Friday, 23 March 2012

Summer Days

An entry to Sepia Saturday.  "Using old images as prompts for new reflections".

I am taking this week's prompt and putting the word 'out' into out-of-doors, or should I say going outdoors. 

My Aunt Winnie (left) and my mother Sarah, usually called Sadie crossing the River Ribble near Settle in the Yorkshire Dales on a sunny Sunday in August 1955.  My Aunt lived in the village and as a child we often used to go there for a holiday and I wonder if this is one such occasion.  It is marvellous walking country and both families liked to walk.  I would love to know what colour the summer dresses are, my mother had a wonderful eye for colour.  The day looks breezy which I know for certain  
it would be here on one of the lake steamers on Windermere in the Lake District.  Looking at the date on the back I discovered it says the 10 August 1955 which was four days before the first photo so I will have to revise my first statement and think we must have had a week's runabout ticket on the railway, I always loved those type of holidays as a child, a different place everyday.  The additional note on the back says "On the steamer coming back from Ambleside. This was a warm day." (I'm still wearing a cardigan though).  We would have got the train to Lakeside and have boarded the steamer to go the length of the lake, I seem  to be still enjoying the journey although the boy behind looks as though he wants to have a go up here too.  You can still take a trip on a train to Lakeside and get an all in ticket for the boat on Windermere but now it is a heritage railway, no longer connected to the network.

From the summer dresses in the first photo here is an occasion where you can wear a lovely dress and a hat, an unknown man and women at the races
in the days when one also wore gloves. The date is 1st of January 1934, summer in the southern hemisphere at the Warwick Farm Racecourse.  She is cooling him door with a taste of ice-cream. The photographer is Tom Lennon who took pictures of the social activities of the Sydneysiders from 1927 to 1949. This picture is part of the Sydney Powerhouse Museum Tom Lennon collection. 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

ABC Wednesday - Juxtaposition

There were notices tacked to gates in Ulpha woods telling of the felling of trees, due to end this month.  The view of bare slopes probably didn't necessitate the notice .  Later, two thirds of the way through the walk we strolled through the alleyway of their destination, lying in juxtaposition with each other
What is usually a pleasant stroll through woodlands, and at this time a year a profusion of daffodils, jostling against each other
turned into a wade through mud when the numerous journeys of of tractors had turned the path into deep sticky gloop.  The stickiness of which in local dialect is called clarty.  I was in jeopardy of it oozing into my boots.   It was interesting to observe the difference of soil, the soil in the deciduous wood is  rich and loamy, if rocky, whereas where the logs juxtaposed 

is where firs are planted in an area with some iron rich sedimentary soil giving it a slight reddish tinge with the dark but it goes runny rather than sticky.  The end result is the same
muddy boots. Mine (at the bottom) show that a walking pole is a useful object for testing the depth of mud as I have managed to keep a dry bit of boot. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet

Friday, 16 March 2012

Scouting Days

An entry to Sepia Saturday. "Using old images as prompts for new reflections".

 My father (right) and his life long friend Cyril Pratt enjoying camp life in the Crake Valley sometime around 1938.  Both were actively involved in the Scout Movement for many years and when distance separated them they wrote entertaining letters to each other, Cyril always peppered his letters with amusing little drawings and always signed off with his scout name and symbol of 'Morning Star'.   My father loved to write and some of his memories of these days remain
 "Scouting Days. Just a few memories of Alf Pugh, July 1927 to 1933"
Scoutmaster 1927 to 1942 including Group S.M. and District S.M.
in an exercise book of his time in the 9th Barrow in Furness (1st Emmanuel) Boy Scouts .  He would have been 21 when he was scoutmaster in 1927, the picture he uses is when he was 25.  He had been a scout for a large portion of his life at this time.  They tell of weekends spent in rain and sunshine, and more rare,  the excitement of having a whole week's holiday away.  The journeys to camp, taken by train or bicycle and the transportation of all the gear could be as eventful as the days spent in camp.
Flookburgh Camp July 30-Aug 6 1933 which my father wrote about as  "Disturbers of the Peace" when the troop spent part of the night chasing cows away from their cookhouse attracted by food and water but making so much noise as they  munched the potatoes and drinking  water that the scouts had been alerted to potential disaster.
Seascale Camp, 1929. Twenty nine Scouts, cubs and officers spent a week under canvas. They travelled there by train but the weather (torrential rain) had been so bad that the farmer had not expected them and had not come down in the truck to collect the equipment. Tumbling into the waiting room a plan of attack takes place.
"Three of us follows get into bathing togs, ready for operations, Bob and I splash up to the farm to inquire about the transport which should meet us. An ark would be the thing. The rain assisted by a heavy wind is fairly lashing it down. Up the hill bent double against the wind we go, mind those puddles, which? There's only one now. On we splash, at last, the farms. Cheers. The farmer is very surprised to see us."

