Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sepia Saturday 24 : Charabanc To New Brighton


In a remarkable and uncharacteristic show of logical organisation, I have another photograph of Enoch Burnett this week. The photograph shows a party on what must have been an outing to the seaside. I suspect that it was taken in the 1930s as Enoch died in 1948 and I can't see that there would have been spare fuel to take people to the seaside during the war. Maybe it was a charabanc trip from the local chapel in Bradford, maybe it was a pub outing : nobody knows and fewer care. I am able to identify my grandparents thanks to a penciled inscription on the back and I have marked them on this following enlargement.


Who the rest are, I don't know. A more interesting question is where was the photograph taken. The large building in the foreground looked too substantial to be another lighthouse and the angle of the curve wasn't quite right. After gazing at the building for a while I suddenly thought I recognised it from seaside trips of my own as a young lad. I checked a number of photographs on-line and I am now certain that the original photograph was taken in New Brighton, just across the River Mersey from the port of Liverpool. You can make out the same massive stone walls and the same relationship with the lighthouse in this modern photograph.

Both the old fort and the lighthouse are still standing. According to what I have been able to discover, the old fort is used as an occasional rock concert venue whilst the lighthouse can be hired as a place for newly-weds to spend their wedding night! Quite what Enoch and Harriet-Ellen would have made of all that I can't imagine.

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18 comments:

  1. Hi Alan,
    Good sleuthing! I'm glad they're still standing today -- the buildings, not the people.
    Love the collection of hats.
    Your grandfather looks like he'd rather be doing something else!

    Weirdly, I'm focusing on lighthouses this week as well, though not for Sepia Saturday.

    cheers
    SB

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  2. I too am impressed by your detective work! Kind of amazing actually...

    I admit, I wouldn't have minded honeymooning in a lighthouse!

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  3. Good work, Alan! The deerstalker and the meerschaum pipe pass to you.

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  4. Can't be too far from my old school (HMS Conway) when she was moored at Rock Ferry.

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  5. I love this detective work too- I am a sucker for a mystery and always wonder about old photographs... love it!

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  6. Great detective work, Alan, resulting in yet another fascinating Sepia Saturday post.

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  7. I love the way some of them look slightly awkward and posed - there's an innocence and privacy thing there about being captured on film which we don't really have any more because it's such a part of life.

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  8. Wonderful picture! Yep, the hats are pretty great.

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  9. Mmm-mmm. More scrumptious then-and-now pics! (I say, licking my lips.)

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  10. Oh. And you already know how much I love the sleuthing bit.

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  11. Excellent detective work--the stonework looks like a dead-on match! What might they have thought of these changes indeed!

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  12. Enoch looks really angry! Wasn't he enjoying his outing? That would be harder to find out through sleuthing.

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  13. Certainly, when I was little during the war, the local Chapel had an annual trip to the seaside. Only time I ever went. It was a reward for regular attendance. Happy, innocent, days!
    Unfortunately, no pictures remain as far as I know.

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  14. Excellent detective work Alan. I love the way people are so formally dressed for a day at the beach.

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  15. That's the best part, isn't it - solving those little mysteries? It's so rewarding when you do.
    Did the hairs bristle on the back of your neck?

    Kat

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  16. What a wonderful photograph and great to find out the location. So very interesting.

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  17. Love this post. I was looking closely at your later photo here and it looks like the lighthouse is in the river. I went to Google Earth to find this location and sure enough it is built right out there on the sand flats. It must have a massive foundation. There are many interesting photos posted here too. 53°26'35.41"N 3° 2'30.33"W

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  18. Enoch and Harriet-Ellen have such wonderful, interesting faces. The stones in the fort behind are huge! So about the trip to the seaside - did they take their swimming gear, or their walking shoes? Did they spend the day or stay over night? I know you don't know about this particular tour, but I was just wondering in general.

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