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."

Saturday, 22 April 2017

What Jolly Good Fun We Had Today

This week’s prompt image for Sepia Saturday is once again taken from the Flickr photostream of The Past On Glass, Sutton Archive. It depicts the School Sports Day at Carshalton Convent School on July 8th 1907, just a mile or so down the road from Sutton. It seems a strange image for a sports day, but a glance at others in the series indicate that it was more of a Fun Day than a seriously competitive event.

We may never know the explanation for the umbrella sequence, but I don't think it was anything to do with the weather; Perhaps some sort of relay, with umbrellas instead of batons. A wild guess.

There was also a game of Lacrosse, supervised by one of the staff perhaps.

And a display of what would appear to be Country Dancing, or possibly some Keep Fit routine.

There are two images of the girls taking part in Cycling Proficiency exercises, but look at how the girls have decorated their cycles with ribbons and bows.

Is that a David Knights-Whittome’s camera and tripod to the left of the second picture? Click on any image to enlarge.

My favourite two ‘mystery’ pictures would seem to be depicting a dressing-up event. Now that really did look like fun, judging from the smiles of the onlookers; parents, staff and fellow students.

The school has an interesting history and its buildings and grounds are very attractive. If you search on the Sutton Archive’s photostream you can see some of the elegant interiors that Knights-Whittome photographed, including common rooms, classrooms and a gymnasium. The photographs were taken almost 110 years ago, during the reign of Edward VII, when the First World War was still seven years away. It was a period of great political and social change, particularly for women. What stands out however, is that on that Summer day so long ago, was that everybody had such fun.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Three Choirboys

Master Ernest Lough singing ‘O, For The Wings of a Dove’ was my introduction to the voice of the boy soprano. The recording was made just over ninety years ago last month, March 1927, and was often played on the radio when I was growing up.

His story is told in his obituary below, by Jeremy Nicholas, who also contributed to a BBC programme about Ernest Lough and the famous recording. The programme can be found on YouTube here.

My second choirboy, with the rather serious and solemn expression, is my Mother’s brother, Sydney William, know as Billy. For many years this is how I knew him, as an enlargement of this portrait hung in my grandparents’ house.

Billy often appears in posts about my mother’s childhood as they were so close in age, only sixteen months between them. Imagine the devastation felt by the family when Billy died in a freak accident, aged only fifteen in 1934. My grandparents themselves were still young, in their late thirties, and Mum was a month shy of her fourteenth birthday.

St Saviour’s was also where my parents married during WW2 and Mum is seen here talking to some children, probably about her memories of the occasion. I think this was taken on their Ruby Wedding Anniversary in 1982.

The Nottingham Evening Post report of his death carried the same portrait of Billy as a choirboy, at the local church.

Aled Jones is my third choirboy, the one who my own children grew up with as they sang along to his recording of ‘We’re Walking in the Air’. In the animation of Raymond Brigg’s wonderful picture book, The Snowman, it was another choirboy, Peter Auty, who sang the anthem, but Aled made the record, so he was the one who became famous. Fortunately Aled Jones grew into a very pleasant adult performer and TV presenter and wasn’t spoiled by his fame at all.

He can be seen on YouTube here singing with his younger self.

My post this week was inspired by this wonderful portrait of three choirboys from The Past On Glass at The Sutton Archives.

Go over to Sepia Saturday to see what other contributors have made of this picture prompt.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Merpeople of the Sands

It sounds like the title of a novel; however, the merpeople of the sands are not mythical, but very real.  As it’s April 1st, also known as April Fool’s Day when pranksters like to have a practical joke or two,  I’ve lightened the mood of my post this week. I have my husband’s permission to share this wonderful image from around forty-five years ago.

He was on holiday with his newly divorced sister Gill, and her young children, and we have a hunch that this is her work. Gill was a not only very artistic and creative, but also had a great sense of fun. I’m sure her girls would have joined in with creating this unlikely sand merman too.

And from the ridiculous to the sublime, here are some real merpeople, beautifully crafted here in the sands of Playa Blanca, Lanzarote some fifteen years ago I think. The artists still appear there on a regular basis creating some real works of art for the admiration of passers-by and to earn a few euros.

Why not join us today at Sepia Saturday, where our picture prompt is two boys doing what people always like to do on the beach, burying themselves and their family.