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Monday, 16 July 2018

Musical Moments: 52 Ancestors - Week 29

My family's love of church music,  featured HERE in an earlier theme of "52 Ancestors", so for this week, I am looking back at my own musical memories for Week 29 of Amy Johnson Crow's year long challenge.

"I am in an  all singing/dancing chorus, swirling my skirts,  in a  London West End show  - such as Carousel, Oklahoma, West Side Story or 42nd Street .......
But It Was All One of My Wildest Dreams!  

Back to reality! Playing the triangle in my infant school percussion group  is my earliest musical memory.  I was non too pleased at being given  this instrument.  Like everyone else, I wanted the favourite choice  - the sleigh bells.  


I made my singing debut in my primary school nativity play where I sang the first verse of "We Three Kings of Orient Are".  I had no wish to sing solo every again!. 

My next stage performance  was at a Brownie's concert when, clutching our teddies,  we sang "The Teddy Bear's Picnic". 

In my primary school days,  every Wednesday afternoon we gathered in the hall for community singing and I learnt such patriotic songs as The British Grenadiers, Hearts of Oak, The Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, Bluebells of Scotland and my favourite Men of Harlech, sung with much gusto.  Sea shanties were also popular as we swung from side to side to sing What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?   Are these now all forgotten,  as I doubt that children are familiar with them today? 


I began learning the piano at the age of eight, largely because it was a sore point with my mother that her older sister and much younger sister learnt, but she missed out. 
 So she was determined that I had the chance, and the piano, complete with candlesticks, was transported  from my grandfather's house to our cold front room, which only had a fire on for special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas - not conducive to nimble fingers across the keyboard! 

One of my worst musical experiences, at the age of 12, when my piano teacher enrolled me to take part in a local musical festival - I hated it, but reckon the adjudicator must have felt worse having to listen to  us children playing (or murdering) the same piece of music over and over again. I vowed never to go through that again. 

I
didn't  progress beyond Grade 3 as we moved house across country and I never took up lessons again, but the love  of music stayed with me.   my limited piano playing ability  (for hymns, community singing and party games) did come in useful in applying for a job as a school auxiliary.   


My mother
My parents and aunt were the people I have to thank for making music so much a  part of my life from an early age, introducing me to musicals, operetta and ballet (my most  favourite art form).  I was lucky to grow up in Blackpool, Lancashire which  had regular touring companies to the Opera House and Grand Theatre.  
I loved "The Gypsy Baron" and wanted  a gypsy costume and headdress with long coloured ribbons  - the nearest I got was full skirt  trimmed with rows of  ric rac.  My first ballet was "Coppelia" - an ideal choice for a little girl with the feisty heroine in a lovely pale blue tutu,  the handsome hero - and more gypsy dances.  

Coppelia
 In my teens, my mot her and I went  to see the ballet  "Sleeping Beauty" and I was mesmerised by the magic of it - from the orchestral overture,  the transforming scenery, the costumes and of course the dancing.  "La Boheme" was the first grand opera I saw and my hanky was well and truly soaked as I wept at the death of Mimi.  Ditto seeing Carmen and La Traviata. 

We weren't a particularly musical family, but my mother sang in the Townswomen's Guild Choir and my father sang in the church choir.  Radio & TV  programmes such as "Melodies for You, 100 Best Tunes, Friday Night is Music Night  and Songs of Praise  - were regulars we listened  to or watched.

Singing in a choir (school, church, community)  has been a key activity throughout my life from primary school days onwards, whether it was folk songs from round the world, spirituals, carols, sacred music, opera and operetta choruses,   or songs from the shows - musical tastes that still mean a lot to me today. I was very happy to be a chorus girl, with no pretensions to be a soloist - I knew my limitations!  It is a marvellous form of music making, whatever your age, a great creator of the "feel good factor",  and there is nothing to beat singing with the full blooded accompaniment of an an orchestra or  organ.

High school introduced me to Gilbert & Sullivan (another of my mother's favourites)   and I was hooked, singing in most of the operas over the years.  At University, I joined the  Savoy Opera Group and the annual G & S performances were the highlight of my years there - I loved taking part in them - the dressing up (the girls made their own costumes), the singing and some dancing. 

