Footballers in those days were a different breed: thick shirts, thick woollen socks and thick heads that could withstand a laced-up leather ball. Tantobie were a village team with quite a reputation: the great Billy Smith (1895-1951) grew up in the same Durham pit village.
Photographs only came along only once in a while. This was the age before smart phone selfies, an age when a portrait was an event. An event to get out your Sunday best and put on your best pin and watch chain.
This is an intriguing little photograph (just six by four centimetres) from a tiny album of photographs I bought on what we in Yorkshire call t’internet. All the photographs date from 1931 and 1932 and were taken in and around Ruperra Castle in Wales. At the time, the castle was owned by Evan Morgan, 4th Baron and 2nd Viscount Tredegar […]
This isn’t really a “Picture from Nowhere” because I know it is a photograph of children at South Crosland Junior School in Huddersfield and, I would guess, it was taken in the nineteen forties or early fifties. They are, however, faces from nowhere – young faces that went somewhere in life.
This is a classic British “snap” from the 1930s. Amongst our island nation, there is some compelling desire to take to the nearest small boat and explore our coastline. It doesn’t matter that the sea is grey, and the coastal wind is sharp enough to cut your jib on – we take to the water. Perhaps we go in search […]
My first thought when I examined this old Carte de Visite from the Wolverhampton studios of Carl Holt was, who was the real woman under all these clothes? She has the look of a bleached milk chocolate wrapped in too many layers of coloured cellophane – or rather mourning-black crape. It is high summer outside, and I am forced to […]
I have no idea where some of the old prints in my collection come from. This particular picture, however, comes from Tatler’s Candid Camera Studio in Katoomba, New South Wales. I can also tell you that it features the unmistakable features of William O’Neill. How William got from one side of the world to the other is, however, a mystery. […]
I was in Lowestoft a couple of weeks ago and I probably walked past the studio where this portrait was taken 140 years ago. Like so many Victorian photographs, history seeps out of its sepia salts.
Sometimes photographs of unknown provenance come with a minimalist caption. In this case we are told that the subjects of this photograph – which dates from the late 1920s – are “Harold, Florence and Big Jimmy“. Big Jimmy: could any name be more suitable?