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, 20 May 2016

Baby Face

I have no information about the above photograph, other than the fact that X marks my Dad! There he is on the front row standing up proudly in his mother’s arms. His baby-reins have slipped a bit, but she has a good grip on him. Next to my grandmother is her sister-in-law, holding my Dad’s cousin, Betty, whose attention is caught by something on the ground.

There are more babies than older children in the picture, so one wonders if they were the reason for the get-together. Was it a beautiful baby competition at the local fete, or a Mothers and Toddlers outing of some sort. There aren’t many men either, which also makes one ponder. This is c1921/2, so not all that long after the First World War; returning servicemen would have lost little time in settling down and starting, or expanding, their families.

I don’t have the original photograph, so I can’t make it any more high definition, but it’s certainly worth enlarging and perusing some of the expressions on the babies’ faces.

Sepia Saturday prompt image this week is from a 1938 Baby Show in Kent. Three infants are perched on table, with their mothers standing behind. The one in the middle is holding onto a hairbrush, which is coveted by the one on the right, whilst the third baby looks confused by the altercation that is taking place. The mums are amused anyway. In my photo, there is the inevitable crying baby as well, more than one looks confused, including my Dad, and a few could make use of that hairbrush!

It’s very likely that this photo was taken the same day. Dad now wears a ‘beanie’, but still looks bemused, and Betty, who is now in her bonnet, has gone all blurry.

Dad and Betty have long since left us, as I imagine have most of those infants, their siblings, and certainly their mothers. One can’t help wondering what the future held for them. One or two would sadly not have made it past childhood, and the next war would have probably taken care of a few more. Others, like my Dad, would have lived long and happy lives, and had babies of their own.

Whilst we’re still celebrating Shakespeare’s centenary, did you know that the artist Romney imagined ‘The Infant Shakespeare, Attended by Nature and The Passions’?  Here is the engraving made from his painting, by Benjamin Smith for 'The Boydell Shakespeare Prints’.

Join us for this week’s beautiful baby show at Sepia Saturday


  1. What a wonderful photograph with all those mamas & a few papas, kids, and especially the babies. It does make you wonder what was happening there. Love the close-ups . . . especially the little frowner!

  2. That's an impressive assortment of babies. Your collage covers that range of infantile emotions that give mothers delight and fathers dismay. But we can only imagine the noise at that gathering!

  3. Babies have a wonderful range of expressions, but when they laugh it's pure joy, as our grandaughter did for the first time today. If you ever find out what the reason for that great first photograph was, please let us know.

  4. I love this photograph, Baby gathering, another generation again and again. It brings back a memory, when I was In Switzerland, my brother in law and I looked at his wedding photo, and he said look all the older generation has past away we are next..it was a bit depressing.

  5. For a second, I was worried that I wouldn't find the "x" but then it popped out at me. What a great photo of lots and lots of babies. The little girl in the middle of the collage is a trip!

  6. the first photo was great -- a potpouurri of babies. But the individual faces was even better. It's a real trick to make sense out of a large group photo -- nice job.

  7. Poor Shakespeare, what a sad looking little guy in that painting. I agree with Mike, I bet there was a lot of noise with all those babies!

  8. Were there mother and toddler groups in that era? I did wonder if it was a Mothers' Union Group from a church (my mother was a member), but then very few older children are there. Could it have been a gathering of babies baptised over the past year or do ? Perhaps you will never know. But how wonderful to have your father amongst the gathering.

  9. I would say that babies tend to have variations of the same expression, best described as "baffled" !! :)


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