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, 11 November 2017


Today is Remembrance Day, when we wear our poppies and remember the fallen of two World Wars, and many conflicts since. I have covered this subject several times in previous posts, but when I put the word in the search bar for my photos, I came up with remembrance of a different kind.

The first is taken from Great Aunt Maude’s autograph album, written by a friend in April 1919, and beautifully illustrated .

The second is a pretty postcard which I bought at an antiques fair. The writer appears to be a schoolboy writing to his auntie on her birthday. He tells her he hasn’t had the cane yet at school! The postcard is 4th July 1919; it was obviously a year when the word remembrance was at the forefront of people’s minds. 

The address is Stanley Cottages, Guildford Road, Farnham, Surrey. I couldn’t find it on the modern map or Google Street View, although there are some houses labelled as Stanley Villas. The writer also appears to be called Stanley!

I spent a little time researching Miss K Blackman, but the nearest I could find was in the 1939 census, a married woman, Mrs Kate Blackman, living at 4 Guildford Road. Her date of birth was 16th September 1874, so it wasn’t her birthday being remembered. I expect that they were related in some way however; and it’s not just co-incidence that two K. Blackmans lived at similar addresses. Perhaps her husband Fred (born 1877) had a sister called Kate or Kitty, who lived next door.

Auntie Kate, or Kitty, obviously treasured the card from her nephew and kept the Remembrance safe for many years. As is the way with such memorabilia, it probably was disposed of her at her death, or that of a relative who had also been its guardian. I’m pleased to have given it an airing here, and who knows, perhaps a member of the Blackman family will be able to enlighten me one day. As is the nature of we Sepians, we can’t help being curious about what the postcard writer (and recipient) looked like. An old photo would be the icing on the cake.

Join other contributors to this week’s Sepia Saturday, for more tales of old photos and postcards.


  1. the picture of a scantily clad young lady seems rather odd for a schoolboy to send to his Aunt.

  2. May your celebrations be joyful, we are celebrating Veteran's Day here in America and there are parades and special moments in so many places to share with our veteran's.

  3. I get intrigued by old postcards too, but they rarely fit a theme as well as this one!

  4. A touching sentiment and postcard. The focus of Remembrance Day, or our Memorial Day which is in May, too often stays only within the historical boundaries of the war years. But of course for the families of the fallen the sorrow endures and needs to be marked. Unfortunately 11/11 is now Veteran's Day in America which mostly honors living servicemen and women and doesn't have quite the same solemnity that I think should be observed. And I agree with Postcardy, the postcard girl is an odd one to send to your auntie.

  5. You know, some of the most interesting things I've read in old ephemera is from kids. I have a series of letters a child wrote to his mother in which he says some very odd and funny things. On the other hand his mother wrote to someone else with nothing but scorn for him.

    I have an autograph book like yours that belonged to my grandmother. It too has some beautiful original artwork in it.

  6. Gorgeous autograph book. I have one that was my maternal great-grandmother's, which includes a signed wish from her dad (my great-great-grandfather) in German -- the only signed item from him. The other signatures are from her friends, capturing an entire social network in one small volume.

  7. There were times when a hand written poem and illustration had great value in friendship. Ah, those were the days!

  8. Nice postcard! I googled but couldn't find any more info about dear auntie either.

  9. Such Beauty Among The Carnage. I wonder how long he had to wait for the first caning?


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