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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Enjoying the Sun - Sepia Saturday

Each week, Sepia Saturday, provides an opportunity for genealogy bloggers to share their family history through photographs.

Sun bathing is the theme of this week's Sepia Saturday postings.  A suitably cheering thought on  a cold, wet, dreicht winter's day  in Scotland.  So sit back, read  and think of summer!

This charming  photograph below  is couresy of my American friend Gail.  Here is her mother Lillian Adele Whitney, aged 7.  enjoying the sun on a beach in  in San Francisco in 1925 - though she complained that her bathing suit was made of wool and itched something terrible.

Gail recalls " Lillian Adelle Whitney, was born in  1918 to Bertha Louise (Parton) Whitney and Ira Edwin Whitney in Letterman Gen'l hospital in the Presidio in San Francisco.  (The hospital later burned down, but Mom says it wasn't her fault.)  Her maternal grandmother, Johanna Magdalena Hedman, at age 11, moved with her family from Sweden to Salt Lake City, Utah, where she later met and married William Henry Parton from England, and Bertha Louise was their second child.

Before she married, Mom sang with a band – entertaining at various places in San Francisco including the famous Cliff House.  She married  Herbert Kinsey Bradley whose father Frank Herbert Bradley  emigrated to Pawtucket, Rhode Island  c.1885 from Blackburn, Lancashire,  aged 5, along with his mother and five sisters - what happened to their father Abraham is still a mystery to be unravelled!   


Here my mother Kathleen Danson, her youngest sister Peggy and her great friend who I knew as Auntie Phyllis were enjoying the outdoor South Shore Swimming Pool at Blackpool, Lancqsahire  in the 1930's.  Aunt Peggy emigrated to Auistralia in 1949 shortly after her marriage.  

Two decades later in the 1950's, I remember Mum taking my brother and I there for a swim. In that era it was also a popular venue for beauty contests.   It was later demolished and I think the site is now a car park - a sad end to an iconic 1930's playground.

Look at those shoes - still in fashion!

Were summers really better when I was young?    Here is a nostalgic  look back to the 1950's  when summer meant sun - family holidays at Bournmouth on the south coast of England.

And just to show that spring may not be far behind - this photograph was taken yesterday in our garden on January 10th  

To find out how other bloggers have enjoyed the beach theme, click HERE

Copyright © 2013 · Susan Donaldson. All Rights Reserved


  1. What exceptional photos, full of fashion and history. The pool must have been a beautiful place. Where I live there are no public pools; you have to join a club or have your own if you want to swim in a pool. Too many insurance issues, I guess. Oh well. My favorite picture is the last one of you in that cute checkered dress and bonnet.

  2. I share your feelings about summers....were they better then? Did your Dad really have such a tan on his face in contrast to his body or is that a lighting problem. Love your sunglasses.

  3. Wonderful pictures and memories Sue, and I find myself asking the same question about nostalgia - was it really better then? (of course it was!)

  4. Funny, people are asking the same questions here. And the answer usually is that the summers were hotter and the winters colder.
    BTW Did anyone accuse Bertha of burning down the hospital? Or was she a joker?

  5. I particularly loved that parasol! As to shoes at the beach..seems a bit strange to me but perhaps not with your weather and stonier beaches. I wonder who wears bathing caps these days other than lifesavers? I used to always when a child but now? never. Good to see that Spring is about to sprung.

  6. We can boast of a flower too; but snow is forecast for tonight. 1950s memories for me were of school and university where it always seemed warm. I believe we went to Blackpool once when I was a small boy.Deckchairs on the beach I recall at Mablethorpe.
    Great photos, one and all.

  7. Wonderful photos.

    Dee at Shakin' the Family Tree

  8. What great photos and memories that you have shared with us today! I think that the name Lillian Adelle is one prettiest ones that I have ever heard of, for some reason. I enjoyed the photos of your Mom and you too. And, yes, summers were better when we were little!

    Kathy M.

  9. I especially like the first photo with the parasol.

  10. Summers were definitely better when we were little! The change in routine itself was a vacation and the times were simpler for most of us, I think. Now our parents might have a different view. Just as I thought playing in the snow was great when I was young - but I wasn't the one washing and drying and changing all those wet clothes and snow boots and out trying to drive in it, etc.

  11. Lovely post! The first photo is so adorable. And the parasol is quite pretty.

    I also love the last photo of the flower. What kind of plant is it? I love yellow flowers. They're so sunshiny and happy. I have some daffodils that are starting to poke through the ground now. It's so fun when they finally bloom.

    1. Many thanks, Jana for your comment. The flowers are winter flowering jasmine on a trellis outside my kitchen window - a lovely heralder of spring. It is snowing as I type!

  12. I too remember that outdoor swimming pool in Bradford. Lovely photographs - the scenes, the memories - all part of our common heritage.

  13. Parasol of my dreams! I adore them. Great photos of good times!

  14. Isn't it strange that so many of those happy childhood memories should be so vivid, while others from much later on in our lives seem to fade into nothingness far more quickly. Thanks for sharing these memories with us for Sepia Saturday.

  15. Great beach photos. Love the parasol one and the one of you in your cute bonnet.

  16. Thank you to everyone for their kind comments. I have enjoyed sharing memories and reading of other happy summer family holidays.

  17. Great photos, ScotSue! That itchy bathing suit would have been awful!


    P.S. I love mysteries to be unraveled, don't you?

  18. Oh! I just love this collection of photos!! Thanks for making these come alive!


  19. The first photo of the girl with embrella is irresistible. And you are so cute on the second last picture. I've had the winter jasmine in my garden, beneath the kitchen window. It was blooming in winter indeed, with those wonderful yellow flowers.

  20. I can't even imagine trying to get in the water or swim in wool!

  21. The little girl with the parasol is so cute and so is your Aunt Peggy and what a great bunch of beach photos all together. My bulbs haven't bloomed yet but they are sending up new growth and I expect to see the blooms any day now.


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