I'm lucky that there was always money in my family. at least, until the years between the wars there was. Prior to the 20th century, my mother's side of the family were farmers and master masons, MPs, high ranking military personnel. On my dad's side there were shipbuilders, poets, MPs and master mariners. Trace my bloodline back far enough and you find a man so rich that he gave the estate we now call Beaulieu to the first Lord Montagu as a wedding present. Go back further still and there are scraps of evidence to suggest that my family once owned the land where about a quarter of St Ives in Cornwall now stands. The 'Faerie poet' Robert Herrick (1591-1674) dedicated a collection of his works to one of my ancestors, his 'peculiar friend Mr Thomas Shapcott' (though not a direct ancestor due to his sexual preferences) and my family pretty much built half of the village of Looe in Cornwall. As I say, there was always money. Quite where it all went is a mystery. Bad investment possibly. Or it may be (no sexist slight intended) that the women I'm descended from had to take over the running of large and complex businesses without any training or experience when their husbands, brothers and sons didn't return from the war. Whatever the reason, by 1950, my family was left comfortable but no longer rich.
It's looking encouraging; my five year old granddaughter took this one of me on Coombe Hill, Buckinghamshire last week.