This old silver pocket watch belonged to my maternal grandfather. It's one of just a few things belonging to him which have survived to this day. It doesn't work and I don't remember it ever telling the time, but that doesn't stop it from being a priceless family heirloom.
My grandfather died long before I was born, having married late in life. I don't know much about him other than that he was a carpenter who took pride in his work. Born in the latter half of the 19th century, he went to America but, unlike most emigrants of the time, he returned home.
He also took pride in his appearances as there's a photo of him, outside a carpenters' shop in New York, with a bushy beard, which was fashionable at the time. He alone isn't wearing a leather carpenter's apron as he took it off before the photograph was taken as he deemed it improper for a man to be photographed wearing an apron! There are other photos of him, looking dapper in a shirt and waistcoat, which the chain of this watch clearly visible.
On his return to Ireland, he had the cottage where he was born remodeled into a two-storey farmhouse.
I live there now with my husband and son, and we are conscious of its heritage. When we had it renovated some years ago, we retained as many of the original features as we could, including some woodwork which I think my grandfather would have crafted himself.