Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sepia Saturday 18 : Sepia And Yellow


According to a scribbled note on the reverse of this photograph it is my Uncle Harry. He is about three years old in this picture and, as he was born in 1903, that dates the picture at about 1906 which sounds about right. Regular readers of my Sepia Saturday postings will already be familiar with Uncle Harry : he was one of the co-stars of my Sepia Saturday 13 : Walking Snaps, and it is his parents whose wedding features in my "Curious Case Of The Milliners' Wedding" and serves as the header for our Sepia Saturday blog

I have already written fairy extensively about Harry Moore. At various stages of his life he was a professional musician, but he led a troubled - and I guess fairly tortured - life. Today I want to focus on just one of my memories of him. It must have been the late 1950s and I was on holiday with him and his wife (my fathers' sister Annie). We were staying at a caravan park at Hornsea, south of Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast. Harry and his drummer Geoff had picked up a week's work at the Social Club which was part of the Caravan Park complex. Each night they would entertain the holiday-makers and back any visiting singers that might be appearing. 

At that time the second television channel (Independent Television) had just started in Britain and in Yorkshire there was an evening local news programme called Calendar (it is still running, fifty-odd years later). Each week they would feature local musicians who were given a slot at the end of the programme. This particular week they were featuring Harry and his partner Geoff and the piece was being filmed in the Caravan Park Social Club. I must have been about 10 years old, and I can distinctly remember being allowed to sit at the back of the Club and watch the recording take place. But the thing I remember most was the bright yellow shirts that both my Uncle Harry and his partner were wearing. They were told to wear these by the production staff because the lights being used and the monochrome television cameras would make the shirts appear white.

I remember Uncle Harry being very impressed by this. His belief that his bright yellow shirt would be his passport to fame could have illuminated the set on its own. But it was not to be. Fame never came. His memory is now kept alive, not by recording contracts and archive film, but by this little photograph of him in his youth, dreaming perhaps of the fame and fortune to come. Maybe he would have been better wearing a sepia shirt.

20 comments:

  1. Poor Harry. Fame and fortune just passed him by. He looks like a little star in his picture though.

    Alan, isn't it hard to believe how excited we all were to get a second television channel? Now we have much more to choose from. Shame it's nearly all dross.

    The telepathic WV has been at work again. In response to your mention of 'Walking Snaps', it's come up with PODARI

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  2. what a bittersweet post about poor uncle harry. probably a good thing that fame never found him as we know only too well what effect fame has on people who are already tortured.

    but he does look quite happy and trouble free at three!

    out of curiosity what instrument did harry play?

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  3. Harry looks quite the gentleman here, yes. Is that a Navy type outfit?

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  4. Kimy : He played the piano and - according to an old theatre bill I have - he had a fine tenor voice.

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  5. Loved the story! And that picture is priceless...the hat...the curls and his expression! LOL!

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  6. Interesting tidbit about the bright yellow shirt! That is quite the outfit Harry is wearing in this photo. It looks to be a little uniform of sorts. Fantastic hat!

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  7. Cute photo, but it's amazing what parents made kids wear for photos in those days. A 'time-slice'.

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  8. I wonder if IT would have that little bit of film in their archives, Alan. Wouldn't it be neat if you could get a hold of it?

    Kat

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  9. Nice idea Kat, I'll see what I can find

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  10. You are giving him fame that he always wanted. Little would he know people all over the world would learn so much about him and see him in photos at all stages of his life.

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  11. It's a wonderful photo to go with a poignant story. Sometimes the little details really bring something to life--the yellow shirt is that.

    I haven't been able to do a Sepia Saturday post for awhile through a series of life distractions, but oh how I miss it!

    Hope to be back in soon...

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  12. A sad tale, but a good one to be told--I agree with Mouse--it's bittersweet, but it also speaks about the qualities of aspirations. Wonderful post.

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  13. I didn't know that bright yellow produces a whiter white on black & white. I'll definitely need to play with that one!

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  14. Uncle Harry looks like a sport! Thanks for his story! Your Sepia Saturdays are always spcial treats
    :)The Bach

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  15. What an adorable picture! Couldn't help saying 'Awwwww....'

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  16. oh what a cutie in that photo. i wonder how he enjoyed being so smart and neat - or not!

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  17. Mellow Yellow Quite Rightly!
    A Sepia Shirt would be a cool fashion statement me'Thinks.
    By the way Alan, Austin Mitchell is my "Friend" on facebook now! "Tony ZimnochA Friend To The Stars!"

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  18. Harry was a cutie in that picture. I had never heard about yellow looking white in the black and white pics. Makes me wonder if I actually had on something yellow and it looks white in any of my black and white pictures.

    I am not sure why but the grandkids like to change the camera to take black and white pictures sometimes. They think it is cool.

    I remember as a teenager in California that we got 7 television channels but when stationed in Oklahoma they got 4 Channels. I think when one is young that you do not realize that everywhere is not the same. But then again we hardly ever watched TV, and we only had one, which meant that we watched what our parents wanted to watch. Now it seems like everyone has their own TV to watch and hundreds of channels to choose from. But a good book still beats the TV, some things never change.

    God bless.

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  19. Whenever I visit your site now, I pay particular attention to the word verification. Today it's essessel.
    But that's an aside...Harry is so adorable in that picture that I want to pick him up and squeeze him. I love the story behind it too. Wonderful post!

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  20. What a sweetie! I wonder if he bounced up and down a bit on that chaise like mine would have don? I doubt it! Lovely post.

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