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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Hats off to Women at Work - Sepia Saturday

PThis week's Sepia Saturday prompt photogrpah show a smiling woman, with her tied up in a turban scarf,  in the workplace wielding a power drill. 

I  remember as a young child  my mother putting up her hair in a similar scarf on wash day - always a Monday - we were traditional in the north.   This was the days before washing machines, not even a twin tub never mid an automatic.   She did the washing by hand and then got out the mangle  to feed the soaking clothes etc. through it to wring out the water. If I was at home on holiday I helped feed the sheets through, before  everything was hung outside to dry. 

All of this made wash-day an arduous task, so Monday tea was left overs - cold meat from the Sunday roast, served with chips. 

Needless to say  no photograph exists of my mother  on this task.  Family snapshot were strictly for recording leisure activities, not housework.  

Continuing  my headgear theme, here are some more photographs of women  in the workplace, wearing hats of one kind or another.  

A World War One Land Girl  - Becky Bennet 

This photograph was in the large  collection of my great aunt Jennie Danson  (1897-1989) of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.    I know nothing else about it. 

 My husband's aunt in the uniform of a  Land Girl and his mother  as an Air Raid Warden in World War Two. 

The Women's Land Army  was a British civilian organisation created during the First and Second World Wars,  so women could work in agriculture, replacing men called up to the military.

Air Raid Wardens patrolled the streets during the blackout to check that no lights were visible.  They also reported on bomb damage and sought  the help of the emergency services.

My Aunt Peggy (left) with a WAAF friend

In World War Two my aunt  Peggy Danson  served in the WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force), with a note In the family photograph album that she was  in a Barrage Balloon Squadron in Hull, on the east coast of Yorkshire.  

Balloon barrages were a passive form of defence designed to force enemy raiders to fly higher, and thus bomb much less accurately.  The barrage balloon was simply a bag of lighter-than-air gas attached to a steel cable anchored to the ground. The balloon could be raised or lowered to the desired altitude by a winch
at times this could be dangerous work.

I could not resist showing again two images from my local heritage group, Auld Earlston,  as they fit my theme this week so well 

 Earlston Munition Workers in World War Two. 

Bondagers in their distinctive costume

Bondagers were female farm workers in south east Scotland and Northumberland. As part of their husband's contract (or bond) with the farmer, he would undertake to provide another worker (usually his wife) to help as and when required. The women wore a  dress with bonnet, described as the "last remaining peasant costume" in Britain.  The custom of bondagers lasted well into the 20th century. 


Finally I came across this quotation recently on Pinterest and thought it  was worth considering in relation to our own ancestors.   With thanks to www.ponderabout.com 

He who works with his hands is a labourer

He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman

he who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist.  


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

Click HERE for more memories from fellow bloggers  

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Say Cheese! Family Snapshots from the 1940's

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt photograph  shows Louis Armstrong in 1948 sitting at a cluttered dressing table,  looking into a mirror, with a glimpse of small photographs pinned above on  the wall. 

I have done "clutter" and "singing" quite recently, so this week, I have turned to photographs taken around the 1940's, I think, on  a box camera,  which  produced  just a small 2x3 inch image. I have no idea why some have white borders on only two or three sides, perhaps the way the developed film was cut. 

Many families will have similar snapshots in their collection - not great artistically, but so full of memories. 

My husband's Uncle Mattie (Matthew  Iley White of South Shields),  taking a family snapshot  of his wife, nephew and sister.  I suspect photographing him was his brother-in= law who like so many of us has cut off Mattie's feet! 

A happy group of the Donaldson  family with their relations in Kent. 

Mattie again, holding onto his nephew, with his brother-in-law alongside in a very natty pullover. That style  came round in fashion decades later and was especially popular with golfers. 

A wartime snapshot of my husband's Great Aunt Pat  
who served in the Auxiliary Fire Service in Kent

Larking about  - my husband perched on the bike with his older brother. 

 This was taken, perhaps by my aunt,  in the front garden after my parents' wedding in 1938 and is the only photograph I have of my paternal grandfather on the right. 

 A wartime farewell photograph of my father with my mother  Kathleen on the right
 and my Aunt Edith on the  left. 

 Another wartime memory of my parents. 

A family snapshot of my Danson family - with I suspect my mother taking the photograph of her mother, Alice Danson, her younger sister, Peggy in WAAF uniform, brother Billy  and his wife Loui,  with my father in uniform in the middle. 

