Friday, July 30, 2010

Sepia Saturday 33 : Fowlers' Cousins Fowler


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.

19 comments:

  1. Great postcard and accompanying story. I've just had a very quick look at your News From Nowhere blog as well - interetsing stuff. Will be back later to read more.

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  2. It sounds like you have the ideal day before you - research at the library, pork pie, and beer. What a life!

    It's nice to see that practically nothing of a very charming scene has changed in 100 years.

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  3. Fowler Beanland, Skipton, the Pork Pie Shop, and castle. Your world is so charming, Alan! Thanks for the then-and-now fix.

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  4. After all the detective work, "..a genealogical pint" seems perfectly in order. Enjoy!

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  5. dakotaboo : it's a pleasure to welcome you on board.
    Roy/Willow : you are right - the ingredients of a near perfect day.
    Martin H : Can't understand why some enterprising micro-brewery doesn't brew a Genealogical Ale or a Family History Bitter.

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  6. a Beautiful & Tangible Thing Is A Postcard.Somehow, getting an email from someone just aint the same.
    Yes,Skipton doesnt seem to have changed much,although In those days,I bet you didnt have to pay 20pee to use the public loo by the Big Car park!

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  7. I'm sure I've been there the name is so familiar. Mmmm pork pies.We get them here but not a patch on the pub ones with a hard boiled egg in the middle.

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  8. Hi Allan, I love the pictures, faded or not. But wasn't the handwritting spectacular! Writing with a pen and ink was no mean fete yet this is so carefully done with such patience.

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  9. I think I'm going to start signing off, "I am nicely yours"! How very charming.
    I can't help but think of Eastenders every time I hear the name "Fowler".

    Kat

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  10. Well I suppose I could look up Pork pie..instead I will wait and ask that before you devour one completely that you photograph it and tell us what it has in it and what it tastes like. Then we can all have virtual pork pie! I will have a pint too..although I am not much of a drinker:)

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  11. gotta love google for images like that!

    nicely yours,

    urban muser

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  12. I absolutely love the name Fowler Beanland, It's hard to stop saying it over and over again. He should be a character (the leading character) in a movie. I also love that the scenery remain intact and beautiful.

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  13. I wish things here in California would stay the same for 100 years. Some things do, of course, but they seem to be tearing things down as fast as they can. I live in a small village that's better than most in that respect, but you have to look hard to find the old buildings.

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  14. Love the idea of research at the library then a celebratory pint at the in to settle a little pork pie.

    I am going to have to go through all those post cards, and see what little hints I can find.

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  15. I know that corner well - the last time was there (2005) a fabulous whiskey emporium was located at the near end of that bridge! We were staying a few miles away at Oakworth.

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  16. Alan, I like how you manage to incorporate other important activities with a genealogy trip! Isn't it great when we find little clues in unexpected places. How wonderful that Skipton didn't change much.

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  17. I'm late getting to read the posts and so most of what I would say has already been commented! Genealogical pint, what a great idea! It's nice that some things don't change when there is so much change surrounding us. I too noticed the gorgeous handwriting done I'll bet with fine pen dipped into an inkwell.

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  18. Your post reminds me of something a friend from England said to me when visiting in Los Angeles. After looking around at the hodgepodge ugliness of LA she said that returning to England was really like entering into a movie set. When people had said that to her, she'd found it really annoying. Now she understood it. The Beanlands simply must have their own series of children's books.

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  19. well, it's a good thing i just had dinner, or else, i would have asked you to fedex me one of those pork pies...
    ;)~
    lovely to discover new places [for me] and to see that part of them has endured.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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