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 June 2017

The Bowler

The above photograph is one of several similar images which were from my husband’s grandfather, George. He is the gentleman seated front row on the right. The occasion was the official opening of the Bowling Green* on 18th April 1930. It was Good Friday when tradition dictated that the bowling season would be officially opened by a local dignitary or club member being invited to bowl a jack and three woods. I have no idea what that means as I am not a bowls aficionado, but clearly it was deemed an honour to do so, and was never offered to the same person twice.

What we have discovered by scanning across the faces of the other members, is that my father-in-law is also in the picture. At that time he was a young man of twenty-two and probably already courting my mother-in-law. He is third from the left.

I also discovered him on the 1934 photo above, taken again on Good Friday, 30th March. He is the scarf-wearing chap, smiling away three rows from the front and three in from the left. He was already a married man by then and was standing a little closer to his father-in-law, who is peering over the head of the bowler-hatted gentleman in front of him.

Which brings me to another bowler altogether, the bowler hat, of which there are several examples here. It has nothing to do with bowling and owes its name to its designers, Thomas and William Bowler of London.

In the few pictures we have of George wearing a hat it is is usually of the flat, golfing type or a trilby. However, those with a long memory will know that he carried off the wearing of a bowler with aplomb, at the age of about fourteen, around the turn of the last century. He featured in a piece I wrote about his sister called The Eyes of Margaret, where you can read more about George.

Our prompt image this week has a bowler-hatted gentleman making, or packing, boxes in a yard. I decided to 'think outside the box’ and bowl you over with my play on words. I hope you are duly impressed. For more impressive posts join the bowling club that is Sepia Saturday and see what other contributors have come up with.

* We think it may be Ashton-under-Lyne.


  1. Yes, indeed, your play on words is right up my ALLEY. Your stories STRIKE me as charming and humorous. I will SPARE you the need to groan at my own plays on words from this other form of BOWLing.

  2. Yes, I was duly impressed! When I began reading your post, I naively thought what has bowls to do with the prompt? So I enjoyed your play on words and link to bowler hats. I especially liked the portrait of George and his sister.

  3. Great post, a joy to read about the photographs and history.

  4. Picking the bowler hat to theme on was good - but stretching it to lawn bowling was quite clever! And thanks for the info on how the bowler hat came to be called such. Never knew that. Neat post all round! :)

  5. I'm always bowled over by your clever and witty posts :-)

  6. Well done! Most enjoyable post, which had several sepia photos! I'm shamed into looking for older photos soon to post as I often have ones that aren't at all old!

  7. I didn't know that bowling was once a popular spectator sport. Did they cheer or just applaud? I can hear the photographer of your first photo shouting, "Gentlemen, please remove your hats."

  8. How clever is your interpretation on the theme this week. And it's stimulated so many witty comments.


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