Monthly Archives: May 2018

Who Is Crossing The North Sea?



One of the most difficult challenges with old photograph albums is identifying the albums creator, as – by definition in those pre-smart phone days – the photographer rarely features in the photographs themselves. In the 1925 Northern Capitals album, there is an intriguing series of photographs taken whilst the cruise ship was “crossing the North Sea” which seems to identify a series of potential photographers.

​Surely it must be possible to analyse who is missing from each photograph and thus equate it with the four named photographers and thus identify who took the one marked “mine”. Good luck.

Good News For Mothers

18EB47I always think that it would be possible to run an entire course in economic and social history based on nothing other than newspaper advertisements. From the perspective of 90 years into the future, I am not sure what is more surprising about this advert from the Yorkshire Evening Post of May 18th 1928. Perhaps it is that you could buy a boy’s suit for less than one pound, or maybe that anyone in their right mind was prepared to guarantee it against wear and tear for a year. But no, surely the most surprising thing was that the manufacturer was willing to give away a free pair of knickers with every suit sold! This is just the kind of thing that led to the downfall of the British Empire.

Gone Fishing


For a number of years now I have regularly gathered together all my various blog posts and published them every so often in book form. The main reason for this is to create an archive of my words and images so that when Blogger or WordPress or Facebook eventually curls up and expires, I still have a physical record of what I have been doing for the last twelve years or so. I suspect that words and pictures printed on good old fashioned paper have a better chance of surviving the post-digital apocalypse than anything else. As images have become more important to me over the years, the physical format of the books has grown accordingly – and the last few have weighed in at a coffee table hugging 10 by 8 inches.
I also like to occasionally annoy relatives and friends by giving them a copy of my latest book at birthdays and Christmas – it represents a gift on a similar level of both style and uselessness to a knitted toilet roll cover. If you have a relative or friend who has annoyed you recently, you may want to gift them a copy of my latest magnum opus – aptly entitled “Fishing In The Pond Of Inconsequence”. It is available from Amazon in most countries and good bookshops gone bad. To find it on Amazon simply enter the search term “Alan Burnett Inconsequence” – which quite neatly sums everything up.


Northern Capitals 16 : Arrival In Oslo



The caption under this photograph states “Oslo and the SS City Of Nagpur from the mountains”. The camera lens clearly was not up to the challenge: either that or the ship has sunk beneath the sepia waves.


This time the caption says “Carl Johans Gate, Oslo – with the Grand Hotel”. I instantly recognised the scene as I had walked down the very same street less than two years ago.

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