Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 9 March 2012

Hair Piece

The Sepia Saturday challenge this week is a theme of ‘Hair’ so that’s gives us plenty of scope. Facial hair was one sub-theme suggested, so here is a fine example of a well cared for moustache.


It’s my Great grandfather William (1867-1952), sporting an elegant number, which makes him look rather distinguished. In the few photographs we have of him he always has a moustache, although it doesn’t look as well presented as in this formal studio shot. He probably spent a long time waxing and twirling it into shape that morning. I love this picture because there’s a definite twinkle in William’s eye. In my post, To Say Nothing of The Dog, he looks of similar age to this one, but the pose is more casual and, being out for a walk with the dog he hasn’t bothered with the twirl.









We have another studio portrait of him as a very young man where the moustache is in its infancy. He probably grew it to make himself look older and more mature, but there’s barely enough to create a shadow on his upper lip, let alone to add any wax. By late middle age he’d settled again for a smaller, neater model, which would have been much easier to care for.

My mother always knew her (paternal) grandfather William as ‘Little Granddad’, her maternal grandfather being of a larger build.  In later life William attributed his small frame to having only one good meal a day in the orphanage. He lost his parents in 1875 and 1876 and he and his two siblings were separated. He was to have further sadness in his life when his own wife, my great-grandmother Mary, died young, leaving him with three small children to bring up. Despite all these tragedies, my mother remembers him with great affection as a quiet but friendly grandfather. He was a great reader of library books and loved to do crosswords.


His second marriage was a long and happy one, when in 1912, at the age of 45, he married Gertie, who had lost her husband and daughter in the influenza epidemic of 1910. This picture of William and Gertie, shows him as a still handsome gentleman, neatly dressed and with a moustache probably turning a little grey. I found this photograph by chance when I removed a favourite portrait of my grandfather, which has always hung in my grandparents home, to re-frame it, and out fell William and Gertie from behind Grandad’s picture! If I hadn’t done that we probably wouldn’t have a record of ‘Little Grandad’s’ later happiness with Gertie.







I’m glad to report that William's own three children survived into old age, despite the efforts of the First World War to finish them off. Here he is with the two boys; Albert, and my own grandfather Sidney, looking as dapper as ever in his best suit, bowler hat and wearing a neatly trimmed and waxed moustache.

For more hairy old stories why not step back in time to this week’s Sepia Saturday to see what other participants have made of the photo prompt.




23 comments:

  1. That's a nice group of photos. I especially like the one with Gertie. You were lucky to find that.

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  2. Such a tragic and sad life, but I was delighted to read that he found happiness and love with Gertie!

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  3. The thing that caught my eye in your photos wasn't the twinkle in William's eye or his moustache but his watch chains. They brought back memories of one my father wore - I wonder what happened to that. All I have of his is the gold watch he received for 25 years service at a cement works.
    Great photos, Nell.

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  4. What a handsome man! Yes, he certainly has a twinkle in his eye!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  5. William and Gertie both look like happy people.

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  6. He was very handsome. I am so glad that things turned around for him later on and that your Grandfather found happiness. He looks very kind.

    I enjoyed all of your mustache pictures!

    Kathy M.

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  7. Oh you have done well in coming up with so many examples - wonderful shots. About a year ago I decided to wax my moustache and bought some proper wax from eBay, but Isobel banned me from using it.

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  8. I'm glad you found the picture of him and Gertie, it is such a sweet photo. So much tragedy, but the indomitable nature of the human spirit. Love the first moustache, a lot of care and attention has gone into it.

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  9. What a handsome man. And he never lost his good looks.
    But I'm wondering why the photo of him and Gertie was hiding behind another photo. Did someone not like the idea of his marrying Gertie?
    Nancy

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  10. It must have been a nice surprise to discover that photo!

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  11. He was a very nice looking man and I like his twinkle it shows a kind nature. I loved your story and I am glad that he found love and happiness later on. I also really enjoyed the photos, you are so lucky to have those.

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  12. I enjoyed reading your post. Your great-grandfather was a handsome man and he looks so kind. What a nice surprise to find the picture of William with his second wife.

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  13. I enjoyed reading your post. Your great-grandfather was a handsome man and looks so kind. What a nice surprise to find the picture of him with his second wife.

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  14. I really liked this post. Text and pictures supplement each other nicely, and give a fine portrait of your great grandfather.

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  15. Lovely post - thanks for sharing.

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  16. Oh my, your grandfather, William was a handsome man. His smile is just beautiful too, and not one you often saw in photos during that time... so happy too that things worked out well. Very nice family indeed.

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  17. What great photos of your great-grandfather and how wonderful to find another photo that way - just dropping out of the blue so to speak!

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  18. A lovely post, and Gertie and William look so happy :-) Jo

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  19. A fine medley on the theme to have so many photos on the same man. Great post.

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  20. Most dashing, at all ages.
    Great find underneath that other pic.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  21. What a handsome man. And it's always so nice to find out that someone in an old photo who looks so kind was indeed kind.

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  22. Your great-grandfather was a handsome man, and I like his well-groomed mustache. I also like the continuity of his watch chain from one picture to the next. Thanks for telling us about him.

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  23. I,m not sure the reason ...but some faces suit mustaches,while others don't.The Gents in your photos pass the test with flying colours!

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