 

Here I am ina scgool performance  of "Patience" which is a skit on Oscar Wilde and the aesthetic  movement. I am one of the  "Twenty lovesick maidens we" - second standing figure  on the right, plucking my cardboard lyre.

 

In the public gallery in "Trial By Jury" 

 
 In "HMS PInafore" - I am second on the right, twirling my pink parasol.

My other musical highlight was a few years ago when I  was  one of over a 1000 singers, plus orchestra and organ  in a "Come and Sing" performance of "The Messiah"  in the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London - an exhilarating,  moving  and unforgettable experience in front of a packed 4000 audience.  I was on a high,  walking back to our hotel.   

I have now decided it is time  to "retire" my voice, but music still plays an important part in my life.  "Classic FM" is my favoured radio channel and a natural accompaniment to being at the computer.   

The  musical moments and memories live on.  

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Postscript:
With a lesson that no experience is ever wasted - in a university exam for Modern British Social History, I was faced with a question  about how did music in the period  reflect issues of the time.  I had some  knowledge about Felix Mendelssohn (love of all things Scottish), Edward Elgar (patriotism and post-war despair) and the popularity of oratorios (Victorian attitudes to religion). / 
 

But I came into my own with Gilbert & Sullivan with their many witty satires  on such Victorian institutions as the navy, the legal profession,   the military,   the police, the Houses of Parliament, the peerage, bureaucracy, women's education, social status,     the pre-Raphelite movement and the craze for with all things Japanese.  There was no shortage of material to write about.  I passed with credit! 

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks



Sunday, 8 July 2018

A Far East Wartime Journey: 52 Ancestors - Wk. 28

Travel is the theme of this week's prompt in the year long challenge "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", initiated by Amy Johnson Crow. 

My father, John P. Weston. served in the RAF Codes & Ciphers Branch Here is a story from his wartime memories that he wrote down for me/  Left  is the only photograph I have of him in tropical kit.

"VE Day I spent at Wiesbaden in Germany.  The following day a signal arrived from London saying I was to go the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean, where there was a tracking station.  


I flew back home via Paris, landing at RAF Benrose, Oxford and then by rail home for 10 days leave.   I then received instructions to report to RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire to fly out east.  On the last night there, I made a telephone call home.  I said to the operator "I am off to the Far East, will you give me some extra time" - she did - which I did not have to pay for." 
"Then off on a circuitous route because we were not allowed to overfly certain counties.  My travel documents said I was priority three – there were ten degrees, with Generals number one. We flew to Marseilles, then to Sardinia (refuel), over Malta to El Adam, near Tobruk., along the North African coast past Cairo and onto Palestine for a 36 hour break and went to Bethlehem.  Our base was Lydda right on the coast.  The flies were a major menace!" 
 

"We flew onto Bahrain in the Gulf and then to Habayra (RAF airfield in Iraq) – temperature 104F when we landed there at 4a.m.  I could hardly breath.  Then onto Pakistan, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and across to Ceylon.  I went by rail to Mountbatten’s HQ some 8000 feet in a tropical town of  Kandy.

My stay there was brief, but I remembered the good food.  I was told plans had changed and I was rerouted to Bombay. 


It was take off in Colombo and we had almost reached the point of no return when the plane burst a tyre, which delayed us 24 hours. We took off at 4am on the second occasion. 


"In Burma things were moving to a close.  I was there at the ceremony in Rangoon when the Japanese capitulated.  I was based at the university.  We were always short of tea, which seemed odd in that part of the world, but there was plenty of cocoa.  I also had a ration of one bottle of gin and one of lime juice a month.  I used to drink that under my mosquito net at night watching the mosquitoes  run up and down the wall. 

In November 1945, I was called back for demob.  A driver took me by jeep to the airfield some 20 miles away.  I sat with a rifle (loaded) on my knee since we had to travel through some forests frequented by Dacoits (a terrorist organization in Burma).  The time was 5am. and we made it all right. I flew to Calcutta again and was there for some days.  Calcutta was an awful experience.    Flies crawled over people sitting in the gutters day and night.
We were due to take a train across the desert to Bombay, some 3000 miles.  But there was rioting against the English  in Calcutta and we had to return to camp.  Later we were taken by armoured cars to the station.  On the long journey across India, we stopped at stations to get some food.  We had this on trays, and as we walked along the platform back to the train, hawks dived down and snatched the food.  
I had a short break in Bombay before sailing on the "City of Asia" for home.  I was in charge of a deck of some 200 men.  We eventually arrived at Liverpool on Christmas Day and went to a camp at Birkenhead.  Then I caught a train to Blackpool and arrived home by taxi at 2pm. 