The farmer offers them to camp down in his Dutch Barn which they find great fun and set up the tents in the field the next day.
  Bob Green, Tom Butcher, my father Alf Pugh (seated) whose scout name was 'Lone Pine' because he was tall, hence he is sitting down.

There are many amusing stories but also descriptions of the beautiful surrounds, birds and wildlife. Two years are notable for their absence, which are those of the Scout Jamboree in England in 1929 which I know my father attended, perhaps this was in another book, since lost. I have a small wooden engraved drinking bowl with Hungarian writing and the date 1933 which is when the Jamboree was held in Hungary. Was this bowl given in 1929 in anticipation or did a member of the scout troop go to Hungary. There is a group portrait
I know was taken in England because it is a post card.  The uniforms all look different but all that is written on the back is 1933.  I recognise my father's friend and Patrol Leader Rodney Whittle on the right who I never met (he was killed in the war) because he is the exact image of his sister.  He scout name I seem to remember was Otter because he was an amazing swimmer, totally in his element in the water.
Here is some of the places they liked to swim in what they called Caribou Creek and Otter Pool which was a mill dam.  I wonder if some of the troop got their swimming badges here.  Lastly as short extract taken from 1930 when there was a what my father describes as wonderful week under canvas and describes the meaning of  Emmanuel Scouts words  "expressions elucidated" 


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

ABC Wednesday - Intersection

 Coming through the signals approaching the weave of lines that forming an intersection at the north of Appleby Station the Castle Class Steam Locomotive is
 carrying straight on in-between the two platforms
 before stopping to imbibe water from the water tank.  One man watches the water pour in the tender (left) while the others move the coal to the front.  Both elements will provide the impulsion
Everything is in place and the 'Earl of Mount Edgcumber's' double chimneys are letting off steam ready to leave
and then the last photographs are impulsively  taken by both the passengers on the train and those gathered to watch it. 

On Saturday there were two steam locomotives coming down on the scenic Carlisle to Settle line, stopping at Appleby Station to take on water. Not only is this line scenic as can be seen there are no overhead electric wires so it is always a draw for the enthusiast.  I just tagged along for a trip out and afternoon tea, plus of course I can never resist a photo opportunity. 

This train is the Great Western Railway 4-6-0 Castle Class Number 5043 originally called Barbury Castle (after an iron age hill fort) but renamed after one of the GWR directors. An express passenger locomotive it was  built in 1936 (the double chimney was fitted in 1958) and withdrawn from service in 1963.  Restored and mainline certified in October 2008 it has pulled many excursions since and was named Locomotive of the Year 2010.  Its story can be found here  

An entry to ABC Wednesday - a journey through the alphabet 

Friday, 9 March 2012

The Gardners

 An entry to Sepia Saturday. "Using old images as prompts for new reflections"

There appears no extravagant facial hair in the Gardner family album for  this week's theme of the hirsute. There are quite a few bushy black beards, but instead I'll start with the mutton chop
just because I like the look of him and his nonchalant pose.   The cap is military but the jacket looks as though it should be on board a ship. I have no idea who he is. There were three thick family albums of the Gardner family which on my Grandparents 's death would have gone to my three uncles but only two went that way as my Uncle Stanley had disappeared without trace (he recently made contact from Australia, after fifty years, to much family rejoicing) so my mother as the eldest received the third and now I have it.  There are lots of gaps where it looks as though photos have been removed but still enough to browse through for beards.
The striped effect. These two look as though they have a story to tell, wearing her tea-cosy hat and day dress
 she looks a no nonsense type of person.  Their clothing looks late Victorian., with his beard and twinkle he could make a great Father Christmas.  Lastly here is
 the chinstrap.  An unknown hand has written underneath the photograph Tom Gardner, Grandfather and mother (on reverse of photo "Joseph Cross, Photographer, Lancaster").  Looking on my cousin Alan's family tree I thought this was my Great, Great Uncle, only drawback was he had never married, try again.  I had to do a bit of my own research and added another Great onto that Uncle and came up with Thomas born in 1819 in Quernmore and married to Grace Winder (christened in Christ Church, Wyresdale 1822) and married on 25 August 1844 at St Mary's, Lancaster so our sitters now have names AND I noticed Grace has a finger inside a book, gosh I could have used this the other week for the Sepia Saturday books theme.  They lived at Crag End Farm, Ellel.  Yes shake a Gardner and a farmer will fall out, even those whose parents who have come away from the land go back to it, must be in the DNA.  Thomas (1819-1892) and Grace (c1822-1900) had six children and are both buried at Quernmore Methodist Church.  This was a surprise I had always looked at this my maternal family as high church (Church of England) whereas my fathers family were nonconformist. Guess these two were the exception, the little Wesleyan Methodist Church in Quernmore  with its graveyard was only built in 1877.  Lastly a photograph for no other reason other than I like the lettering on the lynch gate at the Lancashire church where my Great, Great, Great Aunt Grace was christening which says
"I am the door of the sheep"
        Sometimes called 'The Shepherds Church'

