Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sepia Saturday: Cheeky lads

This week's theme photo for Sepia Saturday is delightful. I'm almost persuaded that those boys were all perfectly behaved, well-mannered, respectful, clean and never argued with each other or their parents. Almost.

I've selected a photo from an album I purchased on the web, an album where there is no indication of names or locations but there are some very interesting (to me) snapshots of the 1930s in England. This particular photo has some damage and the background is more in focus than the boy but I like it. I like his facial expression, his saggy pockets, his dirty knees, his twisted socks, his polished shoes and his cap. Is he wearing braces under his jumper? I note that the lad's cap has a badge. Does that indicate that he's dressed for school?

Lad with a cap
So many of my Australian family albums have photos of kids in floppy hats and bonnets or they are bareheaded ("Take your hat off for the photo, Jack, and get your hands out of your pockets.") and I couldn't find a single one of a boy wearing a cap or playing games with caps. But I did find this photo that matches the lad in the photo above more than the theme photo. It's a holiday photo, probably a beach in Victoria. The lady at the back is Edie Sims who was a sister of my husband's grandmother. Don't the ladies look elegant in their woollen bathing costumes. Would their bathing caps have been waterproof or did they just try to keep their heads out of the water? I have another photo of the two ladies actually sitting in the water. I have no idea who the boys are but the one on the left in the floppy hat is obviously a cheeky one. And why aren't the boys wearing bathers?

Edie Sims (at the back) and others unknown.
If you want to see more lads in caps playing games you can head on over to the Sepia Saturday page.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sepia Saturday: Roy saw a ghost (on a postcard)

Roy Phelan was a country lad from Victoria, Australia so England (let alone the trenches of France) must have been a shock. He spent some time around Codford when he first arrived in Europe in 1918 and after the war he remained in England for about six months while he recuperated from a bad shrapnel injury. So he, like many other soldiers, was a tourist.

And, like many other soldiers, he bought postcards to send home or to keep as a record of his visit. For this post I've selected several of his postcards from a visit to Hampton Court Palace. None of these has been posted or written on the reverse. The Palace is outstanding even in the UK so I can only imagine how overwhelming it must have appeared to Roy.

Entrance to Vine and Gardener's Cottage, Hampton Court Palace. Postcard c1918.
South-East Front, Hampton Court Palace.
Is it possible that the lawn was dug up for vegetable gardens in WW!?
The third postcard is my selection for the Sepia Saturday theme of 'horror and Halloween'.

It is also Hampton Court Palace and shows the ghost of Jane Seymour. Apparently she was seen every night! I wonder if she still appears. Roy must have been intrigued because we don't have a lot of ghosts her in Australia and especially not in his home town of Mitiamo that was only about 40 years old at the time.

The Hampton Court Palace Ghost.
 Queen Jane Seymour's Ghost.
As seen nightly near the private stairway, leading to apartments formerly occupied by her.


Now, close your eyes if you are easily shocked. You've been warned.

This an old sepia photograph taken by a member of a photography club in Melbourne in the 1950s. It is one of a collection of photos donated to the Genealogical Society of Victoria.

Experimental photography and development techniques.
If you want to see more horrible photos sidle on over to the Sepia Saturday page.


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