Friday, August 12, 2011

Sepia Saturday 87 : Romancing The Stone


Some idiot has come up with the theme of "Romance" for Sepia Saturday this week, so I thought I would concentrate on a stone instead. Here is the next photograph from the Burnett Family Stash, and yet again it shows the family on holiday. It is easy to date this one as that cute little fellow in the front is me. If the said chap is about two years old, the photograph must have been taken about 1950. Next to me is my big brother Roger and behind him is our mother, Gladys. The questions to be solved this week, therefore, are who are the others and where was the photograph taken? As I have mentioned before, annual holidays were spent either in Bridlington or New Brighton. I can remember the name of the road we stayed in when we visited Brid (New Burlington Road) and a quick look at Google Street Cam reveals that the architecture of the buildings does not match.  

My memory of the location of our New Brighton "digs" was not as accurate, but a few minutes spent with Google Maps and Street View resulted in the jackpot. The answer of course, was in the stone. Look carefully at the clover-leaf motif on the stone gatepost : a motif which was shared by all the houses in Windsor Street, New Brighton. But only one house had the same chipped motif, still clearly visible after sixty years. Therefore, in 1950, we went to New Brighton for our holidays.


Now I seem to recall that the place we stayed at was an enormous boarding house and the unknown people in the photograph could therefore have been other guests. But looking at the Street View image of the house now, it turns out to be relatively small : two stories with surely little more that three or possibly four bedrooms. The unidentified people must therefore be the owners : owners who kept themselves in bow ties and feathered hats by taking in paying guests. You would have thought they might have used a little of the extra cash to get the gatepost repaired, wouldn't you?

You can find lots of other Sepia Saturday posts by following the links from the SEPIA SATURDAY BLOG.

(We are on our travels again for the next four or five days so there will be no posts until the end of next week. I will try and keep up to date with all my favourite blogs whilst I am on the road, but I apologise in advance if I don't visit and comment as much as usual)

26 comments:

  1. You do make life interesting by looking back at your history. You were a small one in 1950. I was 16 and thinking about getting married, joining the Army and getting a summer job. I got the job sacking limestone dust. It burns the skin badly where clothing meets flesh. But it paid good wages for 16 year olds in the summer time.

    I am still on virtual vacation – a sabbatical of sorts but love to pop in on people. To me it is something like opening the door on the outhouse...

    Surprise!

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  2. fun walk down history lane and you knew I'd come as you used a movie title too, now you just need to make it rhyme..haha

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  3. I was assuming it was grandparents, but of course NO-ONE goes on holiday with GRANDPARENTS. Do they?

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  4. That's amazing that the post is still the same and your were able to use it to determine the location.

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  5. I think we should call you Detective Alan. Great job in tracking down the location. I was about 15 or 16 in 1950 also. I thought gp also but know lots of folks go to visit gp on holiday. Great picture.
    QMM

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  6. You were a cute lad, Alan, and I loved all of your clues about the location and year of the photo.

    I was born nine years after that photo was taken, if you are correct. My mother was still a girl in 1950. Enjoy your travels.

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  7. What I like best about your family photo stash, is that I've become able to recognize many of the family members before I read your post. How fun! You were an adorable little guy!

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  8. Well done, Sherlock! Another truly fascinating demonstration of mystery solving. Who is the woman on the left, though?

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  9. Google Maps Is Amazing (albeit ,a little creepy).'Cant Stop! I'm Off To Google Scotland where I spent Most Of My Childhood Summers.Who Knows?Maybe One Day We Will Have "Google Sepia Maps" For Reference!!!

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  10. Well, I went with the grandparent theory and the lady on the left is the struggling landlady, probably a war widow, with no extra funds for repairing fence posts. You probably bunked up with Mum and Dad and Roger shared the grandparents’ room. A recent BBC4 documentary (I think it was), about British holidays in the past, had a re-union of these seaside landladies. Most of them were pretty hard up, and if you read this web page you hear how some of them actually moved out of their own homes and slept elsewhere, in order to make ends meet.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/content/articles/2008/03/17/east_landlady_s13_w4_feature.shtml

    Amazing though, that the post hasn’t been replaced after all these years, so well done on tracking it down. If only walls (or fence posts) could talk we could solve the mystery.

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  11. You have a knack for making the reader want to read on....great post Alan!

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  12. A great stone post and well found Alan. I recognised your mother from an earlier post. I was 13 in 1950- I on't remember where we went for holidays but it always seemed to be to relatives.

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  13. What a great photo! ..and you were just a happy and darling looking little boy....you have just about the same giggle to your smile from your blog photo! The little fencing and the greenery growing on it all is just so charming too, it looks like a lovely place to me!

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  14. Heh, heh! I suspect the Google street cams don't have shots of our vacation spots; we mostly went camping.

    I find it interesting that the damaged post is still there 61 years later, and still in the same damaged condition.

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  15. Great job on working with the clues in the photo.

    Your family stash must be quite impressive.

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  16. My goodness, what an eye for detail you do have! I've been trying to trace "my" family's travels this week and I can see I need to be a lot more dedicated.

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  17. You are very good at this detective stuff :)

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  18. I find maps fascinating, especially street level ones. I have found the locations of some of the old photographers on Google maps and even some antique maps. It is an interesting way to study how a city has changed over the years too.

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  19. Such little clues will only guide you if can remember the name of the place. If it was some seaside villa somewhere in Spain you would be combing through a lot of grains of sand to find it!

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  20. It is a cool family bunch. I like the carvings in the post. I will have to look New Brighton up on the map.

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  21. one would think.....

    aw you were such a cutie wee laddie!

    i just love the family group shot! and if it weren't for the romance of your mama and papa you and roger wouldn't be in the picture...so unintentionally your post is all about romance!

    the day got away on me so i missed sepia saturday this week, but maybe, just maybe i'll be back in the game next week --- perhaps i best think saturday on friday!!

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  22. I can’t help with this one, although I do remember we were on “half board”. That means you buy your own food and the landlady (almost certainly the one on the left) cooks it for you. I can only think that the toffs in the photo were staying on “full board”. Half boarders ate at separate tables to full boarders!

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  23. Fantastic photo, and great detective work! I find it amazing not only that the post is still standing in disrepair, but that you were able to locate it and pinpoint it so accurately. Sometimes technology astounds me.

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  24. Amazing to find something like this after so long.

    I know of a house I lived in in the San Diego area where the brick flowerbed my father built and a lattice fence still stands after all these years. Sometimes I think of sending people photos of what their houses looked like so long ago.

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  25. this is amazing. A great post and I am so impressed by your detective work - not so impressed that I'm older than you though! If indeed you were two!

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  26. What a great story! And how clever of you to have tracked down that house.

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