The back garden was a popular place as a photographic stage - even where drainpipes and a dustbin were the props!
My mother 

I was too young here to remember that kitten.

That cigarette in my father's hand would be much disapproved of now!

I am looking rather glum here in my own little chair 
which was passed down to my daughter and granddaughter. 

Squinting in the sunlight.

My uncle Fred must have been the photographer here with a lovely snapshot of my parents, my aunt Fran in the middle, and my little brother (looking very cute) and myself.  I seem to have my pigtails up on top of my head Austrian style - decorated with a bow.  Not forgetting the period detail of the cars. 


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

Click HERE  for more memories from fellow bloggers   

Friday, 10 March 2017

A Favourite Book: Sepia Saturday

In  this  week's detailed prompt photograph, it was the row of books on the bookshelf that caught my eye and made me think of a favourite book of both my mother and grandmother. 

A 1899 edition of "Pride and Prejudice"  by Jane Austen was a prized possession of my mother and one passed down to her from her own mother.  I remember it sitting in the glass doored bookcase in my grandfather's house and it was a treat to look at it and turn over the delicate line drawings, protected by tissue paper.  

My grandmother Alice Danson, nee English (1884-1945).  She married my grandfather William in 1907 at St. Chad's Church, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire. 

My mother - Kathleen Weston, nee Danson (1908-1999)

A much older Alice with her three daughters, Peggy, Edith and Kathleen. 
Not forgetting sons Harry and Billy. 

"Pride and Prejudice" remains one of my favourite books
remembered too in the many television adaptation  over the decades. 


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

Click HERE for more memories from fellow bloggers

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Hats on for our Pets: Sepia Saturday

What to choose from this week's prompt picture?  
A verandah, railings, rocks, sailor suit collar, fancy hat, 
a close family trio or loving pets?   

I opted for a parade of hats and dogs. 


Enjoy an early 1900's fashion display of hats worn by 
my cousin's Oldham family of Blackpool, Lancashire.

Below my mother Kathleen Danson and her sister Edith in 1938. 

 Loving Pets  
Our daughter was 5 years old and Crufts Dog Championships Show was on television - how could we resist that combination. The result by the summer was Beauty a golden cocker spaniel became part of the family.

 Dog and Daughter, both  a wee bit older

It was a sad time when we lost Beauty at the age of nine, and we said we would not go through that again. But surreptiously we were all looking at adverts in the local papers, and within a month we had Colleen - a 2 year old gentle blue roan cocker. Somewhere amongst all that dark fur, there were two liquid eyes. 

Colleen died suddenly at seven years old at a time when there were other stresses in the family. We could not imagine family life without a dog and that had to be another cocker spaniel. 

So within a few months we had puppy Casmir (Cass) - an orange roan cocker - she had such a distinctive colouring, she became well known around our small town and lived to the grand age of 13.

I always felt that if Cass starred in a Disney dog cartoon, she would be the Princess. Judge for yourself here! 

And Finally - A Family Trio, Hats and a Pet come together, as we braved  the elements on the crossing to the Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland - all the other ferry passengers had gone for cover!


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

Click HERE for more memories from fellow bloggers 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Paintbrush at the Ready: Sepia Saturday

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt photograph shows a group of artists in a painting class outdoors.  It immediately brought back memories of artists we had seen in that most artistic  of cities  - Paris.  

An artist on the Left Bank of Paris looking across the Seine.

Artist at work in the Tuileries Gardens -
the place where Parisians celebrated, met, promenaded, and relaxed.[1]

Thanking of painting though, also made me think of My Aunt  - Edith Danson.   She played a key role in my life and was a teacher, traveller, a great talker and my godmother.  She was also a talented lady in embroidery and art. 


 Edith was born 2nd September 1907, followed just a year and a week  later by my mother, Kathleen, born on 8th September 1908, daughters of William and Alice Danson of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.   They remained very close as sisters  and most of  the photographs I have of Aunt Edith show her almost always with my mother. 

Edith was a keen amateur artist, joining a group of like minded enthusiasts on painting holidays (as in the prompt photograph). Here is a small but favourite work on display in my home. 


And finally - little granddaughter engrossed in her painting!


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

Click HERE for more artistic memories  from fellow bloggers