One of the first things I did was to cradle you in my arms – you were shy – no wonder!" 


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The travel documents above I found amongst my father's papers, following his death. I was so proud to have these wartime accounts by my father and they have formed the basis of a nrrative I wrote on his experiences.  


Dad would have loved the world of blogging!  
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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 

Friday, 6 July 2018

One, Two, Three: Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday's  prompt photograph this week, show a rather doleful trio sitting in an old darkly lit pub.  My focus is on threesomes in my family history.

Below is a much cheerier photograph of my grandfather William Danson (in the middle),  with his brother  Robert on the left (with dog)  and a friend, sitting perhaps in a local social club.  

THREE FRIENDS 
 

THREE SIBLINGS

              Florence Annie (born 1894),  Lily (born 1886) & William (born 1891)  - 
                    children of Henry Baile & Annie McAffray of Blackpool, Lancashire 


This charming photograph is  one of the oldest  in my family collection and comes from my cousin.  Elizabeth Danson, the  mother of Henry Bailey above,  was  the eldest sister  of my great grandfather James Danson.   Henry, a stone mason, died at the age of 41 in 1903, leaving his young family fatherless. 

THREE SOLEMN CHILDREN

Tom, Janie and Jack Riley, the grandchildren of Maria's sister 
Jane Riley, nee Rawcliffe, c.1913  



THREE SAILOR LADS
Jack Riley (above)  is identified in the centre  of this group,  
wearing sailor’s uniform  and a cap HMS Chester.

On the left is Marcus Bailey, a neighbour of Jack in Fleetwood. 



 I have tried to trace Jack  in service records without success.  HM Chester was a ship involved at the Battle of Jutland in the First World War.


I have  a postcard sent by Jack's  mother to my great grandmother Maria to say " Jack went out to sea today.  He went in good spirits".  The postmark is difficult to make out but could be 7.?? 16  or 18. 



THREE SISTERS
                   
A photograph from in the collection of my great aunt Jennie,  identified as 
Amy,  Edna and Lavinia Dodd, Todmorden.



Jennie's youngest brother George had enlisted  January 1916 at Todmorden, West Yorkshire.  His army service record gave his   address at the time as  17 Harker Street, Harley Bank,  Todmorden, with occupation station bookstall manager.  I turned to the 1911 census online  and found the Dodd family at  17 Harker Street, Harley Bank,  Todmorden, with head of household Elizabeth Dodd (occupation charing) and three daughters Amy aged 15 (a cotton weaver) , Edna 12 (a fustian sewer)  and Lavinia  aged 9.  They never saw George again, as he was killed on the Somme in 1916.
  

A  FAREWELL TRIO 
 
 My father in RAF uniform, with my mother on the right and her sister, my Aunt Edith on Dad's left - taken in the garden of my grandfather's house, c.1940.


THREE IN A ROW

Dad on the left  and his older brother Fred - 
whilst I am the little girl, not looking too happy 

A PROUD TRIO

 My graduation, 1965, with my parents outside the McEwan Hall, Edinburgh.
   It was a windy day! 


THREE GENERATIONS
Myself with daughter and my mother, 1981. 





 THREE HAPPY HOLIDAYMAKERS  
 My brother Chris and I,  with our father on a busy promenade in Bournemouth, c.1952  


AND THE FAMILY TRIO 45 YEARS ON........
Dad, my brother and myself. 

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AND FINALLY
This week's prompt photograph below reminded me so much of the old country places we went into for a drink  in the  little villages in Austria  - with the window style, the dark interior, wooden benches, and rafted ceiling.  Unfortunately I have no photographs of them - but here is a more modern version. 


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Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity 
to share their family history through photographs.

 


Click HERE to read this week#s posts  from other Sepia Saturday bloggers.

Copyright © 2018 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved


Friday, 29 June 2018

On Parade with Earlston Clown Band: Sepia Saturday

 This week's prompt photograph from Sepia Saturday shows a band in 1910.  I have the ideal match courtesy of my local heritage group Auld Earlston with photographs and press reportsfrom the early 20th century of Earlsotn Clown Band. 

