Posts Tagged ‘brother’

My brother at camp

July 13, 2016

My brother at camp

My brother was born in 1947 and in this photo he is aged 8. He is at ‘camp’, our regular holiday spot on the South Downs in the parish of Beddingham.


Robin, for that was his name, is engrossed in a comic and was snapped by my father who was inside one of the odd collection of tents we had as we can see in the whole photo.

image004Now straight away I can say this was an unusual day in that it must have been just about windless. Robin is surrounded by bits of comic or newspaper which do not seem to have blown away. Camp and breeze normally went together.

The comics almost certainly came from the home of Great Aunt Nellie, about a mile away at Firle. Nellie had become a widow in 1952 and she took over the role of ‘mother’ to her grandchildren, moving in with her widower son. So although in my eyes Nellie was ancient, she had a lively home with a sub teenage grandchild (Dougie) and a couple of older men grandchildren (one would actually have been 17 at this time and the other in his early 20s).

But back to Robin, absorbed in his choice of literature. Sadly, he died as a young man in 1980. By that time we had grown out of our childhood sibling rivalry and he was a good friend. I still miss him, of course, but I am lucky to have photographic and other memories.

Lost siblings

April 24, 2015

There aren’t many days go past when you don’t think of family members who have died. Recently I got in touch with a new family member – quite a distant half third cousin – and I so wanted to tell my sister about this contact and show photos she sent. But of course, my sister died last year so it can’t be done. Oddly, I don’t feel the same need to share this with my brother. It is 35 years since he died and genealogy wasn’t on the agenda back then. But things happen most days and the thought comes that I might tell one of them about it. So let’s honour those departed siblings today with a picture of them from before my own birth. This photo was taken in 1947. It was taken, of course, by my Dad. image002 The Lloyd loom settee had clearly been moved into the garden at the family home in Wadhurst, Sussex, which was where I was born. Paula, my sister, looks happy to have a brother. He had been born in what is recalled as an awful winter with all sorts of problems, but he looks to have thrived on it and is clearly showing an interest in the world. I remember that settee with affection, too. My dad didn’t quite approve of settees. He claimed that people didn’t use them by choice and that if offered a chance to sit anywhere, they always took a single seater chair. It got replaced by two arm chairs. But of course nothing can replace the brother and sister. Please don’t get any idea that I live a life of sadness though. I don’t. My memory is good and I have lots of good memories. I’ve known my wife for the vast bulk of my life so I have someone I can share most things with. I have no thoughts of having been dealt a lousy hand in life. I think I’ve had a great one.

When a child is born

August 28, 2014

The birth of a grandchild gives an excuse for looking back as well as forward so today I’ll be unashamedly nostalgic and comment on changes.

We’ll start with the youngest photo we have of me.


I’m already over four months old and was clearly practising my royal wave. New granddaughter is now just over a fortnight old and more photos of her have been taken than were probably taken of me throughout my childhood. This isn’t to be wondered at for changes in technology have meant it costs just about nil to take dozens of photos so you may as well take 100 in the hope of a good one.

But of course, as compared with the late 1940s when I first saw the light of day, people (most of them) now have much more disposable income and there is much more to dispose of it on.

New granddaughter has a self-rocking swing, a Moses basket on rockers, a pram/pushchair etc. etc. – and that’s the norm. My bed in that photo appears to be an old washing basket although this might have been a temporary affair for a photo session.

New granddaughter is lucky enough to have a big brother. I had a big brother and sister and here we are on the same day.


Garden furniture? No, of course not! That wonderful Lloyd Loom chair was one of our house chairs, carried out for the occasion. These days people have lavish garden furniture, purpose made.

But despite a paucity of equipment and all things for babies, I had the most wonderful childhood. I had a dad who loved me.


And a mum who doted on me.


That remains the most important thing and I’m pleased to say new granddaughter certainly has doting and loving parents.

Tower Bridge

October 13, 2013

Yes, I like bridges. But this isn’t the real thing. It’s a model. The model was notionally made by my brother, but I rather imagine my dad had a lot to do with it. It was made of Meccano and the year was 1954.


That’s my brother with the model and he certainly looks proud of it so he must have felt well involved in the making.

The scene was our dining room and I feel I should just say ‘room’ for the front room was rarely used. The dining room had the kitchen range in it so it was warm. Lighting the front room fire was for special occasions only. It looks to me as though the cupboard behind my brother has greenery on it. It must have been at Christmas time. The model was on our table – a tiny affair on which the bridge hardly fitted. My dad had covered the table with lino at that time. Later it got ‘new’ Formica on it and still later it reverted to a wood finish. It still exists in that form.

The bridge was a working model rather than an aesthetically pleasing one. One might say that summed up Dad who did appreciate things for aesthetic reasons, but that tended to be a secondary consideration. The phrase, ‘like father, like son’ comes to mind there.

As a child I never got on with Meccano. Fine motor control was never my forte and I found those nuts and bolts far too fiddling and small. As an adult it presented no problems to me but back in those early 1950s, my efforts with the stuff were limited to say the least.

But the photo brings back happy memories of a brother who died far too young and a father, also deceased.

A scene from childhood

December 30, 2012

Here’s childhood in 1952. It isn’t me though. It’s my brother.


From the nerd point of view maybe the elderly trike is of interest. It was a venerable machine without a doubt and it passed to me when my brother moved on to two wheels. He was 20 months older than me. Sadly, he died young – as a young adult, already married and with two children.

My brother probably never knew – I certainly didn’t – how poor we were as a family. After the second war ended my dad decided to go to university so we were living on a student grant – Dad, mum and we three children. I learned after of the usual student panic. The grant had been spent by July and it would be the start of October before any more money arrived. But I had no idea’ I only knew that Dad did some private tuition – presumably enough to keep the wolf from the door. I had the happiest of childhoods.

The scene, by the way, is Ifield Green. There was clearly money for photography with processing all done at home.