In the picture above, taken about 1923, are my Mum and her brother, Billy. And the lady with her hand round Mum's shoulder? Yes, it's my Great Aunt Maud again. I'm guessing the picture was taken with Maud's own camera, and probably by her good friend Mary. Mum is about four and Billy about five years old. They had been taken on an outing by the kindly Maud, as they often were. Maud never married, but she was a generous auntie as readers will recall from last week's post. The siblings and Maud are in their 'Sunday Best' and in all likelihood it was a Sunday, as we know that Maud worked for part of the day on Saturdays, and Sunday was the day for relaxing with the family.
The picture is taken in a very well-known meeting-place in Nottingham's Arboretum, the Chinese Bell Tower. The Arboretum is Nottingham's oldest public park and close to the city centre. It's home to over 800 trees of sixty-five species, some of which are from the original planting. The Arboretum was opened on 11th May 1852 in front of 30, 000 people. The layout and design were supervised by Samuel Curtis, who had previously been involved with London's Victoria Park. It was intended as an interlinking network of walkways and socialising areas and with plantings made in 'the natural order' so that the public could also learn from the botanical interpretation. Today the park comes under the protection of English Heritage under their Historic Parks and Gardens, and contains nine Grade II listed structures within its layout. I remember visits there myself during the school holidays in the 1950s and 60s, when the highlight would be saying 'Hello' to Cocky the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo in the aviary. Cocky was something of a celebrity and lived to be 114 years old. He was already well over a hundred when I as a child.
The next two pictures were taken when I was a toddler, and I have no recollection of the day of course, but I love them because they from a set taken on a family day out at the Arboretum. Perhaps we listened to the band which played in the bandstand every Sunday. We may even have had a picnic.
The Chinese Bell tower was designed in 1857 by Marriot Ogle Tarbotton as a war memorial and built in 1862. The bell was a looted by British troops from a temple in Canton during the Anglo-Chinese War of 1857-61, and two of the cannon were captured at Sebastopol during the Crimean War (the other two are replicas). The bell was moved to the East Lancashire Regimental Museum in 1956, but recently the whole bell tower has been renovated and a new bell cast and hung. Last year was the park's 160th anniversary and this photograph is courtesy of Ray Teece of the Nottingham 21 website. Clicking on the link will show more pictures of the park today.
This week's Sepia Saturday image was a formal group of three, a man and his sister with a third female family member. The little man in my picture is accompanied by his sister and his aunt but in a much less formal pose. Why not see what other memories were evoked by the prompt?