04 February 2011

By way of a change...


By way of a change I thought I'd show some very old family photographs that were once shown on my Sepia Saturday blog.

CLOTHES MAKETH THE MAN! Just look at my Dad in his plus fours, is he a dandy or what? For an exceptionally quiet man he had remarkable dress taste. His Sister, my Aunt May, seemed quite comfortable to be standing next to him.

According to Wikipedia: Plus Fours were described as an "extravagant, careless style that fit right in with the looser fashions and lifestyles of the 1920s" Plus Fours are trousers that extend 4 inches (10 cm) below the knee (and thus four inches longer than traditional knickerbockers, hence the name). As they allow more freedom of movement than knickerbockers, they have been traditionally associated with sporting attire from the 1860s and onward, and are particularly associated with golf. My Dad never played golf.

Women will be Men! Or put it another way, they like wearing the trousers! That's my Mom on the right, with Auntie May.

Same two, t'other way round. At least one got back to normal dress!


My father's father, Grandfather Harry, was an artist, carpenter, cabinet maker, father of six, and from all accounts a sexual harasser. However, as this is a public blog I won't disclose the details. My father got his love of woodwork from Grandfather Harry and my only regret is that I didn't have a brother who could continue the line.

Grandfather Harry started a family scrap book to which all family members contributed, There were sketches, paintings, photographs, and writings, each one lovingly displayed on it's own page with a flimsy protective leaf to preserve the item. My father was the keeper of the scrapbook but it mysteriously disappeared when he died.

The family was deeply upset over the loss. One or two pieces remain, found amongst a bag full of loose photographs, some cut to size, all with ageing sellotape marks where they'd been stuck elsewhere. It is thought they were taken out of the scrapbook at some time and simply cast aside. This snippet was definitely a Grandfather Harry offering since it was signed by him. Isn't it sad that something so old and at one time precious should have been treated in such a way… the following being one of them.

Next picture is of my mother's father, Grandfather Smith. Nothing is known about this man except that he was my grandfather and father of eight. He was rarely talked about and I don't recall him ever being referred to by name. My Mom left home at eighteen and went off to be a nurse. She was ashamed of her large and very poor family and seldom kept in touch. All contact was discouraged ... if it hadn't been for my Dad I would never have met any of the relatives on mother's side.

The photograph shows grandfather as a serving soldier in the first world war.

This picture, mounted on card, was issued by the Royal Family and given to servicemen.
At least, that's the story I was told.


Grandfather, Grandmother, and six children

Grandma with the three eldest, George, Elsie and May, none of whom are still alive. In fact, out of the six only two remain.

Grandma with the baby of the family, Uncle Norman, who was 20 years younger than my Dad. I was born seven years later

Grandmother and me ... Oooops sorry, that's the wrong picture

This is Grandma and me. Sweet or what!

Grandma was a staunch Methodist and belonged to an organisation known as Christian Endeavour. I think this must be the same Christian Endeavour that started in Portland, Maine, in 1881. She always wore a badge with the initials C.E. which I used to think were her own since her name was Charlotte Eliza.

That's it, life history in pictures. As for my Mom's side of the family, very little is known, not even a picture to gaze at.


  1. Love this glimpse into your
    family history. Thanks for sharing.

  2. nice...these are really cool pics looking back and seeing how people dressed...

  3. Interesting post, Val. With some wonderful pictures. There must be so many stories behind them, and I don't just mean Grandfather Harry and his escapades.

  4. I love family history Valerie and so enjoyed reading some of yours and looking at your family photos.

    Pssst.... one of my grandfathers was a sexual harasser too so I found out recently. What was it with them????? :0

  5. Val you are so blessed to have all these pictures, I have no pictures of my parents family, my dad's parents had passed away when I was born. I think my older sister must have our family photo's, I must check.....:-)Hugs

  6. Oh Valerie my dear, you have no idea how MUCH I enjoyed this pictorial post of your family!

    These photos are AMAZING!!!!

    Love the one of your mom and Auntie May. I so enjoy seeing women in a suit, I actually think it looks kinda sexy! And the photo of your grandmother on the mule is PRICELESS! So is the one of you and she together.

    I have one similar to the wedding photo you shared at the top. In it, my father was the ring boy and he looks so adorable. I should share that one day on my blog.

    Thank you so much for sharing this post, dear lady!

    How fun!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. Fayr, your welcome. Glad you enjoyed this little insight.

    Brian, I agree, it is fascinating to see the old style clothes.

    Mr V. Unfortunately the old stories never get known... perhaps in some cases it's as well.

    Akelamalu, so you know of another sexual harasser - it seems that times don't change... grins

    Bernie, thanks for popping in. I only managed to get the old photos after Mom died. They'd been to Australia and back before I got them. But none of her own side of the family!

    Ron, Oh go on... SHARE! I'm so pleased you enjoyed my pictorial parade. Have a great weekend, my friend. Plenty of cereal should keep you going at this busy time...grins.

  8. What great pictures thanks for sharing them :-)


  9. Absolutely fascinating. I love old photos. there dont seem to be many in our family. I do like the plus fours, i wonder it they will come back into fashion? they are so practical, especially for the girls.

  10. How strange Valerie, that we are doing similar things at the same time.
    You have gone into so much more interesting details than I.
    I have only just opened the boxes of hundreds of photos only this last week. Thank heavens, our early relatives didn't throw them away.
    Very well always.
    Your old pal....Bernard


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