Friday, November 19, 2010

Sepia Saturday 50 : St Ives' Sepia Antecedents


Congratulations to Sepia Saturday for reaching its' half century (on the same day that the Sepia Saturday Blog gained its' 100th follower). Looking back through my archives I notice that Sepia Saturday 1 took place on Saturday November 28th 2009, but the idea was born a few weeks before as part of a throw away line in a Theme Thursday post. Joke or not, the idea took off and everyone who has participated seems to have enjoyed the experience. We are not the biggest meme in Blogland and that is part of the attraction. Most weeks you can still manage to get around and visit all the participants without abandoning sleep altogether.

Over the last fifty weeks I have used both old family photographs and old postcards as subjects for my Sepia Saturday posts and I thought I would mark this small anniversary with a post that draws both themes together in one place : St Ives in Cornwall. The Valentines Postcard above shows the wharf in the beautiful Cornish town of St Ives. The picture was probably taken around 1900. Now, move forward some 30 years and swing the camera slightly around to the right and you get my second photograph.


This shows my mother and Charlie Pitts, a good friend of my parents back in the 1930s when the three of them would go off on motorcycling holidays together. The photograph will have been taken by my father. I was going to include a third photograph of the same spot : a contemporary one stolen from Google Street-View. But the modern view is so characterless, so boring, so anodyne compared to its sepia antecedents, I thought it kinder to leave it out. Which just goes to show - you can't beat those old sepia snaps.

22 comments:

  1. the sources of inspiration are quite fascinating!

    congratulations to sepia saturday on the milestone!!!

    perhaps just the inspiration i need to get back into the sepia saturday groove with visiting s.s posters and posting myself!!

    adore the snap you your mom and charlie, your mother's smile is so sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I so agree these old photos are the best. More intriguing with the detail and clarity of the expressions on the faces! We all raise a golden and double golden blog toast now! The first one looks like a sketch and the 2nd brings the life out! You were correct in judgement to ignore one that would not be nearly as good!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm glad you didn't include the Google view. It would have offended the image of your mother. You're so right - the sepia views are the best.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, did the motorcycle have a side car? I'm loving the idea of the three of them zipping along the narrow roads on cycles. Great image.

    ReplyDelete
  5. St Ives is a regular haunt for us, especially at Xmas or New Year, when we go down for a week.

    I'm told it's the light.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is so familiar to me, Alan. During a spell, working as a drayman for the St Austell Brewery (I can you're impressed) I was confronted with the same view, and getting paid for it.

    I agree with you. Like many Cornish seaside towns, St Ives hasn't been able to resist that which has been built on an ill conceived idea of the tourist's expectations.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nothing like looking at old photographs.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy Birthday To Us!
    I agree about 'the modern view'.Sepia allows us to add our own colours me'thinks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. congrats on the year...and yes i agree on teh photos and glad you did not soil them with the modern one...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh dear Alan, I for one have so loved this meme. Missed a couple of times but Hooray for the anniversary. I am going back and see when I first entered. I think you are right about the size of the group. It is hard to make it all around if the list is so long and we tend to pick out names me recognize and may miss a great post. Thanks
    QMM

    ReplyDelete
  11. Firstly, I'm amazed that you could retrieve those earlier posts so effortlessly (especially, the Theme Thursday) - I'd still be looking!

    Secondly, I'm so glad you opted not to put in the Google street-view.

    Having had the good fortune to visit St. Ives back in the early 90s, I am delighted to see both the postcard and the charming picture of your mom and friend. (I'd really love to see a photograph of the motorcycle; I just know my husband would be keen to see it too. Forgive me, if there's already one out there; with the proliferation of photos we've amassed, it's hard to recall every one!)

    Happy Anniversary!

    Kat

    ReplyDelete
  12. Incidentally, I still have periodic nightmares about driving up those St. Ives sidestreets that are so steep, one is fearful of tipping over backwards.

    Kat

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ahhhhhhhhh I love the old postcard! Fortunately there are still places like that, albeit in the boonies...I'm thinking for example Gardenstown in Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lovely old boats too. Cornwall has such atmosphere...and so too old photos.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wonder if posterity will look back on pictures of today's life and yearn for the simpler time they represent?

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a great idea to post a generic postcard of a town and a personal postcard of family in the same town. I love it! The photo of your mother and friend is just perfect. But I have to ask - what did she wear when riding the motorcycle?

    I'm so glad you and Kat created Sepia Saturday. It's been fun, though I haven't participated for the whole year. Your participation will probably pick up now that you've joined Geneabloggers.

    Congratulations on a great idea!

    ReplyDelete
  17. oh I'm sorry to have missed the anniversary! will try to post something sepia for next weekend.

    This photo of your mum is just lovely, really sweet and very evocative

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congratulations on 50 weeks. I've enjoyed it so much. I've had to miss it lately due to a new PAYING project. The money will be nice but I think I'd rather be doing Sepia Saturday for free. I'm going to try to do one now and then. In the meantime I'll be following.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congratulations on 50 weeks, I have enjoyed being part of SS although i have missed the last couple of weeks. Hopefully next weekend I will be able to take part again.
    Your postcard and photo are wonderful, such a lovely photo of your mother. I love the way she is dressed for a motorcycling holiday with her long dress.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yes, it was a funny joke but I'm so glad you ran with it! Happy 50!! I just wish I had more photos to share...still have a box somewhere I need to dig through...probably will find it during my spring cleaning next year! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love the old shot of the wharf. It is full of character :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. These are such wonderful photos, the card and the shot of the two. I am really behind on my reading of blogs. I am a little crazed in the head right now and will shape up soon. Welcome back to your home across the sea.

    ReplyDelete