Given that it’s my birthday, and given that I can’t spend the day in the pub trying to ignore the onset of old age, I though I would revel in the passing of years by finding a photograph of myself from every year of my life. This will have to be a weekly project, so I will start with this one from 1948 which shows me having just come out of hospital. If I do a year every week, I should be up to date by the time that this lockdown is nearing an end!
Category Archives: Family Photographs
My mother, Gladys, on a motorbike in the 1930s. The pencilled caption on the back says it’s my mother, and the photograph was taken in Lancaster. The album it comes from is one of my mothers. It looks like my mother. My software’s facial recognition confirms it is my mother. But my mother, astride a powerful motorbike, young, without the cares of family: it is all so difficult to take in.
An old family photograph which must date back to the mid 1930s. The man in the photograph is Charlie Pitts, I am not sure about the woman next to him. It was taken in Blue Anchor, a village in Somerset, when my parents were on a motorbike holiday with Charlie and his lady friend.
Family history – dripping with memories. Aunty Annie in that hat, Uncle Harry in that suit, my wife to be in that dress: all set against the background of an asbestos garage. My father (left) is wearing a suit so it must have been a special occasion. The date will be about 1970 which doesn’t coincide with any important birthdays or anniversaries. No matter – a moment in time captured forever.
It was a must-have photograph back in those days. Every time we got a new car – and let’s not fool ourselves, a “new car” meant a car new to us – there had to be a photograph of my father standing next to it or sat inside it. The photograph would need to show off to the best advantage the shining chrome bumpers and the freshly polished bonnet. Not only was I the photographer, I would have had to clean the car before the photo shoot. I still have the scars on the back of my hands from polishing behind those sharp chrome bumper bars. My father took such a pride in his cars, to him they were a yardstick of success. This particular “new car” will probably have been in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The car is long gone: the photograph and the memory lingers on.
At first I thought that this was one of the hundreds of lost and abandoned old photographs that I provide a home for. They live in boxes and cases, they hang in filing cabinets and folders; they create a hazard to anyone trying to navigate their way through my office. Every so often I reach into one of the boxes and pull a photograph out, scan it, and then file it away with a title such as “Unknown Girl No 573“.
But with this one, something stopped me and it wasn’t just the quality of the picture and the eye-catching look. I suddenly saw my wife of 47 years. Clearly it is not actually her, but the resemblance is sufficient to make me think it might be a close relative. It wouldn’t be the first time such relatives had turned up in one of my lost and abandoned files. Rather than dash downstairs to see if she recognises the person in the photograph, I shall leave it here for her to discover when she looks at my blog later. So message to my wife: who is it?
ENOCH BURNETT AND BETTY : Enoch Burnett pictured with his dog, Betty. The picture shows Enoch aged around 30, which would mean it was taken in 1908 or there about. By then, he had been married for three years and already had three children: John Arthur (b.1899); Miriam (b.1901); and Annie Elizabeth (b.1903).
A family photograph from, probably, the summer of 1950. The small child is me, the head and shoulder belong to my brother, Roger, and the knees belong to my father, Albert. I suspect the photograph was taken at Bridlington, and I suspect that the North Sea was as cold then as it is now.
A holiday snap taken just after the close of World War II, probably about 1946. It shows my mother, Gladys Burnett, along with my brother, Roger. I can’t be certain as to which seaside sands are featured in this photograph: it could be Bridlington or it could be New Brighton – both were popular seaside resorts for our family.
This is a Sepia Saturday post.