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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Sepia Saturday: Attic Discoveries

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

The theme this week is  family documents.  I have featured over the past year my family bibles, first world war postcards and the war time letters of my parents.

So here is something NEW for my blog - an eclectic mix of papers found when clearing my grandfather's house in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.  They recall a birth, marriage and death - and also some shopping.

The letter below is the only item I have in my grandmother's writing, so particularly wonderful to find, written to her sister in law Jennie on the birth of her baby  daughter in 1930.  Again I wonder why this was kept at my grandparents, rather than with Jennie.   I never knew my grandmother Alice Danson, nee English, who died when i was a baby and she remains the major brick wall in  my family history research, as I have been singularly unsuccessful in tracing   her birth certificate and discovering  the name of her mother.

Alice ends by sending her love with a "kiss for her ladyship".   

My grandmother Alice English married William Danson in April 1907.  In the shoebox of family photographs and memorabilia was this receipt  paid by Alice on February 26th 1907 for:

Two yards of bodice lining, hooks, silk sundries and bodice making - was this her wedding outfit?  It surely must have had sentimental value for it to be kept with the photographs? 

From a birth and marriage to the end of a life, with this purchase of a burial plot by my grandfather William Danson at a charge of one pound and 14 shillings.  The date of 31st January 1911 is significant, as his baby son George Frederick  died at just a few weeks old. 

Finally some ephemera which so often gets thrown out, but yet conveys so much of the era. 

Goodness only knows why this butcher's bill of 1925 was kept, but the design of the letterhead  certainly appeals to me.  I have done a Google search and believe the crest is that of the Master Butchers. I must admit that the prospect of eating "pickled tongues" does not appeal to me, and I cannot make out even the principal item bought. Does anyone have any ideas? 

From the same year (1925) the purchase of a pair of children's one  bar shoes. These must have been for my aunt Peggy - very much the "baby" of the family,  born in 1921.  

Both businesses are listed  under  of Trades and Professions in an 1934 Directory of Ppulton -  W. Bennet under Butchers and Arthur Clegg, under Boots & Shoe Dealers  and Cloggers.


Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved


  1. The name on that last entry - Arthur Clegg - jumped out at me. As you may recall because you helped me trace some of my English family background, my great grandmother's name was Elizabeth Clegg & her father, William Clegg. But he wasn't in the shoe business. Clegg must be somewhat of a common name? But now I'm curious. What are bar shoes? :))

    1. Many thanks, Gail, for your comment. Yes Clegg is a common name, in the north of England, associated in particular with Lancashire and Yorkshire. . Bar shoes are, I think, what you call Mary Jane shoes in the States i.e.shoes for little girls with a bar fastened across the foot - often kept for Sunday best wear. . .

  2. It looks like he bought a "Poem" at the butchers, but it's doubtful. Maybe it's "poult," a young chicken or pheasant.

  3. I loved this story Susan, especially the emotional messages of "kiss her lady ship for me" and "little Billy grinned all over his face"...such family emotion and celebration. You've also shown how boring old invoices can add to our family's stories.

  4. When ever I see the name Clegg I think of Clegg in The Last of The Summer Wine (set in Yorkshire of course). We have some old bills (receipts) from the 1940s - I shall have to look them out.

  5. Is the bottom item on the Butcher list, "liver"? But you can probably make that out. The bill is dated on Valentine's day. Something romantic perhaps?

  6. An interesting and mysterious assortment of documents.

  7. The graphics on the butcher's bill are tremendous! Worth keeping it just for that. Wonderful.....

  8. This collection made a fine story line, and I enjoyed the words of your grandmother. Clegg did the same thing to me, reminded me I'd seen it lately...but it was here on SS...not in my tree. Tee hee, I'm easily confused these days!

  9. Very nice, an odd collection that makes a good story. How many similar things I've tossed when clearing out relatives homes!

  10. I was started by seeing the name Clegg too. In the past my name Cleage was spelled Clegg.

  11. Usually all these trivial notes are thrown out when clearing a household. At the time they were certainly not trivial, birth, marriage, buying food, shoes or a wedding outfit were important and luckily you have still the proof of it.

  12. How interesting, and what a treasure to find from your grandmother too!

  13. Great discoveries. It is wonderful when such things appear at the bottom of old boxes or within the covers of old books. There is so much history trapped in everyday things such as receipts and letters.

  14. Wonderful - this is exactly the sort of ephemera that takes us back to real people. The infants' deaths are always poignant at whatever point in history. Could the item just be plain pork- or is that too simplistic?

  15. It's interesting that it took three months to pay the account for the shoes. The business people must have had to carry a lot of debt on their books in those days.

  16. A whole little history in your collection of ephemera. A wonderful post.

  17. Just now reading this...quite the collection; the things we find when we have to clean out homes of our loved ones.

  18. A great post on a neglected type of ephemera. Today a receipt has more information than we would ever think to need, and yet there is nothing that resembles these personal handwritten lists.


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