Florence Osborne (1a) 1850 - 1937
Florence always wore black clothes down to the ground. Pippa says she was "Very, very nice", and Wilma says she was "Lovely. Terrific." She would not have her hands manicured in Lent. Aline called her "petite mere" because she received much kindness from her. Pippa remembers her having a 'slightly crumpled face'. She was protected, cherished and loving.
She wrote music for each of her grandchildren except Wilma, who has always felt sad about this.
She often visited Winkenhurst, especially at Christmas. Wilma and Pippa can remember that sometimes she played music while the children processed into the Drawing Room to open their Christmas presents, which were laid out in piles, one pile for each child on her own bit of furniture. At one time the opening of presents seems to have taken place in the Smoking Room at Winkenhurst, which was the room most used by the family. And Wilma can remember that on these occasions she and her grandmother used to lead the procession into the room, being the oldest and youngest members of the family. On one occasion their father was badly burned by the candles on the Christmas Tree, and Wilma wonders if they opened presents in the Drawing Room thereafter because of a Bad Memory.
Wilma can remember presents being made in the Smoking Room, sitting on the floor behind the back of the person who was to receive the present. This was known as "Doing P.W." - Doing Private Work.
She had a brother who was called Uncle Arthur.
If the dates are correct she outlived William by 33 years, and she and Aunt Mabel and Sparkie (Miss Sparks, her ladiesmaid,) often came to visit members of the family. When at home she lived at 15 Pelham Crescent, South Kensington, which was a corner block.
Miss Sparks, called Sparkie Larkie by Wilm, played with the children. Wilma can remember being bathed by her after they had all been to the zoo, and how she was sliding into the bath imitating sea lions, and that Sparkie Larkie went along with the fun and mess quite happily. The household also contained Huxtable, a tall and majestic parlour maid, and Mrs. Ryan who wore sneakers in the kitchen and spoke with a cockney accent.
Pippa can remember her coming to stay at C.H., with her maids, and says, "I hope the maids got on."
William and Florence Bruce had 7 children, Enid, Lilian, Louie-Mary, Mabel, Nigel, Tom and Reginald.