Ciss or Emmy as
she was known in the family was the eldest daughter of William and Alice Steer.
Throughout her life she lived in the Croydon/South London area being born in
Woodside Green, Croydon. "Ciss" was a derivation of sister and symbolized the
closeness she had with her sister Kath.
After her school
days she became a shop assistant for the South Suburban Cooperative Society and
that was where she met her future husband Harry Cane. They married in 1936 in
Croydon, South London. During the war her husband served in the RAF and on
cessation of hostilities the couple purchased a house at 68 Meadvale Road,
Croydon, where they lived thereafter. They never had children but devoted their
energies to their immediate family and various social activities within the
Cooperative movement. They enjoyed gardening and were active in the South Suburban Coop Horticultural Society, winning many prizes and medals.
usually spent in England particularly the West Country. They introduced their
nephews Bruce and Lionel to the Cornish Tin and Copper Mines and the delights of
Cornish beaches. Many hours were spent exploring old arsenic smeltings and
filling Uncle Harry's car with rocks and minerals. Lionel subsequently
permanently relocated to St Earth, Cornwall.
Living near her
parents in Addiscombe, Ciss daily cycled to see them. On Thursdays she regularly
met her sister Kath and they went to Surrey Street market in Croydon for their
fruit and vegetables. They would then return to Belmont by train in time for the
arrival of Kath's children, Bruce and Lionel from school. After a cup of tea
Ciss would leave for Croydon catching the bus from West Croydon Station to
Woodside in time to get Harry's evening meal. This pattern of life prevailed for
many years and typified the stability and continuity of family life that Ciss
In latter years
Ciss suffered blood disorders that were life threatening and on one occasion she
died for 15 minutes, fortuitously to be restored to life by the expertise of the
medical team. She passed on in 1992 and is commemorated on a stone, formerly in
Mitcham Road Cemetery but now at Tower House.