Monthly Archives: April 2018

10 From The Seaside 1 : Bracing Bits

Skegness Pier (1980)
Spring came yesterday. It has gone away again today, but that one oblique glance at the sun was enough to make me want to go to the seaside. So a new mini-series of scans from my old negatives starts with the seaside at its bracing best – Skegness. This photograph was taken a couple of years after the great storm of January 1978 cut the pier into three bits.

The Musical Boy Scouts


This trio of musicians appears on the front of a vintage post card which was sent to a Mr E A Hopkins in Cardiff in October 1913. The message on the reverse is as follows:-

Lydney, 18/10/13
Dearest,  These are poor cards. The boy at the back is the cleverest, he plays cello alright. Best love, Mame xxxxxx
Lydney is a small town in Gloucestershire near the Forest of Dean, and Mame’s “dearest” lived some 50 miles away in Cardiff.

The Singer Trio – who were also known as “The Musical Boy Scouts” – toured the variety halls and music halls of Britain in the early part of the twentieth century. In an advert in the variety newspaper “The Era” in November 1913, they described themselves as follows in an advert for tour dates:
“SINGER TRIO : Wonderful musicians. 15 stringed instruments (not toys) played (not played with). Great success everywhere. Wanted. Known at liberty Oct 17, 24.

The following year brought the outbreak of the First World War, but the Singer Trio were still touring the theatres, although now they were having to share the billing with moving picture shows about the horrors of war – “a beautifully coloured production”!

There are frequent mentions of the Trio in the stage and variety press until September 1915, after which all mention of them ceases. One can only assume that the “musical boy scouts” were eventually drawn into that most tragic of twentieth century performances – the Great War.

Northern Capitals 9 : On Deck


18DA35Anyone who has ever been on a cruise ship knows the feeling of relaxation that comes over you when you eventually stop hopping between ports and destinations and have a day at sea. It must have been the same in 1925 and our cruise around the northern capitals. At last there is time to soak up the sun and pose on deck with whichever ship’s officer may be passing.


Ten From The Pub 10 : A Pint Of My Mam


Beer Pump Display – Bobbin Ligger, Milltown Brewing Co.


A few years ago I suggested a name for a new beer which was being brewed by Huddersfield’s Milltown Brewing Company. The theme for their beers was the old Yorkshire textile industry and the name was based on my father’s first job in the mill – a bobbin ligger (someone who would fetch and carry empty yarn bobbins). I designed the beer pump display and incorporated a picture of my mother when she worked in the mill. This provided the unmissable experience of being able to walk into my local pub and ask for “a pint of my mam, please“.

Northern Capitals 8 : The Leaving Of Copenhagen



Page 8 of the album and it is time to leave Copenhagen. These days when a cruise ship leaves port, any visitors, friends, or onlookers are kept far away from the boat behind layers of security fences. In 1925 things were easier and more relaxed.





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