Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Granny and Grandad in cheap photos

April 24, 2013

I have recently taken a fresh look at the suitcase of family photos my stepmother passed to me. It is more than ten years since I digitised the photos and time moves on. I can now get much better images. Take this glorious photo of my Granny, for example. The original is tiny as you might expect for a cheap photo. It’s three by three and a half centimetres.

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There is one of Grandad as well.

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I can now introduce you to a fantastically helpful website. These photos have an address on them and that enabled me to find http://www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/. Well of course, it’s of most interest if the photo you have has a Sussex connection. My photos have, for Granny and Grandad were Sussex people. The web site tells me that these studios were in Brighton. I’m rather hoping the numbers might help us to get an accurate date. For now I’ll guess at before the start of World War 1. The photos were taken at the Sticky Back studio in Brighton and the photos came with lick and stick glue on the reverse.

Granny and Grandad married in 1916.

The site has a lot of photos and might help anyone date their own old images.

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Was Grandad a nerd?

December 9, 2012

I’m sure the answer, really, was no he wasn’t. The view of some was that Grandad’s life was blighted by the first world war. He came home, as far as I know, unharmed in any physical sense. But the ‘land fit for heroes’ was unable to get him his pre-war job back. He’d been a postman. He had some skill as a cobbler and got a poorly paid job doing that. There was certainly poverty, but at least grandad had a job and the wolf was kept from the door.

Grandad took photos. He didn’t have facilities to develop a film, so he got that done at a local shop and then printed his own images – or those he thought were worth the money. I think this one fell into the ‘not worth it’ category, but Grandad kept his negatives which, eventually, were handed to me. I have been able to digitise them and so can see something of my ancestor’s life and that of his family. Of course, negatives are not captionned. It has not always been easy to sort out where photos were taken, let alone why. But as we can see, this shows a railway.

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Now I’m on guesswork. I think this will be near Sidley on the Bexhill West to Crowhurst Line of the old South Eastern and Chatham Railway. I suspect part of the purpose of the photo was to do with the vegetable garden on the left. I know grandad’s brother, Joe, had an allotment somewhere near the railway so it might have been his.

The sign on the right says ‘catch points’. There may be an expert who can recognise that sign and its proximity to an over bridge.

It’s certainly a shame that granddad was unable to get a train in his picture. That would have helped to date it and locate it.

Since I last wrote about the Bexhill West branch, I have located another ticket, probably bought as a souvenir by my dad for it dates from the time of his last trip on the line.

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Sixpence for a journey of slightly over 4 miles sounds laughable today but the adult rate was, no doubt, threepence per mile back then. It would not have seemed cheap in the 1960s.