A faded sepia photograph from Fowler Beanlands's vintage postcard collection shows, according to an even more faded description etched into the glass negative, Mill Bridge in Skipton, North Yorkshire.
I have had a busy week this week and have not had time to visit Skipton (always a pleasure in itself) and record the view 100 years on so I have had to turn to the excellent Google Street View. The answer, I am pleased to report, is that little has changed. The buildings on the left of the old photograph would have included the Castle Inn which is still physically there : but a careful examination of the Street View photograph indicates that it is - or was - to let. Holy Trinity Church is obviously still there and, as far as I am aware, is not to let! The buildings on the right of the road will have included Stanforth's Pork Butchers' Shop which still exists and is now known as the "Celebrated Pork Pie Shop" and reputed to sell the finest pork pies in the world.
As well as encouraging me to revisit Skipton, the card also provided me with an important clue about Uncle Fowler himself.
Since I have been referring to his postcard collection many people have commented on his somewhat strange name. The Beanlands are my mothers' family and have a well-established presence in West Yorkshire. I had always assumed that his Christian name was the incorporation of a previous family surname : a common occurrence in nineteenth and early twentieth century England. Proof that this is the case comes from the deft-handed senders of the card - "cousins George and Ed Fowler". The card provides another fine example of how so much information can be contained within such a small and insignificant card. I now need to track down the Fowlers of Skipton. I think I will pay the town an early visit, pop into the local Library, call in at the Pork Pie Shop and enjoy a genealogical pint in the Castle Inn.
Take a look at the other Sepia Saturday 33 posts by following the links on the Sepia Saturday Blog.