Saturday, May 01, 2010

Sepia Saturday 21 : Albert And The Look Of Love


In my Theme Thursday post this week I used a picture of my mother and father on a tandem which would have been an ideal candidate for Sepia Saturday. Whilst putting together a few words of background to that photograph I spoke of how my father progressed from bicycle to tandem to motorbike to van to - many years later - car : a progression which was not only logical but, I had always assumed, historically accurate. And then searching through a pile of photographs for Sepia Saturday I came across this one which clearly shows my father, at a relatively young age, astride an early motorbike. As I look at the photograph more closely I remember I have seen it before, many decades ago when I was still quite young. And I remember quizzing my father about it (isn't it marvelous how photographs can stimulate memories better than almost anything else?) and asking him "what happened to that bike?". And then my mother came into the room carrying a pot of tea or something and, although this must have happened at least 50 years ago, I remember my father looking up and saying "... and then I met your mother". Whether that wistful look of affection was for the meeting with my mother or the loss of the bike I didn't know then, and I don't know now.

The photograph was in a poor state when I rescued it from the box where it had been stored for many a year. Which raised the question of how far one should attempt to "renovate" these old photographs of ours. Personally, I see no objection to a good wash and brush up via Photoshop and the like, and all that pixel dodging and copying helps you to see the photograph in much more detail. In the restored version the motorbike stands out in much greater detail and tempts me to ask questions about the make and the age. No doubt there are people out there who know about such things and will eventually write in and solve that particular mystery. But it is unlikely that there is anyone out there who can tell me whether that wistful look of love was for woman or for bike.

Read the Theme Thursday Post about Albert and Gladys and their Tandem
View other Sepia Saturday posts via the Links on the Sepia Saturday Blog

17 comments:

  1. well, in my experience a man is more likely to look wistful and in love for a bike than a woman

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  2. Excellent Photoshop clean-up job, Alan! I can't tell you anything about the motorcycle, though. The only British company I know of that made motorcycles was Triumph, and I'm sure there were more companies than just that one around back then.

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  3. I'm of the opinion that the wistful look was for the bike and all it represented for your father as a young 'fancy free' man. I think I saw the same look on Gem's face when he sold his pristine 1968Mustang fastback to help buy our first house.

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  4. What a fantastic photo, Alan. Excellent restoration job. One of my favorite pass times is tweaking my old family photos. It's amazing what we can do from our little PCs.

    Now, if only this motorbike of your father's had a sidecar!

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  5. I think your Dad would have appreciated this wash and brush up. So much more detail as a result.

    I want to say this is a Velocette. Just a hunch.

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  6. Such a good photo, and I love the flat cap thing. You get so used to seeing motorbike helmets, you forget that there was a time when no one really cared what you wore on your motorbike, or whether you did your seatbelt up in a car, or cycled along the pavement.

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  7. Full of wist for the bike I'd wager. My dad sold his piano accordion when he met my mother!

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  8. It's a great photo & a great restoration job. I've sharpened the focus on all of the old photos I've used on RFBanjo--I'm sure I could do more, but am pretty much a photoshop novie.

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  9. My son uses the same face for his girlfriend and his bike! Both are not mutually exclusive haha! And I don't see any problem with restoring via photoshop either because the original remains intact anyway.

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  10. Ah, a wonderful photo!

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  11. "and then I met your mother." I guess that is an old statement of bliss. Love conquerors all. One forgoes change for a relationship. One knows what is best to keep the woman in your life happy. I have been there, and I don't think I regret it.

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  12. I'm going to be a romantic (unusual for me) and say that the wistful look was for your mother..
    Nice photo.

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  13. Great photo and a fine tribute to your parents' affection and love!
    :)The Bach

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  14. John - I suspwect it may be a 1920s AJS.

    http://www.vintagebike.co.uk/Bike%20Directories/AJS%20Bikes/pages/AJS-20s.htm

    Rgds/Bob

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  15. Nice bit of restorative work. I've got some rather bad ones to fix, but haven't progressed to photoshop, as yet. I dinna see the harm in attepmting to enhance the old snaps, as long as they can be preserved to as near original as they can, wot?

    Wonder if this is an early BSA type bike? Hmm...

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  16. It's amazing how often A future wife walks in a man's door and his bike ,soon afterwards,"walks" out! we would still have a thriving motorbike industry in Britain if it wasnt for women!

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