Thursday, 12 January 2017

Windows on Life - Sepia Saturday

Windows in the classical style plus a close up of a man at a window are the photographs for this week's Sepia Saturday prompt.

One  photograph on my collection immediately came to mind - 
my little granddaughter at the window of  her Wendy house.


 A more pensive look here.
 

 First trip on a tram - and looking out of the window.
at Beamish Open Air Museum in County Durham - 
one of our favourite day trip destinations.
 


On a more serious note  - outside the window a special photograph of my grandfather and grandmother  - William Danson and Alice English, taken c.1916 when Grandad was setting  out for war. I never knew my grandmother as she died when I was a baby and this is the only photograph I have of William and Alice together.  

Alice has featured  several times on my blog as she is my major brick wall.  I have never been able to trace her  birth certificate, c.1884  to find out the name of her mother and her early life remains a mystery which I doubt if I will now solve.

 

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With an interest in architecture, Windows feature a lot in our holiday photographs.

Warsaw - a house with decorated walls - open windows here, but no one looking out



Where 16th century  French architecture meets the contemporary style of the famous glass Louvre Pyramid. Opened in 1989,  it evoked controversy on many grounds. It now provides the entrance to the Louvre Museum, and somehow I think it works. 



Against the backcloth of a classical building,  a cow "marches" on parade atop of a bus shelter in Warsaw.  The  lull scale  fibre  glass figures are  decorated  by local artists and represent different aspects of city life and culture 


  The "Cow Parades" have become a popular feature of public art  in cities across the world, adding colour and interest to the surroundings. 





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  Sepia Saturday gives an opportunity for genealogy bloggers 
                                to share their family history through photographs

 Click HERE to read how other bloggers have interpreted the windows theme. 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Curly Headed Arthur Smith - A Photographer's Son

My cousin's  father was  Arthur  Stuart Ingram  Smith, seen left with his wife Elsie Oldham, and children Stuart, Gloria and Jacqueline. Arthur was the son of  Lily Beatrice Jones and  Edward Stewart Ingram Smith (1871-1923), at one time a photographer in Blackpool.   
Edward's fair looks were to pass down through generations of the family and not surprisingly young Arthur found himself the subject of many a portrait.  

 

Below is  Arthur not looking too happy, as he perches on the chair, clad in a dress, as was the custom  for very young boys.  The tartan reflects the family's pride  in their Scottish links  with an ancestral trail leading back to Unst,  the most northerly island in the Shetlands.


Arthur with his mop of unruly curly hair is looking here more  like a madcap boy, always into mischief. 



Back to perching on a  chair.



With his two sisters,Ella and Edith, with Arthur in a little Lord Fauntleroy outfit.

 

 A more thoughful-lookng Arthur, with even longer curly hair. 
 
 


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The next photograph almost comes as a shock to see Arthur shorn of his curls, though still wearing the lace collar.  The  photograph I suspect was taken before his father Edward went off to war c.1916. with all. the family looking serious at the prospect of what lay ahead.   

 


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On leaving school, Arthur  worked  for the post office, firstly as a delivery boy and then as a linesman.  He later went onto work in the family coal merchant business of his wife Elsie Oldham. 

During the war, Arthur served as a signalman,   was evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940  and later served in Italy and Africa.  After the way, he returned to work at the G.P.O.

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Arthur emerging from a manhole during his work as a linesman for the General Post Office. 


Arthur married  Elsie Oldham in 1932, with their  children inheriting  their father's fair looks.  


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Postscript:  This profile of Arthur Smith is the fourth in a series of posts on the Smith family who hailed originally from  the island of Unst in the Shetlands  The middle name of Ingram, after the local minister there, was passed down the generations.  

The family left Unst between 1861 and 1871, moving onto the Scottish mainlandIn a number of moves and facing bankruptcy along the way, John Ingram Smith settled  in the famous  seaside resort of Blackpool in Lancashire where he became catering manager at the Winter Gardens. His grandson was Arthur Stuart Ingram  Smith. 

The Smiths of Unst,  Shetland 
John Ingram Smith - From Butler to Bankruptcy
The Sad Story of Edward Stewart Ingram Smith





Thursday, 5 January 2017

Seaside "Walkie" Snapshots: Sepia Saturday


 

This  week's Sepia Saturday photo prompt awoke my  memories of  seaside holidays and the photographers who plied  their trade along the promenades,  taking snapshots of people strolling by - hence the term  "walkies"  - as opposed to the current trend for   "selfies"! 

You paid money and either collected  the photographs later at  a kiosk, or could arrange for them to be posted home to you - just hoping they would arrive and this wasn't  what we now call a "scam".  We often did our best to dodge the photographers and not get caught by their hard sell. 


A double strip - at  Bournemouth on the south coast  - early 1950's, with  Dad carrying my brother, and mu aunt alongside.  This would be August yet my aunt was  wearing a warm coat - so much for a British summer!
Again Bournemouth, - Dad, brother   and myself (as usual with my eyes shut on a photograph),   wearing a dress. made by my mother - little blue and green flower print with a big white collar, and my hair in its usual pigtails fastened with ribbons.  We are all casually dressed for the summer,  but look at the older man behind - in his suit, collar and tie, waistcoat and trilby hat. 




        Two more Bournemouth photographs of Dad and my brother. 



A walk along Blackpool promenade with Mum and my paternal grandmother,  who of course  were wearing their hats.    I don't  look too happy, but I do like that little handbag I am carrying. My dressmaker mother made my coats,  with velvet trimmed collar and pockets.


