Friday, January 13, 2012

Father And Mother On Front At Blackpool (In Hats)


Cut to the quick by the oft-repeated suggestion that I somehow choose the weekly theme photograph in order to neatly fit in with an old photograph from my collection which I am wanting to feature in my weekly post, I am, this week, eschewing all pretense of theme-following. Instead, I am going with a random photograph taken from one of Uncle Frank's old photographic albums. The photograph is carefully entitled, in Uncle F's neat script, "Father And Mother On Front At Blackpool". 

Quite clearly this is Blackpool, Lancashire and not New York, New York and therefore I can't be accused of somehow cleverly following up on the still from the 1912 film "The New York Hat" which served as the theme photo this week. Equally, charming though Uncle Frank's mother undoubtedly was (I regret to say that I never had the pleasure), nobody would suggest that she was as beautiful as the young Mary Pickford (yes, it was she in the theme photograph). So, there you are, a completely random and non-thematic photograph ...... which just, by chance, seems to feature rather a lot of hats.

On seeing that flowing collection of headgear on the left of the image, my first thoughts were of the French artist Georges Seurat and his pointillism paintings. Photoshop does provide a pointillism filter and this seemed an ideal opportunity to use it and the results, I believe, suggest that Frank's mother and father might well have been holidaying in Blackpool with the French post-impressionist towards the end of his career.

I keep calling them Frank's mother and father, but they had names and identities and stories of their own. I could look them up on the census form, but I suspect that the formulated data wouldn't convey half as much about them as this one picture. The picture of Franks' father and mother on front at Blackpool, in hats.

You can see what others make of this week's Sepia Saturday theme by following the links on the Sepia Saturday Blog.

33 comments:

  1. Perhaps Frank's "mother" is really Gertrude Stein and they are engaged in clandestine activities.

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  2. Oh look Alan, Frank’s mother is wearing a fur ‘tippet', (the word you relished in my post). We can safely assume that it was not the height of summer then.

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  3. I guess nearly every random photo of that era would feature people with hats, since everyone was wearing hats back then. It's still a mystery to me why that fashion has completely vanished these days.

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  4. Frank's mother does rather resemble one of the mean gossips in "The New York Hat."

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  5. It really is a great selection. I like the way the era is so definite and everyone is hanging out. I like your special effects crop. I didn't even see them in the photo until you cropped them. I went back and saw the scene of the two.

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  6. Never mind the hats just admire the creases in Father's trousers.

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  7. A stern looking lady; I wouldn't cross her!

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  8. Frank's mother's hat is quite frankly, the antithesis of the hat my husband's great-grandmother is sporting.
    I love the pointillism angle.

    I have to agree, she's no "America's Sweetheart", nor Britain's neither, I would venture to say.

    Did you know Mary Pickford was born in Toronto, Ontario?

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  9. Neither of them look too thrilled to be photographed.

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  10. Reminds me of a packed outdoor restaurant in Calgary last summer in a blazing hot noon sun, I was the only one wearing a hat.... weird.

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  11. Frank and Mother seemed very much in step with the hat styles of the day. (Still chuckling over Bob's comment!)

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  12. I think the old feller is a travelling showman and he is just about to introduce is main event - the Human Cannonball - to the punters.

    I bet, just off-shot is a do-dah band in bright blue uniforms with gold trimmings waiting to play ooompah, pah music.

    Love you Al - keep posting.

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  13. I love wearing hats, wish it was the fashion again. Isn't it much healthier to keep the sun of your head and eyes? Maybe they knew something we didn't back then. Of course, for women, it could hide a bad hair day...........

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  14. Well, the women's hats certainly did them no favors. I wonder what you call those little skull caps. They're rather like pilot caps of the time aren't they?

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  15. what amazing pictures I have someones of my grand ma and grad pa, Love these pictures:)

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  16. I've had a long look at this photo. I can't tell you any great thoughts. It just catches your attention. Where were these people?what were they doing? They don't really look happy.

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  17. I kind of like the hat style of the woman on the right.

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  18. A terrific photo, I like the way they are framed by other couples in interesting poses, and that guy with the bowler just beyond. Frank's mother is rather fearsome, as if ready for battle.

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  19. I am always amazed that while the trousers of the men of the time have knife-edge creases, their jackets always look more rumpled than Nora Batty's surgical hose.

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  20. Alan, these must have been your grandparents? Your Uncle Frank was either your mother's or your father's brother? Or was it Uncle Frank's wife who was sister to your father or mother (in which case Frank's parents would not have been your grandparents -- which is probably the case). I don't know what year the photo was taken but it seems that people nearly always wore hats in generations past. I wonder why that went out of fashion.

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  21. What a down to earth variation on the flamboyant hat theme! I love it!

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  22. I used to love going to Blackpool as a kid- although I went to uni twenty miles away and never visited. It's great seeing old photos that bring back more modern memories, isn't it? A brilliant picture!

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  23. I never could understand why or how hats went out of fashion.Your photo seems bo have everybody wearing one.Perhaps a severe wind came along one day & blew them all away?!

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  24. What a perfect post again!I take my hat off to you! I even made a hat post myself, although, for the last couple of days I can't seem to get on Sepia Saturday # 108....so here is my link for this week's Sepia!

    http://twincitiesblather.blogspot.com/2012/01/sepia-saturday-108-14-january-2012.html

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  25. What a delightful photo! It's sort of the stolid version of Seurat.

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  26. I had pulled a photo for this week's SS and thought I knew I could fit it into something thematic. Sure enough my grandmother in her stylish hat. Love your special effects shoot also. I love missing with my photos like that.
    QMM

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  27. I have so many photos of Scottish relatives in Scotland wearing this same cap the men are wearing. Uncle Jim. Uncle Andrew. It goes on and on.

    Wonderful image Alan.

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  28. Like Bob, I'm admiring the creases in those trousers. I'll bet you could cut your finger on them.

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  29. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this picture still has a lot of charm!

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  30. I love the way that everyone used to wear hats. I always referred to my Dad's mum as 'Nanna with the hat' because she hardly ever left the house bare headed!

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  31. What a pose, what "toppers" hers looking somewhat like the doggy- eared knit caps the kids, especially 20 something girls have taken to wearing in these parts now that winter has arrived...Interesting about photo shop too...After great frustration I am working through Google Chrome and accessing

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  32. Special photos like this accidentally capture so much more of the individuals' character, their era, and that moment. Was this snapped by another seaside photographer like the ones you posted this past year?

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  33. "Cut to the quick",
    really?
    I think you are rather amused at proving to us just how anti-thematic this was, only to make a U-turn and realign yourself with the theme...
    The pointillism is a nice touch. I love Seurat, like most Impressionists.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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