Old Photographs: Part Two

IMG_2612These brown photo albums live in a drawer in my sitting room. My mother insisted that I take them to New Zealand in order to pass them on to my children. As far as I’m aware, my sister has also been given similar albums for her children, same reason.

They never come out of the drawer, otherwise there will be too many hours spent pondering on the characters in the images and their stories. The photographs in these albums are not the snapshots of an individual life, as in my collection from yesterday. They are the story of a family, a culture and tiny glimpses of history.

One is very much an album of my mother’s people, but for some reason I’m more drawn to the people on my father’s side, found in the other albums. I’ve even pulled out a couple of those and framed them.

They are not memories to me of course, but these photographs are memories nevertheless. It’s photographs like these that keep the past alive, and souls remembered, even if we don’t know their names. I think there’s something about a face photographed in black and white that seems to reveal a little more soul than in colour. Anyway, here’s a random selection like yesterday, but I’ll fill them out with what stories I know – briefly of course. (Lots of novels here – copyright of all of them belong to me 🙂

My Grandfather is the scary looking man top left. The group is my grandparents and my uncles. The little blonde lad is Dad. I don't know why  my aunts weren't included in this shot.

My Grandfather is the scary looking man top left. The group is my grandparents and my uncles. The little blonde lad is Dad. I don’t know why my aunts weren’t included in this shot.

Really not sure about these ladies. Great-great Grandmother I suspect.

Really not sure about these ladies. Great-great Grandmother I suspect.

IMG_2596

My Grandfather and his cousin. Here’s the mystery: Both of them had lost one eye each and yet wouldn’t tell anyone how. That was well before the war, by the way. They went from knacker men to wealthy men with brilliant business acumen and wills of steel (so dad used to say). 

Naughty naughty Uncle Paul. Original 'Jack the Lad' till the end. Loved him to pieces. Mum used to say he was a bad influence on Dad. He was.

Naughty naughty Uncle Paul. Original ‘Jack the Lad’ till the end. Loved him to pieces. Mum used to say he was a bad influence on Dad. He was.

IMG_2614

One that’s on my mantlepiece. Great-Great Grandmother, Great-Grandfather (who is the image of my brother), Grandfather and he’s holding his eldest son, Uncle Ben. In fact, all three of these men are called Benjamin. So is Ben’s eldest son, and his eldest son.

My father's mother, Gladys. She'd had a hard life bringing up all those children with a hard and difficult man for a husband. When he died having made some money, she went on cruises all over the world and spent way past her means. My father had to go and rescue her,  paying off her hotel and holiday bills and bring her home. She had a fabulous time as a widow. Gladys died after a day out shopping with one of her daughters. She died in her sleep, and she was smiling.

My father’s mother, Gladys. She’d had a hard life bringing up all those children with a hard and difficult man for a husband. When he died having made some money, she went on cruises all over the world and spent way past her means. My father had to go and rescue her, paying off her hotel and holiday bills and bring her home (so mum says). She had a fabulous time as a widow. Gladys died after a day out shopping with one of her daughters. She died in her sleep, and she was smiling.

Da Boyz. The dapper handsome one was Gladys's brother. I met him once. He was an old man, but still dapper. I suspect this photo was taken on the occasion of my grandparents wedding. Again, where are the girls?

Da Boyz. The dapper handsome one was Gladys’s brother. I met him once. He was an old man, but still dapper. I suspect this photo was taken on the occasion of my grandparent’s wedding. Again, where are the girls?

This wedding photo is special to me even though I'm not in it, being a baby or not yet born. My cousin Joe isn't there either, as he's the only cousin who's younger than me. What's special is that everyone else is there in one photo. All my Aunts and Uncles, their spouses, my brothers and sister, and all my cousins. My parents are looking at each other in the crowd, although I think they may be bickering.  On the opposite page in the album is the photo of my dad and my Uncle Robert. He died in a drink driving accident, and many mourned for him. Lovely guy. Another naughty one.

This wedding photo is special to me even though I’m not in it, being a baby or not yet born. My cousin Joe isn’t there either, as he’s the only cousin who’s younger than me. What’s special is that everyone else is there in one photo. All my Aunts and Uncles, their spouses, my brothers and sister, and all my cousins. My parents are looking at each other in the crowd, although I think they may be bickering. On the opposite page in the album is the photo of my dad and my Uncle Robert. He died in a drink driving accident, and many mourned for him. Lovely guy. Another naughty one.

Rest in Peace, you wonderful lot.

I’ll be posting ‘Q’ tomorrow – I have no idea about what yet…

3 thoughts on “Old Photographs: Part Two

  1. I have lots of relatives who I only know through snippets like “oh, he was the wild one” you have to fill the blanks in with your imagination. It’s interesting to flip through photos like this. Good luck with Lady Q.

  2. How very strange that I should come across this blog whist pottering the net. Your photographs hit me like a Tsunami and knocked my Sunday off its axis – I’d never seen a picture of my great great grandma or photos of my father in his youth – some of your memories of Dorset,caravans and Wareham bought my childhood back in a flash………….we used to stay in the Black Bear, eat breakfast in a small room at the back and all the adults would drink in the bar downstairs in the evening. I sometimes go back there to stay for a little while, to find some peace, breathe in the past, feel their spirits…………I got stung by a bee along the same river your father walked along and ate chips in the car park……

    Enough…………..I just wanted you to know I was very grateful to you for posting those photographs…..I am crying as I type for all that is lost………should you ever feel like posting any more I would be forever in your debt.

    Be well Becca

    Greta

    • Wow – thank you. Cousin Greta?
      My email is becca.joyce@mac.com. If you’d like me to get some copies made and send you some of these photos, particularly ones with your dad, I’d be more than happy to. Just email your address and we’ll go from there.

      To think I nearly took these photos down as they felt so personal to put on a blog. Glad I didn’t.

      Very best you,
      Becca

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s