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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Seaside "Walkie" Snapshots: Sepia Saturday


This  week's Sepia Saturday photo prompt awoke my  memories of  seaside holidays and the photographers who plied  their trade along the promenades,  taking snapshots of people strolling by - hence the term  "walkies"  - as opposed to the current trend for   "selfies"! 

You paid money and either collected  the photographs later at  a kiosk, or could arrange for them to be posted home to you - just hoping they would arrive and this wasn't  what we now call a "scam".  We often did our best to dodge the photographers and not get caught by their hard sell. 

A double strip - at  Bournemouth on the south coast  - early 1950's, with  Dad carrying my brother, and mu aunt alongside.  This would be August yet my aunt was  wearing a warm coat - so much for a British summer!
Again Bournemouth, - Dad, brother   and myself (as usual with my eyes shut on a photograph),   wearing a dress. made by my mother - little blue and green flower print with a big white collar, and my hair in its usual pigtails fastened with ribbons.  We are all casually dressed for the summer,  but look at the older man behind - in his suit, collar and tie, waistcoat and trilby hat. 

        Two more Bournemouth photographs of Dad and my brother. 

A walk along Blackpool promenade with Mum and my paternal grandmother,  who of course  were wearing their hats.    I don't  look too happy, but I do like that little handbag I am carrying. My dressmaker mother made my coats,  with velvet trimmed collar and pockets.

And finally - a photograph in my husband's collection - but he has no idea who it is.  The only clue is a note on the back "Lots of Love from the four D's at Skegness!. I guess that it was taken late 1940's judging by the dress style of the older woman on the right and the fact both women were wearing hats.  A typical image of "Walkie" photograph.

                   Sepia Saturday gives an opportunity for genealogy bloggers 
                                to share their family history through photographs

 Click HERE to read memories from other bloggers


  1. Aren't you happy your family succumbed to the sales pitches and had these wonderful photos taken. Your little purse and that coat!! You were adorable.

  2. I have seen some of these photos on your blog before with other stories, but I don't recall ever knowing about "walkies." I wonder if they exist/existed here in the States. At resorts in the Caribbean, there is always a photographer around taking pictures setting you up for the big sales pitch later in the week! I rather like the informality and spontaneity of your walkies.

  3. You looked so cute in your smart little coat and carrying your very own purse! You do look a little leery - perhaps not quite sure about the photographer photographing you?

  4. Though I know now that street photographers were once common in the US, I had never encountered one until I first visited Britain in 1982. I met one outside Buckingham Palace and at first I thought he was just a friendly Londoner offering to take my picture. So I was surprised when he asked for 10 quid. Thinking myself clever, I "negotiated" for 5. I'm still waiting for the photo.

  5. Hi Sue - I enjoyed the photos and the explanation of street photographers. I have a couple in my collection from my mother-in-law but was never quite sure how they worked. I quoted your post in mine http://ayfamilyhistory.blogspot.com.au/2017/01/sepia-saturday-street-photography.html I found a lot of news articles about street photographers and wether or not they were allowed to ply their trade. I guess they were bit pushy as you described and once regarded as a bit of a nuisance but lots of people liked the results :) I think the photos of your family are great.

  6. Very interesting pist. There are some similar photographs in my mother's and mother-in-law's collections, but I hadn't really thought about who would have taken them before. I guess at the seaside people were relaxed and happy to have a souvenir photograph and if out shopping there were probably dressed in their best so they looked good there too.

  7. Your mother certainly knew how to make lovely outfits.That little handbag is unusual too; I wonder if it was one of your Mum's evening bags that she let you ‘borrow'.

  8. I never ran into "vacation photographers" in childhood or young adulthood. Nor even now, later in life. Perhaps I just didn't vacation where they were. I did however have a similar coat with the velvet collar and pockets. My grandmother was a professional dressmaker.

  9. Thank you all for sharing your memories of seaside photographers, though, Mike, I was sorry to read of your experience in London. Yes, I was a well dressed little girl, thanks to my mother who was apprenticed to a tailor from the age of 14.

  10. Oh I remember "Walking Snaps" so well. The ones in Bridlington used to display their pictures in the window of a shop near the harbour - I remember craning my infant head to see if I could spot myself.


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