble and deferential manner were, one imagines, the outcome of those days. Pride in the best sense of the word seemed part of Mrs Tiffin, for she took an intense pride in all she did and in her immediate family. Her home was spotless and nothing was allowed to interfere with the daily work in it. In all she undertook to do in the affairs of the village she was punctual, efficient and responsible. A very high sense of honour was hers and an integrity of purpose. Her religion was a very real thing and her willing work for the Church was the direct outcome of her love of God and her uprightness of life, for Alice Tiffin was a very good woman.

I fancy she resented the barrier of class and to her only child, Ethel, she tried to give a better education that she or her husband had enjoyed. Ethel lived at home and gave typing and music lessons. Tiffin was a gardener and it can only have been by the most amazing thrift and economy that they gained the position in the village that was theirs.

Music was the family’s recreation. They all sang but perhaps Mrs Tiffin enjoyed it more than they all. I can see her now at Social evenings with her head slightly raised following the singer with eyes alight and then bursting forth with the refrain with a seraphic expression on her face. They were the most devoted family I ever knew and when Ethel married they all lived together in perfect harmony.