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.


  1. Interesting--those packages (tied with string) on the ground; each with a label. Was there a package for each participant? But you're right -- they are ALL having a good time here, and that's the best part! 110 years ago...yikes!

  2. That was neat seeing the rest of the photographs in the series. I think you may be right about the umbrellas being part of the festivities rather than because of rain as none of those watching the event were carrying umbrellas, nor were they dressed for bad weather. Fun post!

  3. All the photographs made me think of the early school stories which I loved - with tales of "jolly hockey sticks".

  4. The collection nearly resounds with the noise of the girl's laughter and cheers. I like the idea of synchronized umbrella twirling.

  5. Your post has reminded me that I'd better get off my bottom and organize our next school reunion for next year- 40 years - yikes!

  6. Great idea showing "the rest of the story." Those were exciting times of growth and change. I love that photo collection but don't dare go near it unless I have several free hours.

  7. Oh I'm so glad you showed us more in the sequence of photos. It does indeed look like a fun day. Mr. Mike's comment about a synchronized umbrella routine reminds me of the Doo Dah parades that are popular in various parts of the US. Various groups of people and clubs and organizations perform crazy routines using things like folding chairs, trash cans, and yes, umbrellas.


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