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Saturday, 22 September 2018

Taking to the Road in Times Past: Sepia Saturday

A vintage car is the focus of this week's Sepia Saturday prompt photograph, so take a journey to see how our ancestors drove around in the past. 

Below - My elegant mother standing  by my father's car - can anyone name the makeI suspect this was taken around 1937, before my parents married. Take a look at Mum's fashionable shoes and that pancake hat

 A photograph from my cousin's collection on his Oldham Family

This is my cousin's first ever car - a 1932 Morris Minor. It was the only car he ever had where he made a profit when he sold it.   He bought it in 1958 for £20 and sold it a year later for £30! The photograph is taken near Inverary in the west of Scotland on the Rest and Be Thankful road, - notorious for landslips, snow and road closed warnings!  

My  Dad, John Weston (on the left) with his brother Charles. I was delighted to get this photograph from my cousin,  as it  is one of the few photographs I have of my father prior to his marriage in 1938  to my mother    John and Charles were close as  brothers and often went on motoring trips together. Here looking very suave in a smart casual style of the day.  c.1936  Can anyone name the make? 

From the collection of my local heritage group - Auld Earlston. 

Prime Minister Asquith leaving Earlston Station in 1908 in the official car to take him to a political meeting in the village.

 Out for a drive in Earlston c.1920's

 Baker's Van in Earlston

From Baker to Butcher  - with a rather rickety looking vehicle  belonging to Donaldson family  in Earlston - no relation.

Andrew Taylor & Sons, Ironmonger & Grocer in Earlston,
  - listed in a Directory of 1931.   

1930's and a quiet drive in the middle of the road on now what is now the busy main A68 route linking Newcastle and Edinburgh through the central Scottish Borders.

And what was likely to be the biggest danger facing motorists in the early 20th century ?   Children playing on the road.


Fast forward some decades to the 1960's with more family photographs.

 Outside our home in Edinburgh and my mother smartly dressed for, I suspect)  a Sunday drive.

Mum with her sister, my Aunt Edith - same car and in the background the faint image of  Forth Rail Bridge (built 1882 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and  in the foreground the tower of the new Forth Road Bridge.  Sunday afternoon often meant we drove out  to  see the building  of the bridge, opened by the Queen in 1964.   At the time it was the longest suspension bridge outside the USA and a major event in Scottish transport linking Edinburgh with the north east of the country. 

Before then,  you had to join the (often lengthy)  queue at South Quensferry to cross the River Forth on a ferry, first  established by Queen Margaret of Scotland in the 11th century to transport pilgrims to Dunfermline Abbey and St. Andrew's . T

Even  for a causal drive out, my mother wore  hat, court shoes, gloves and large handbag - what  a contrast to the casual wear today, even for 60 years old's plus.  

And Finally

My cousin's little son, learning to drive at an early age!  My brother had a very similar pedal car - but no photographs appear to have been taken. 


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

Click HERE for other contributions from Sepia Saturday blo




  1. Wonderful collection of cars/vans. I especially was glad to see the second photo of your mother, where it proved she didn't have green hair, but a hat which reflected the light. Thanks for sharing family...and I had to laugh out loud with the boy in his pedal car. Not sure that any of my boys had one, but various other pedal vehicles!

  2. A message from Stuart that the two cars I asked about - the first one with my mother and the one of my father & uncle - are both Morris 8s. Thanks, Stuart.

  3. Those old cars seem to have so much more character and personality than the newer ones.

  4. A wonderful set of car photos! When I first visited London in 1982 I was astonished by the variety of British cars on the streets of South Kensington where I was staying. though of course it was very high class. The number of vintage British car marques that I did not recognize was startling because they had never been imported to the US. I fell in love with those small British cars like the Morris 8, and if I had the space to keep any classic automobile(s) I'd easily become a fanatic car collector instead of a photo collector.

  5. Great photos of cars - both of family and Earlston. I smiled at your mention of having to wait in a long line to take a ferry across the River Forth before the Tower Bridge was built. Before the Richmond-San Rafael bridge was built across San Francisco Bay, we had to wait in a long line to take a ferry across the bay to Marin County on our way to a Sunday picnic somewhere. I remember my Dad reading the Sunday paper as we waited, and as cars came off the arriving ferry, we'd try to gage how many cars were ahead of us and whether we'd get on the arriving ferry, or have to wait for the next one. The same coming home except it was a little more worrisome there if we were late as the ferries stopped running at 8:00 at night and if we missed the last one, we had to go a long way around the north end of the bay. So Dad was happy when the new bridge was completed, but I missed those Sundays waiting for the ferry! :)

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed your post, loved the clothes fashions too.

  7. Thank you all for your kind comments.

  8. Love this car retrospective -- both your family cars and the others. Amazing what an impact the car made on so many people, as evidenced by their posing proudly with their vehicles. And fortunate for you, too, as you were able to get that wonderful photo of your dad.

  9. I greatly enjoyed your photos! Do people go on Sunday drives anymore? When I was a kid, and the car ahead of us was driving too slowly, my dad would make a "Sunday driver" comment.

  10. I love all the vintage cars & fashions in these photos. You don't seem to see many 'people with their cars' type photos anymore. I wonder if it's because owing a car isn't quite as rare & special as it used to be?

  11. I love this collection of old car photos! Interesting to see the progression to the last one ;)

    My Dad loved cars and I have several photos of him in the mid 1940s in a convertible.

  12. I love your collection of car photos. I think Callie may be right that these days it’s not such a special event to own a car, or take a road trip. Pre-marriage my Mum was helping Dad work on his car in the driveway when my grandfather came out and told Dad she’s a keeper! They were married over 65 years!


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