It's one of two plaster ornaments that used to be sit either side of the steps outside the front door. You'll see one more clearly in the photo of my great-gran and me. (Incidentally the steps that feature in more family photos that anyone else were large pieces of slate that warmed up wonderfully in the sunshine.) One said Home and the other Sweet. For some reason I think they were placed to read Home Sweet rather than Sweet Home but I could be remembering wrongly.
Yesterday I asked my great-aunt, who was born in Albert house and who now at the age of 96 lives next door, about them and she told me her father Hobart Honey had been commissioned to make three of these saying, Home Sweet Home but the woman from Norton who ordered them died before he'd finished. So they ended up decorating Hobart's garden.
I asked the builders about them. They thought the owner intended to keep them but I might try and contact him and ask him if he'd like to sell them to me. I don't know where we'd put them but I would rather like to have them back.
Going back to Hobart Honey there is a story about him in a book of old Mumbles pubs but the story related there is not quite accurate according to family legend.
|The original Hobart Pasha|
He was born in the Marine Hotel, a public house near the sea front in Southend, Mumbles. At the time Mumbles was a yachting centre and was visited by the rich and famous including a Hobart Pasha, the admiral of the Turkish fleet. Apparently Thomas Honey, the landlord, got into conversation with a customer who mentioned that Hobart Pasha had left the village. 'No, he hasn't,' retorted my great-great-grandfather.
The customer argued that he was right so the landlord challenged him to put his money where his mouth was.
Once the bet had been taken, the landlord went upstairs and brought down his new baby son. 'Meet Hobart Pasha,' he declared.
We're not told what his wife, my great-great-gran, thought about this choice of name for her baby.