Alice Southwell CARDELL (Pettigrew)

Called:- Belle-mère

Born:- 15th December 1877, Asher Lane, 26, St.Philip, Bristol Died:- 1960, Wood Green, London

Child of: Henry Southwell and Sarah Ann CARDELL

Marriage: Hugh Allan and Alice Southwell PETTIGREW

Picture of Alice Southwell CARDELL

Alice Southwell Cardell (about 1905)

Biographical notes

Alice Southwell Cardell was born in Bristol in 1877 (registered as Alice Cardell but subsequently known as Alice Southwell Cardell), eldest child of Henry Southwell and Sarah Ann Cardell. At the time of her birth Henry was working as a blacksmith in Bristol but the 1901 census records him as a Publican at the Blue Bell Inn at Saint Mellons, Monmouthshire. The family at that time consisted of seven daughters and one son. Interestingly, in the 1901 census, Alice is not recorded at the Blue Bell Inn, but with her widowed aunt Mary (M A.S. Barry) who ran Barry's Hotel in St. Mary Street, Cardiff. Margery Pettigrew (Alice's daughter in law) remembers her saying that she was a frequent visitor to the Hotel to help her Aunt manage the accounts. The two were very close and it is likely that Mrs Barry paid for Alice's education at Redland High School (formerly Redland Court), Bristol, where, in the 1891 Census, Alice is recorded as a boarder.

In 1903, Alice married Hugh Allan Pettigrew and they went to live in the head gardener's house in the grounds of St. Fagan's Castle. It was here that their children; Lorna Southwell, Agnes Allan and Andrew Hugh Pettigrew, were born.

On Hugh's retirement, in 1935, the couple went to live in Nice where, apart from the period of WW2 where they lived in rented accommodation in London, they remained until Hugh's tragic death in 1947. Alice returned to the UK, living in London where her two daughters could ensure her wellbeing. She died in 1960.

Tim Pettigrew (her grandson) remembers Belle-mère, as she liked to be called in the late 1950's, when she stayed with her son (Andrew Hugh Pettigrew) and daughter-in-law at their home in Worcester:

quote : By this time she was a little infirm and had a mop of thinning grey hair. She had a wicked sense of humour with a quiet but infectious giggle which was very much in evidence on an occasion when I happened to fall off the swing in the garden! She enjoyed playing cards (especially Bezique) with my parents and had a penchent for french food such as chitlings (offal). She also adored cats. Relationships between Alice and my sister and I were not always of the best and she would sometimes refer to us disapprovingly as 'Petit diables'. She had once been an accomplished concert pianist and passed on her considerable musical knowledge and enthusiasm to my mother. However, I have sad memories of her trying to play the piano after a severe stroke had left her right arm partially paralysed. Her left arm was unaffected and she could play the base line of a Chopin study effortlessly from memory but, in spite of all efforts, the right hand remained useless. After a while she would stop, get up from the piano stool and with a sigh say 'Quelle Vie', which was another of her favourite expressions.

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