Posts Tagged ‘1911’

Granny’s Birthday Book

August 12, 2016

Many people kept and many may still keep a birthday book listing the days when friends and family members were born. This one was my Granny’s book.


Birthday wishes from Tennyson? All will be explained. In fact this was a gift from my grandfather to granny, years before they married.


There is the inscription. Granny’s birthday was January 1st so this was a birthday present from my grandad to what was then his teenaged girlfriend.

So, of course, the first birthday in the book is Granny’s own.


My dad added the year and the date of death.

Granny was often a bit fierce when it came to eradicating the names of people who died.


I think this says Aunty Emmie. She was the wife of one of Grandad’s brothers.

But Granny’s sister appears to have been allowed to remain on the books, as it were, after her premature demise.


Clearly, this is information which could be useful to a family history researcher. But sadly, Emily (always known by her middle name of Sue) had no children. I never knew her, but I rather think memory of her and photos of her are probably only with me.

Now why was Tennyson mentioned? Well, every day has a Tennyson quote associated with it and this is the one for Emily S Stevens.


What a great little item to have and to hold


April 25, 2016

As a child I travelled on those wonderful electric powered trolleybuses from time to time. I couldn’t tell you precisely where – London for sure but I reckon I used them elsewhere as well. I may have used them in Brighton where they operated until 1961. I’m fairly sure I used them in the Bexhill/Hastings area where they lasted until 1959.

The sad fact is that I didn’t take much notice at the time and now, of course, I wish I had. My interest has been sparked by the discovery that I have a postcard of a very early tram which I think dates from 1911 in Bradford, Yorkshire.


The service to Dudley Hill, Bradford, was the first electric bus service in England in 1911. The term ‘trolleybus’ had clearly not been invented. Instead the vehicle is described as the new ‘trackless tram’.

It was a case of ‘first in – last out’ for this service which became the last trolleybus route in England to close back in 1972.

It seems a shame this type of transport lost out to the diesel bus although the diesel is more versatile, being a go anywhere vehicle. The trolley could only go where the wires could take it.


The Autograph Book

August 6, 2013

I scan Ebay for Redruth items because my wife’s family lived in Redruth. A few years back I was doing this and there was an autograph book with a familiar name. The seller was showing lots of pictures of this item and included the name of the owner.


Gwen M Davey! ‘Surely’’, I thought, that’s Great Aunty Gwen. The one who married blood relative, Cyril Paul. And she was the one who had no direct descendants and who left money to us and her other great nephews and nieces when she died’.

I just made 100% sure and I was right. We had to have that album, which, of course, looked very ordinary from the outside.


There was fierce bidding and we went way over what we hoped to pay and in the end we were outbid. But there was a real act of kindness and the high bidder withdrew – with a condition that we high quality scanned one of the pages for him. The album was ours.

Great Aunty Gwen’s album is not full of childhood friends who scribbled trite messages. It contains works of art.


This one was created by a school teacher who lived locally in Redruth.


I haven’t identified W B Adams but what a great sketch and limerick.


Gladys Jarvis also has an oriental theme. She was probably a friend of Gwen’s. Both were born in 1892 in Redruth.

What a delightful family item – and we still feel lucky and privileged to have it. The seller thought it had been in his dad’s drawer for fifty years. If he happens to read this – thanks again for what you did for us.

A Happy Birthday to Granny

July 3, 2013

Granny had a memorable birthdate for she entered this world on the first day of January. The year was 1892.

At the age of 20 she was in service at Saxon Court at Buxted in Sussex so cards were sent to her there. Here is one of them.



How annoying. The sender has not recorded a name. All we know is that W has gone. It leaves me wondering who Granny’s friend was.

It’s interesting to note that the card was posted at 6.45pm on December 31st in Brighton, with every expectation that it would be delivered the next day at Saxon Court. That’s no great distance but I’m not sure we’d trust it these days.

It’s also interesting to note that the card was published by a company in London but printed in their works in Berlin. I wonder if that was a tax dodge from more than 100 years ago.

The image seems to indicate the sweet innocence of youth. I wonder how appropriate that was.


As the sender wished Granny many more birthdays, I’ll add that she had another 60. Granny died, aged 80, in 1972.

Sweet Naomi

December 2, 2012

Naomi was my great aunt. I never knew her for she died of consumption (TB) at the age of 32 back in 1911. She was buried in Hadlow Down churchyard and her grave was marked with a wooden memorial – just like her father’s was two years later.

Naomi was remembered by all as a very sweet young lady.

I am lucky for I have access to many postcards sent to Naomi.


This one was sent at Christmas 1904 by Naomi’s sister, Mercy Edwards. She had obviously changed address.


It’s a delightful, period Christmas postcard.

From about 25 cards which have survived, we learn much about Naomi and other family members. I would never have known, without the cards, that Naomi’s brothers ansd sisters called her Omi or Omy.

Some of the cards may be from possible suitors – but Omy never married. Some messages are clearly the equivalent of today’s text message – a quick cheap and short bit of information. Many display a closeness with the chapel. The family were very much of the Baptist persuasion.

Omi’s birthday was on November 23rd. This was a birthday card from her sister in law, Emmie in 1907. The message gives an indication of poor health.


The picture on the card is a striking image of a London scene. I have no knowledge as to whether Omi ever visited London.



A card sent to Omy for her 1909 birthday is very telling. The address is now an open air ward in a sanitorium. I’m not sure who Grace was. Omy had a cousin, Grace who was based in Cross in Hand until she emigrated to Australia. It could have been her.


It’s more like a birthday card as we know them. I wonder if Grace chose the wording knowing there would not be many happy returns for Omy.

Naomi lasted until 11th January 1911. Later postcards suggest that she returned home to her parents towards the end.