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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Pigeon Post told of the Win- Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday encourages bloggers to record their family history through photographs.

When I saw this prompt of three young men carrying  football boots, there was only one photograph I had to feature and  it only came into my possession  a few weeks ago.

Thanks to a local historical society,  I now have the earliest photograph of my father, aged 14 in 1926  as a member of a winning football team.

My father is on the right of the middle row, identified as Perce Weston.

My  father John Percy Weston (1912-2003) had written down for me the memories of his  early life in Brosely, near Ironbridge, Shropshire.

"I was mad keen on soccer, so much so that I had a trial at Birmingham with the English schoolboys. My teacher took me in his car to that and to a second trial at Shrewsbury.

One Saturday when I was working as an errand boy, two directors from Birmingham Football Club came to see Dad and Mum to sign me on for the junior team  - they refused, saying I was too young to be away from home. I was not told about this until later and sulked for a month!

But a bit of glory followed, when my school team entered a cup competition. I was vice-captain and we got to the final - and won the cup, the first ever for Brosely.

One of the supporters took a carrier pigeon along with us and set it loose at the end to let Brosely know the result and to prepare a welcome, as we were bringing home the cup! "

The pigeon was obviously  an ancestor of Twitter!

Apparently a photograph was taken of the team's success, but no pictures of my father's early life passed down the family. I have only one photograph (below)  of him prior to his meeting my mother in 1936. Family memorabilia (including Dad's church choir and football team photographs) were thrown out by a widowed relative.  How sad!

Unfortunately I only had a broad indication of the year for the event, which made tracing it in local newspapers difficult. In an effort to find out more, I contacted Brosely Historical Society who put my enquiry on their online newsletter.   I am delighted to say I have heard from three members of the society with more personal memories - and even better have a photograph of the winning football team, with my father on the middle row right, identified as Perce Weston. I always thought he hated his middle name Percy, but he seemed to be known by that as a child.

This is the earliest photograph I have of my father and I am so grateful to the Society for filing this gap in my family history.  

My father retained his love of football all his life.   He was a great follower of Wolves and Aston Villa and was an avid watcher of matches on television, right up to his death at the age of 91.

And an important lesson from this - don't forget the value that can be gained from contacting local societies.

My father in the 1930's proudly showing off his car with his younger brother Charles, 

Based on a recent posting under the banner of Geneabloggers Thankful Thursday

Click here to find how other bloggers' stories on this week's theme.


  1. I Dont Blame Him For Sulking! Great Photos!

  2. How wonderful to find a photo of your father in his younger days, well worth the effort I would say. Nice article, you're way ahead, I'm still to find a photo!

  3. Isn't in wonderful when a 'new' photograph suddenly appears? I've had a few lately and they all seem to add something to the story. Your Dad sounds very like mine, following his team avidly, a lifelong supporter. Lovely post Sue.

  4. What a wonderful story! I'm glad your father's disappointment was followed by a first-ever championship. Very little can top that kind of excitement. The carrier-pigeon part of the story is most amazing.

  5. These old family photographs are SO important -- they fill in pieces of our pasts that otherwise would be blank pages. Nice post!

  6. I've always wondered what sound pigeons make. But now I know: they twitter. Still, it's a pity that there are no earlier pictures of your father. So keep this one in a safe place!

  7. Those are both great pictures. I was fascinated by the use of the carrier pigeon.

  8. Did the society actually give you the photograph? How nice to be able to have one when the others were thrown out. Shame on that relative. I also loved the carrier pigeon story. Great post.

  9. Another footballer named Percy - what a lucky find for you.

  10. What a wonderful surprise for you to find this photo of your father as a youngster so many years later. Cool story about the carrier pigeon announcing the win.

  11. How wonderful to have this photograph and even more so to have your father's memories. These are the things we treasure!

  12. You are so lucky to have this! I think about all the photos that I am missing from my own relatives, then I wonder, am I keeping enough around for the years far ahead? Interesting story, and the picture of your father and his younger brother Charles, is very special too! What a wonderful car besides!

  13. sending a pigeon ahead to tell of a football match result, how cool is that. Must have been the closest the 1920's got to the speed of social media today.
    Great post Sue

  14. Enjoyed this very much! Great that you got your father's football memories recorded and then found the photo of his team.

  15. Your father has written down his memories! This is adding so much to the photos. I enjoyed your post.

  16. I would have sulked for months as well. How things have changed these days with clubs looking for ever younger talent. Great memories especially as they have been recorded by your dad.

  17. Thank you to everyone for their kind comments. I know how lucky I am thqt my father wrote down his memories for me (he would have loved blogging!).

    To Barbara & Nancy - yes, a member of the historical society e-mailed me a copy of the football team photograph which may well have come from a newspaper. I also was sent a photograph of the street where the family lived and portraits of the two vicars that my father must have known as a member of the church choir - all material for future blog posts.

  18. How fun for you to have this photo of your dad! And what a great treasure for you that he wrote down his memories of his early life in Brosely! That's just priceless.

    Isn't it amazing how far we've come? From carrier pigeons to instant messaging. Gotta love technology!

  19. Thank goodness for local historical societies. Your dad and Charles are a handsome pair :-) Jo


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