Earlston Town Band at Melrose Cycle Parade, 1923 

This was a major three day event to raise funds for Melrose Football Club and comprised a bazaar, a concert, a cycle parade/fancy dress parade and a dance at which the Clown Band opened the evening with a Clown Waltz.

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It is only recently that I have searched online British Newspapers at www.findmypast.co.uk to find many reports on Earlston Clown Band who performed at events across the Scottish Borders,  However I have so far been unable to trace the background to the organisation and to its distinctive theme and costumes.  


The earliest report found appeared in "The Berwickshrie News" of 28th August 1906 and referred to a village picnic at Cowdenknowes House, near Earlston, where the band was the star performer in  the entertainment.
"The famous Clown Band was unanimously considered, nay acclaimed  as the most striking and most original performance of the day..........  The performer on the big drum would be marked for distinction,  for never before "throbbed the war drum" under such handling as it got from he wielder of the drum sticks."
This photograph of Cowdenknowes House is not dated, but, judging by the costume, this could well by the picnic event in 1906.  
  
The Clown Band at Galashiels Cycle Parade, 1916

On 14th January 1919,  "The Berwickshire News"  reporter waxed eloquently in a colourful account of a school concert where:
The finale  was the performance of Earlston Junior Clown Band . trained by Miss Gil, one of the teachers, and her pupils did her infinite credit.  This  was thought to be the crowning performance of the evening and caused a great sensation.   Their grotesque garments and equally grotesque musical  performance  made the bandsmen the heroes of the hour, the observed of all observers, the cynosure of every eye.  Their contribution to the evening  was a veritable  triumph  and was rewarded with tremendous applause. "
You do wonder what their "grotesque musical performance" sounded like! 
 
The Band at Galashiels Peace Parade, 1919 

1923 was a busy summer for the Band, for they appeared  at many events across the Borders, including  a fancy dress parade to aid the funds of Earlston Bowling Club.
"The streets along which the procession passed were crowded  with spectators, with over 100 adults and juveniles taking part. The local Clown Band, attired in fantastic dresses,  brought up the rear.
In October 1923 the band  opened the celebrations at Mellerstain House following the marriage of Lord and Lady Haddington and returned in 1934 to mark the birth of a daughter, where: 
"With the  bonfire well alight, and the surroundings brightly illuminated, Earlston Clown Band entertained the workers and those who congregated around the blazing bonfire.   Liberal refreshments were served and the night was one of gaity."

 
Mellerstain House - June 2018

May 1937 saw the Coronation celebration in the village, with the  fancy dress pageant
"Headed by the familiar Clown Band,  Mr. J. W, Murdison, attired in clerical garb acting as drum major.  

The last report found on the  band was  in "The Berwickshire News" of 13th July 1937 when the band took part, with great acclaim  in a fancy dress parade in Lauder.
 "Much of the success of the parade was due to the efforts of the Earlston Clown Band,  which led the procession through the streets of the Burgh .  The antics of the band, who were all in character,  and its leader Mr. John Murdison roused peals of laughter from the many spectators who had gathered to watch the procession.
At the presentation of the prizes, an extra vote of thanks was given to Earlston Clown Band, who had kindly given their services free, and to Mr. J. Murdison and Ian Macdonald who were instrumental in bringing the band to Lauder." 
No further press reports were traced after that date. Did the outbreak of war bring an end to the Clown Band activities,  which had delighted its followers down the decades?  

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Today Melrose Pipe Band leads the fancy dress parade in Earlston Civic Week

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Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity 
to share their family history through photographs.
To discover more tales of bands  from Sepia Saturday bloggers, click HERE
 
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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Life as a Land Girl 1944-45: Military Monday

I first wrote this post for my local heritage group,  Auld Earlston in the Scottish Borders  as part of  its latest project to gather memories  of the Second World War from elderly resident. 
We are grateful to B. who has given us here  a vivid account of life as a land girl at Georgefield Farm, Earlston in 1944-45.  

Being Called Up  
"I was living in Edinburgh, left school at 14 and was   working in a lawyer's office when I was called up in 1944.  I was given the choice of becoming a FANY - joining the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry or the Land Army.  I chose the Land Army as it was always the one organization that appealed to me.  I was delighted to be given the choice, as my sister was just conscripted into  Munitions with no alternative offered."

