Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sepia Saturday 138 : Recycling The Past



Sepia Saturday this week features an old archive image of cyclists in Copenhagen. Following our success in the Olympic Games, it would appear that Britain has now become a nation of cyclists which, for a country defined by its hills as much as its meat pies, verges on the masochistic. But for a brief period in my life - wedged between the years when my mother wouldn't allow me a bike because I might fall off and injure myself and the years when my wife won't allow me a bike because I might fall off and injure myself - I was a carefree, smiling cyclist. My first photograph features such a jolly soul and must have been taken in the mid 1960s.

That first photograph must have been taken by my brother Roger (the composition is poor and he has managed to get some foreign object intruding into the bottom right of the shot). My second photograph was taken by myself, but features my brother, along with his wife and daughter.


Turning the photograph over, I notice that it had been converted into a postcard and the message clearly illustrates two things : firstly my brother has never been able to accept my superior talents as a photographer, and secondly, he can deftly mix cheek with requests for favours in a single paragraph. The message reads as follows :

"Thanks for posting letters on - we must be owing you some stamp money. Ali : why did you plant this tree in Norma's hair?  .... Can I borrow your electronic flash when you go back to Birmingham? Wonder where we'll be this time next year? All the best for '69. Roger, Norma and Di.

The card was postmarked  3 January 1969. A year on from that I was away at University at Keele in Staffordshire. No doubt my dear brother will write in and tell us where he was!

If you enjoy recycling old photographs, why not journey over to the Sepia Saturday Blog and take a look at what the other participants are doing this week

24 comments:

  1. Normas Hair Looks Good!
    Is it my imagination or are loads more bikes on the road since Mr Wiggins Adventures? Alan,I admire biking through the years......Ive never wanted to around West Yorkshire (far too un-flat here!)Although I did own one when i lived in flat&boring Cheshire.

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  2. I note your brother is using a tandem to transport his family. You don't see many of those around any more. It is also good to read that this blog serves as a means of communication between your brother and yourself. I am sure he will be pleased with your reaction to his January 1969 card :)

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  3. I remember having a bike similar to the one in the top photo; skinny tires and a 3-speed gearing. We called them "English bikes." Now our bikes have knobby tires and 18 gears, designed for off-road, hilly terrain.

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  4. I wonder how you would have managed Alan had you been allowed a BMX bike. The Olympics BMX races are more lik carnage on the roads.

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  5. You and your brother share a similar sense of humor. Enjoyed the pictures and the post.

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  6. That poor child didn't get much of a view except by turning 180 degrees nonstop. I enjoyed the recycling of your photos.

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  7. What a delightful post, and wonderful memories, great photos! I just know your family has to have the best family reunions ever, when you get together, in the past and even today!

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  8. I like your title, and I even like the composition of the first photo.

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  9. Great photos and memories!

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  10. Your brother sounds like fun. Call it poor composition if you wish, but I think
    the foreign object looks sort of savant-garde. You came up with a great title.

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  11. Love hearing stories about you and you brother. Great photo.
    QMM

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  12. I was an only child but I imagine "deftly mix[ing] cheek with requests for favours" is an important ongoing part of having a brother.

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  13. I am not sure I would take a small child on a bike now although I used to do it when my kids were yonng. I don't know whether the traffic is worse now or whether it is just that I don't trust my own strength and reflexes as much as I did then, to be responsible both for myself and for the child.

    I like the top picture actually, it is not that well composed but it's very immediate.

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  14. I enjoy the sepia photos but I also like cycling. This evening I did 22km. I do a 1000 km a yer!

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  15. I wrote a really long comment Alan and blogger stopped me from publishing and then locked me out of my account because it had detected 'unusual activity'. It then promotly removed both my blogs! I am a bit nervous about pressing publish now.

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  16. Phew! Well that worked. So here I go again. I really liked both photos. I was never allowed a bike, possibly for the same reasons as yours. When we were stationed at High Wycombe about thirty years ago the chaps all cycled between the station and married quarters. On a Friday evening they enjoyed a drink or three after work and would then pedal their wobbly way home. They had a special badge made with FOOF on it. The two middle Os were the wheels of an upturned bicycle. FOOF stood for 'Fall Off On Fridays'.

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  17. Great photos despite the strange intrusion on the first one. I am always amazed what intrudes on photos. I think it is still a good shot and very special for memories.

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  18. Enjoyed seeing your photos - both taken from different perspectives. The postcard message from your brother was humorous. I've also taken a picture of a tree coming out of a family member's head. :)

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  19. The second photo marked the start of an epic tandem ride (with wife, small daughter and camping gear) from Mankinholes in Yorkshire to Maidstone in Kent. Why by bike....because we'd no money to do it by train. Likewise, no money to buy my own flash!

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  20. A witty spin on bicycology, Alan. Your brother's tandem (or tridem?) reminds me of my only time on a bicycle built for 2. At the time she was not even yet "future wife" but she invited me to a house party that required traveling across London on a tandem, in the dark, and me (being the heavier one) driving the damn thing. At the time I was strictly a novice American pedestrian still trying to avoid stepping in front of a double-decker bus. It was one of my most daunting adventures, not helped by the voice behind my ear, who still has to say this from time to time, "Left Side! Left Side!"

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  21. Excellent post, Alan. As ever, a thoroughly good read.

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  22. Lovely pictures, and I can well imagine the two brothers elbowing each other to outshine each other... Boys will be boys!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  23. A bicycle built for two or in your brothers case three! Lovely old photos:)

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  24. The message shows great skill in asking for favors. Who could refuse? I'm sure you couldn't.

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