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

ABC Wednesday - Holiday

 Fancy a stay in a holiday cottage in the Lake District?  Here is one at Skelwith Bridge complete with bird feeder.  Enjoying walking holidays I have stayed in numerous holiday cottage at home and abroad and always enjoy their variety and more often than not their quirkiness.  I only picked up on the holiday cottage notice after I took the photo because it was the architectural detail of the
 chimneys that peaked my interest.  That it was a warm summer's day can be seen from the windows being open. If  hotel accommodation is the preference a walk around the corner to the

 Skelwith Bridge Hotel with happily for this ABC post a hydrangea, I think most gardens in this country have a variety of these easy going plants somewhere and they were very popular where we were on holiday last year in France, even appearing painted on a
mail box.  In France they call the plant by a more romantic name, Hortensia, a girls name that has fallen out of use in Britain since Victorian times, the names given meaning is 'garden'.  Although the next photo I took in Skelwith Bridge didn't have a garden in sight just woods and hills, I was still looking at chimneys
On summer days a popular place for visitors and holiday makers to sit are the flat rocks by the riverbank  at the place that gives the hamlet its name
Skelwith Bridge.

An entry to ABC Wednesday Round 10, a journey through the alphabet

Saturday, 3 March 2012


 An entry to Sepia Saturday.   "Using old images as prompts for new reflections".

My parents always wondered where I got my love of sports, neither of them had any particular interest, perhaps it was from my maternal grandmother
 Winifred and Dora Swindlehurst
seen here, on the left,  with her sister Dora in their gymnast uniforms.  I believe she had quite a flair for this game. The postcard photo is a bit of a mystery because it is only one half, whatever or whoever was in the other half there is no clue, only that they were not nearby.  I assumed at first that women of this time would be doing rhythmic gymnastics but this photo
 from the McCall's magazine of November 1904 shows that was not the case, so here is some more
equipment, but no women, although they would have used the same equipment as the men.  It says "Arnside Gymn. 1912-3", the name is a small village on the shores of Morecambe Bay and as there is a stage in the photo with those wonderfully arranged boys in descending (or ascending) order of hight, I would guess this room  was used for lots of other things as well.  I do like the patriotic display of flags, George V had just been crowned king the previous year, 1911.  The names of the participants are unknown but I do know their instructor's name because there is another postcard
where my grandmother has written on the back "Gymnasium Displayers, February 1911", and then at a later date added "Bert Cliff and Mrs Nelson".  The former gets to wear a very flash top.  The boy on his right is obviously the joker of the pack, not only has he a cheery smile, his tie is skewed to the side and has a hole in the knee of his costume. The one on the far right may have appeared on the  'small end' of the middle photo his legs not touching the floor. By the looks of their faces the group on the left are getting bored as is the man behind who has moved, his image becoming blurred.

I wonder what Mrs Nelson, my grandmother's instructor,  is holding in her hands, is it a scroll  or a piece of equipment, like the throwing clubs balanced in front. The clubs of this period look larger than today, and are made of wood which could probably could give the novice a few bruises.  This group would not have had this problem
British Women's Gymnastic Display Team of the 1908 London Olympics. (They were not allowed to compete until 1928 at the Amsterdam games).  The perfect way to celebrate winning a Gymnastic competition for a photograph would be
 Photo from the Leeds Museums and Galleries
The 3rd Leeds North East St Winifred's Boy Scouts Gymnastic Team, Winners of 1st prize at the Imperial Scoutcraft Exhibition, Birmingham 1913.