Working on a Poultry Farm 
"It was a huge change for me when I was sent to Georgefield  Farm in  Earlston,  looking after the large poultry section - cleaning out the hen houses, feeding the hens who were free range poultry,  and rounding them up at night to shut them  away from prowling foxes. I became strong there and could heave around 100weight sacks of meal.
We started work at 7am and finishing time depended on the time of year.  In winter we shut the hens up around 4pn but in the lighter nights, it could be midnight before we finished. After the grain was harvested,  the hens were sent into the cornfields and it took ages to get them back in the hen houses.   It was amazing what you could see in the moonlight  - we had torches but you were lucky if you could get fresh batteries for them. For those long hours,  I can never remember getting paid more than £2 a week. We had a uniform of khaki breeches, a V-necked pullover and a brimmed hat."
The view looking north from Georgefield Farm - taken in January 2018. 
Wartime Food 
 "Four or five  of us lived in a bothy on the farm and we ate well - all on the rations.  One of us took it in turns to return to the bothy to prepare our midday meal - often macaroni cheese or mince and tatties. I had not done any cooking before,  but I soon learnt on the coal stove.  A great perk was that we were allowed a dozen eggs a week, which I often saved to take back home for my weekends off.  Everyone heartily disliked  the dried eggs which were part of the staple wartime diet,  so fresh eggs were a big treat.  We never ate chicken the whole time I was there. If the chickens were sick or injured,  they were killed and put in the incinerator.  It was only after the war, I thought "Why did we never get it to cook?"

Food shopping (all on the wartime rations) was done in the village - at the grocers' shops - Willie  Park's,  Tom Bell's,  Forrest's, or Taylor's. 

We felt  we were much  luckier than the other land girls  working  on the arable crops at Georgefield.  They were based in a hostel at Bemersyde, so much more isolated than we were; they were brought to the farm in a van and had to prepare ahead their sandwiches for lunch - boringly jam, spam or cheese. "
Leisure Time
We had a good deal of freedom. as we could get easily into the village;  we went to dances, often twice a week in the Corn Exchange, and enjoyed listening  to the Polish Band.   Drink wasn't served at the dance, and it was never a problem in the village.  The evening finished with the playing of the Polish and British national anthems.
 We took the bus into Galashiels (return fare 1/6 - one shilling and sixpence).  We got every second weekend off and I  often went back home to Edinburgh  - 5/6 return (five shillings and sixpence)  on the bus. 
Sometimes on free weekends we took the bus to Carfraemill. Hotel.  5 shillings was the maximum by law that could be charged  for a meal and we would get high tea for 4/6 there - fish and chips, or ham salad, with bread, scone or a toasted  teacake. 
The whole of the war I only had two dresses which I wore alternatively. If you wanted to get a new winter coat, that took almost all your clothes rations for the year.  It helped to have a father or brother who could pass on their unwanted coupons.
One of the girls in the bothy had a gramophone and introduced me to opera - "La Boheme" and it has remained a great love of mine.  We had no radio to find out what was going on in the world outside,  but one of us took it in turns to walk into Earlston to get a newspaper - usually the Daily Herald or Daily Express." 

A Change 
"In 1945 I was sent to a dairy farm near Chirnside.  I hated it, especially the noise of the milking machines. We had a room in a farm cottage, but there was no privacy.  The only washing facility was in the kitchen which we shared with the family."
V.E. Day
"For me my war had ended. For my family it was not a day  for celebration,  but a time for reflection and remembrance of  my brother who had been killed in action" 

Postscript  
"In Earlston, I met my husband who was home on leave.  We married in 1948 and  Earlston has been my home now for 70 years". 

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NOTES:
The Women's Land Army  was a British civilian organisation,  created during the First and Second World Wars,  to recruit  women to  work in agriculture, replacing men called up to the armed forces.  At first volunteers were sought. but  numbers  were increased by conscription.   By 1944 the Women's Land Army  had over 80,000 members across Britain.   It was officially disbanded in 1949.
 
A World War One Land Girl
 
On the left - A Land Girl in the Second World War
with an Air Raid Warden on the right.  

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Military Monday is one of many daily blog prompts from Geneabloggerstribe.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

John Danson and his "Said Bastard Child" - 52 Ancestor:Wk 26

"Black Sheep" is the this week's theme in  Amy Johnson Crow's year long  challenge "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks."   I am focusing on John Danson,  who in 1810 was taken to court to provide support for  his "said Bastard child".


