Growing up

Photo of two people dancing

Alexine and Helen posing for one of Miss Watt's theatrical
productions, about 1933-34

The Tinne children had many different interests as they grew older. Inspired by their father, who was a keen gardener, they all enjoyed growing flowers and plants in their large garden at Clayton Lodge. Ernest continued with this hobby even while he was away at school in Eton, growing plants in a window box.

They also had their own tennis court at home and enjoyed regular games. In April 1934 Philip Tinne wrote to his son

"We are making some use of the tennis court now whilst the fine weather lasts; and have got some new balls and racquets from Bunney's where they have been selling them cheap."

The children were taken to public talks and lectures, and to local theatrical shows. In November 1932 Bertha wrote to her brother Ernest about one of these, recalling that

"The costumes were simply marvellous and the scenery wasn't bad. There were numerous troupes of girls who did high kicks most of the time and the Tyrolean dancers were frightfully good."

Philip, known as Pip, as a young boy, about 1934

The girls were very keen on dancing and attended dancing classes run by the Misses Rosser in Grassendale Park and by Miss Watts in Edge Lane. They especially enjoyed Miss Watts' classes because they could dress up in costume and perform in dancing displays, musical reviews and pantomimes, sometimes held at the Crane Theatre in Hanover Street.

Emily Tinne made all of their dancing costumes. The family letters reveal that this was not always an easy task and it could be expensive too. In March 1933 Philip wrote to Ernest

"Another Watts display shortly and Mummie will have another 8 dresses or so to make. They seem a lot of trouble for a 5 minutes dance. They also cost a bit."

Emily often commented on the amount of work involved. In May 1935 she wrote to her son:

"The dancing show is next Thursday. I wish it was over. I am getting very weary of it all. The sewing is rather a plague. I sometimes feel I cannot put up with it all."

But not wanting to disappoint her daughters, Emily continued to make their dancing costumes until they grew out of the activity.

Old photo of girl in ballet costume

Helen, posing for one of Miss Watts's
theatrical productions, about 1933-34