And finally - a photograph in my husband's collection - but he has no idea who it is.  The only clue is a note on the back "Lots of Love from the four D's at Skegness!. I guess that it was taken late 1940's judging by the dress style of the older woman on the right and the fact both women were wearing hats.  A typical image of "Walkie" photograph.



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                   Sepia Saturday gives an opportunity for genealogy bloggers 
                                to share their family history through photographs

 Click HERE to read memories from other bloggers

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas Greetings

A Very Merry Christmas to all my Blog Readers.
With best wishes for 2017. 
 
Thank you for all your support and comments 
throughout the year - they mean a lot to me. 
          Susan (ScotSue)  
 
 
 
 One of the many popular embroidered cards from the time of the First World War 
 
 
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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Uncle Harry's Christmas Meal - France 1939: Sepia Saturday

In 2011 I posted the story of my uncle's wartime Christmas meal.  It is a powerful and poignant tale.  that I feel is worth repeating for this week's Sepia Saturday prompt.  

Harry Rawcliffe Danson ((1912-2001) was my uncle on my mother's side of the family from Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire. His middle name came from his grandmother Maria Danson, nee Rawcliffe. 



This signed menu of December 25th 1939,   written in French and typed on very  flimsy paper,  was found among his papers following his death. 

In 1939, Harry was in France with the British Expeditionary Force, 9/17th Field Battery.  In the Sergeant's Mess,  breakfast was cold ham with piccalilli, eggs, coffee and roll and butter;  for dinner  - turkey with chestnuts, pork with apple sauce, potatoes, and cauliflower followed by Christmas pudding, apples, oranges, and nuts, with cognac, rum and beer.  That strikes me now as quite a feast, given the conditions they must have been living in - and a tribute to the catering corps.

Five months later in May 1940.  Harry was one of the many men trapped by the German army on the beaches of northern France.
338,226 soldiers  were evacuated  by a hastily assembled fleet of over 800 boats.  Many of the troops  had to wade out into the sea,  waiting for hours in shoulder-deep water. Some were ferried from the beaches to the larger ships by what came to be known as "the little ships of Dunkirk" - a flotilla   of hundreds of merchant shipping,   small boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft, and lifeboats.  called into service for the emergency.

The British Expeditionary Force had to abandon their tanks, vehicles, and other equipment, and lost 68,000 soldiers during the French campaign.    

How many of those men who signed Harry's Christmas Day menu 
might well have perished in that operation
Allied evacuation of Dunkirk
Courtesy of Wikipedia 
 My mother related how  Harry arrived back home from Dunkirk  still in the uniform in which he entered the sea to be rescued.   Harry  never talked about his wartime experiences, but seeing commemoration services or documentaries on TV could bring tears to his eyes, so the memories remained very strong - and that flimsy bit of signed paper, kept for over 60 years, was a potent symbol of his Christmas Day, 1939.

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Harry later served in Africa and Italy.





Harry had a short lived marriage in the 1940's, but never remarried.   He lived  to the age of 89.  remaining active to the end of his life - he sailed a small dinghy off the coast of nearby Fleetwood, was  a keen gardener, do-it-yourselfer, and ballroom dancer (he was never short of partners) - and he retained his good looks !


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Sepia Saturday gives an opportunity for genealogy bloggers 
to share their family history through photographs.


 Click HERE to read memories of Christmas meals from other bloggers.


 Copyright © 2016 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

See Amid the Winter Snow: Sepia Saturday

This week's  prompt photograph has a snowy theme - with two girls (teenagers?) having fun making a "snowwoman".

In my family, the camera was obviously just for summer use as no winter photographs exist.    I do recollect my mother saying how hard it was to keep  my baby brother warm - he was born a few months before one of the worst winters in modern history - 1947.  Britain was still suffering in the aftermath of war, with food rationing, power cuts, coal shortages - and no central heating in those days.

Here are pictures from the collection of my local heritage group Auld Earlston in the Scottish Borders of winter 1947. 

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”
 (Carl Reiner) 

  Digging out the train in Earlston Station 

 
The main A68 road through the central Borders, linking Newcastle with Edinburgh


Earlston Square 

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? J. B. Priestley
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/snow.html
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? J. B. Priestley
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/snow.html
But some people enjoy snow

Photographers looking for that perfect winter scene. 
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/jbpriest159615.html?src=t_snow

 "The first fall of snow is not only an event, but a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up to another kind of world, and if this is not enchantments, then where is it to be found?"  (J.B,Priestley) 
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/jbpriest159615.html?src=t_snow

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/jbpriest159615.html?src=t_snow
An idyllic snowy picture of Selkirk in the Scottish Borders c.1925.  
from the collection of the Heritage Hub, Hawick

 
 Earlston in the winter of 2011
 
 The River Leader at Earlston, 2011



 Heron spotted on the River Slitrig in Hawick, Scottish Borders, 2009


 I spent a wonderful  year 1965-66  working in Cambridge, Massachusetts near Boston and this photograph brings back memories of the kind of winter I had not experienced before -  here in a picturesque image of  Harvard Chapel.

"Watch the woods fill up with snow" - Robert Frost
Cowdenknowes Woods, Earlston

Curling Enthusiasts - enjoying an outdoor game 

Members of Earlston Curling Club, 1995 

Dogs  - not too sure about the owners enjoying the snow, though!

Children 
"Jan-u-ary brings the snow;
 Makes our feet and fingers glow"  
(Sara Coleridge)  

My granddaughter exploring this new world of snow for the first time. 



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Sepia Saturday gives an opportunity for genealogy bloggers to share their family history through photographs.


Click HERE to see how other bloggers have ploughed their way 
through snow this week


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