Posts Tagged ‘1929’

Blossom time

May 9, 2016

Here we have May from our floral underground poster calendar.


Bright and cheerful blossom appears to be the theme of this month. The art work is by Walter Spradbury and dates from 1929. The poster, of course, extols the virtue of reaching the parks and gardens named by Underground.

I don’t feel the need to travel up to London to see blossom. I just look out of my window and see it. Actually, this apple blossom dates from the May of 2004


Our Bramley tree was absolutely awash with blossom that year.


Alfriston Church

February 13, 2016

This is another of my grandfather’s pictures and it shows my dad and aunt at Alfriston in East Sussex.


Alfriston is always very highly regarded as a pretty village. In my childhood it became something of a tourist honeypot. It is wonderfully situated, between the South Downs and the River Cuckmere and of course, being ‘Alfric’s Town’ it has history.

I’m not sure what Grandad was most interested in when he took the photo. He hasn’t shown the church to best effect but he has caught his children on a gnarled old tree. This must have been around 1929.


There’s Dad standing up tall and high with my aunt hanging on grimly rather lower down.

That tourist honeypot destination was not often visited by us. My dad preferred to find his own places, quiet and unspoilt by the masses. But we did visit over 60 years ago in 1954 when my dad decided it was cheaper to buy cards rather than take his own photos and here is the one of the church.


Hmm! It lacks the human interest of Grandad’s photo.

The Gramophone Project – and a duck!

October 4, 2015

I’m afraid I have made absolutely no progress with my gramophone. The trouble is it looks reasonably OK and it works so I just use it.

And amongst items being cleared from my sister’s house there was this 78RPM record. Now my sister didn’t collect them and I don’t think this is a family piece at all. My sister traded and I suspect she bought this hoping (probably mistakenly) that it could turn a small profit. It is certainly a bizarre record.


Very reflective! I see my hands holding a camera at the bottom!

The record looks a bit like an LP, clearly divided into tracks. In fact it doesn’t play continuously. Each track is a separate groove.


This is record Y.B.19. I haven’t found much information about this one, but the Y.B. series appear to be sound effects and others in the series have a 1929 date. The other side has more harmonious birds.


So what are the sound effects like? Well not what you might expect. I have recorded the duck on the project gramophone and you can see and hear it by clicking here. I suggest you turn your sound up loud and prepare to fall about laughing!

You see it isn’t a duck at all. It’s a man pretending to be a duck.

But it is great fun.


Dad in the string septet

May 17, 2015

I never really discovered if my dad was a good little boy at school or whether, perhaps, he used his brain to be a tad troublesome. I suspect he was probably OK and it certainly looks like it in this photo.


Dad, the boy in the centre, is the only one I know although they all look like a neat and tidy bunch.

This was photo was always described as ‘The Down School Orchestra’. The Down School, in Bexhill was the school dad went to up to the age of eleven. After that he had a place at the Bexhill Grammar School.

Dad was born in 1919 so I’d guess this photo dates from around 1929.

I’d better say here that Dad did not keep up with violin playing. He may have done better than me though. I had lessons foisted upon me for one school term when I was about eleven. I loathed it, took any opportunity to miss lessons and was relieved when allowed to abandon that particular activity. Actually, I do get pleasure out of making music – but on my terms which means I need to avoid standard musical notation which my brain has never managed to cope with at anything like a reasonable speed. But give me a keyboard or a guitar and I can pick out tunes and find appropriate chords to go with them. And that’s fun.

Frederick Crosby

September 15, 2014

Meet the Relative

Frederick Crosby was my great great uncle. I never knew him.

He was born in Tunstall in Suffolk in 1845. His parents were James Crosby and Mary Ann Cullingford Smith who were my great great grandparents. Don’t get any idea that the double barrelled surname of Mary Ann implied any kind of high status. It was quite the reverse. Her father was born out of wedlock and was officially a Smith but used the name of his dad (and mum when they married) of Cullingford.

But let’s look at Frederick. By 1851 his parents had moved down the road to Butley and we can find Fred there for both the 1851 and 1861 censuses.

Frederick then became a part of the family exodus from Suffolk and in 1871 we find him working on a farm near Tillingham in Essex. Several members of the Crosby family moved there.

But agriculture was very depressed and Frederick moved to Durham to become a miner. Here he married a girl from East Anglia called Ann Smith. I say a girl, but she was already 41 when they married in 1878. She was a widow and her maiden surname was Buck.  They had a daughter, Mary Ann Crosby who was born in 1880. She died in 1960.

In 1881 Fred, Ann with children from her first marriage and baby Mary were in Consett and Fred was a miner. The 1891 address was lovely – Delight Bank in Collierley, Durham.

Ann died in 1897. There is a memorial card.


In 1901 we find just Fred and daughter Mary Ann in Collierley with Fred now working as a roadman.

Fred remarried in 1904 his wife was Elizabeth Skipper. She was a widow, nearly twenty years younger than Fred. She brought her children to the marriage. The following year they had a son, also Frederick Crosby.

I wonder if this photo of Fred senior dates from around that time.


The 1911 census shows the family in Collierley.

Frederick died in 1929. Elizabeth in 1944.

A day out by motor in 1929

July 29, 2013

Days out, for my dad, were something of a rarity. People just didn’t have money for frippery which, of course, made those rare days out altogether more memorable.

My dad had a cousin called Walter who was the son of Uncle Joe. He worked in the motor trade and could drive. On July 7th 1929 he hired a large car and took his family (there were 5 of them all more or less adult by then) and my dad, his sister and his parents on a day out. I’ll let my dad say a little in his own words.

In 1929 or thereabouts Walter, with a job in the motor trade, hired a large car (a Cubitt) in which on one Sunday Uncle Joe’s family and our family visited relations in various parts of Sussex. We certainly visited Crawley where Aunt Mercy (Edwards, my oldest Aunt born 1878) lived in Malthouse Road. In Hadlow Down churchyard we looked at the graves of Hepzibah (my oldest Aunt of all except that she died in 1909) and alongside the grave of grandfather who died in 1913.

This must have been a very special occasion and quite a few photos were taken. I have photos of each of the graves mentioned and others taken in Mercy’s garden. And then there is this one, which shows dad and his sister, Dora, on the running board of that Cubitt car.


I suspect that was taken in Bexhill, at the start of the journey. This must have been a real adventure to the youngsters. It is hard for us to imagine what a restricted life people led then although Dad and Dora did get holidays at Firle, staying with their aunt and family. Indeed, we saw the pair of them recently on cousin Frank’s motorbike. But Crawley, where Aunt Mercy lived, was way out of normal experience. From the Bexhill home, the journey would have been about 50 miles. This day must have been a real red letter day in the lives of the youngsters.