Parish Records record that John Danson was born 5th October 1789 and baptized the 15th October at St. Chad's Church, Poulton-le-Fylde,   the eldest son of my great, great, great  grandparents - Henry Danson and Elizabeth Brown of Carleton, Lancashire. He was the Black Sheep of my Danson family - as evidenced in  this document which I was delighted to find at Lancashire Record Office.



 
St.Chad's Church, Poulton where Dansons were baptised, married and buried down the generations.  Registers date from 1591 and the oldest part of the present church the Tower (above)  dates from before 1638. 
  
John,  in 1810 at the age of 21, was served by Lancashire Quarter Sessions with an affiliation order,  ordering him to contribute to the upkeep of his “said bastard child”  - a daughter by Ann Butler of Marton.   The poor unnamed  child was repeatedly given this tag in the document below which  is fascinating on its choice of language:

“Ann Butler, single woman, was upon the 27th day of August last, delivered of a female bastard child in the said township of Marton, and that John Danson, husbandman of Carleton did begot the said bastard on her body and is the father of the same.


The document continues:
"Thereupon, we order… for the better relief of the said township…and the sustenance and relief of the said bastard child…John Danson pay unto the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor…the sum of One Pound Eighteen Shillings for and towards the charges and expenses incident to the birth…further sum of Four Shillings ngs towards the cost of apprehending and securing the said John Danson….the sum of Two Shillings weekly…towards the keeping, sustenance and maintenance of the said bastard child”.

In 1810, £1 18s 0d was equivalent  to 12 days wages for a  skilled tradesman, and would have the same spending power of today's £88. 40p.   The 2 shillings weekly payment was equivalent to £4.65 pence in today's money. (Source:  National Archives Currency Converter)  



Unfortunately I have been unable to trace anything further on this story. No marriage has been traced for John;  a burial at Chad's Church, Poulton was found for  a John Danson of Carleton aged 36 - which ties in with the facts known,   but no details were given as to a spouse or his parents to clearly identify him. The neighbouring parish of Bispham  recorded  the death of an Ann Butler in 1820, aged 32, but again no other information.  Given that the illegitimate baby girl  was not identified by name, it has proved difficult to make any headway there.  

Does anyone have any thoughts  where I could turn to next?  

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks


 

Friday, 15 June 2018

An Array of Hats : Sepia Saturday

I was torn between Groups and Hats for my response to this week's Sepia Saturday prompt photograph below, but most of my groups are wedding photographs, so instead I decided to present you with   "An Array of Hats" .  They date from the early 20th century and reflect the range of ages as in the prompt picture. 



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Here is a charming photograph of the marriage of Beatrice Oldham and Jack Clark in Blackpool, Lancashire  on 26th December 1919. 

I feel the significance of the date after the First World War is not lost in this photograph,  where there is a certain air of informality and lack of ostentation,  with a plain hat and a shorter skirt and the groom carrying a trilby hat.   It contrasts with the very formal opulent dress style  at  Beatrice's sister Sarah's wedding nine years earlier in 1910.
   
Sarah and Beatrice were  the aunts of my mother's second cousin Elsie Oldham.   Sarah's husband George worked for the Oldham family coal merchant business in Blackpool. 

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But to return to everyday fashion wear in hats|:

My husband's great aunt Pat King, nee Hibbert, on the beach with her little daughter Annette, born in 1919. 

 
The formal engagement photograph of my husband's parents Ivy White and John Robert Donaldson of South Shields, County Durham.  They married in 1929. 


My mother Kathleen Danson, c.1911 taking part in a parade in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.  She does not look too happy in her little bootees, frilly white dress and large hat. 


A very fancy large hat for a little girl - Florence Mason. c.1905, pictured here with her father.   She was my grandfather's cousin on his mother's side of the family, and the youngest of twelve  children, six of whom were born in Brooklyn, New York.   

    
A photograph in the collection of my Great Aunt Jenny, and presumed to be a friend's daughter. 

And finally - combining hats and a group - another photograph from Jennie's collection -  - unfortunately unidentified, c.1920's. But the group of friends look rather glu 

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Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity 
to share their family history through photographs

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