Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sepia Saturday 210 : Monumentally Frank


I am reminded by the splendid Peter Miebies that the second Saturday of January of each year is International Auntie Miriam Day, named in honour of my Auntie Miriam by none other that Peter himself. So what could be more appropriate for the "discoveries" theme on Sepia Saturday than this photograph of Auntie Miriam (left) and her mother-in-law (right) acting as slightly overwhelmed bookends to the monumental Uncle Frank. The photograph was hidden away at the bottom of an old cardboard suitcase which I thought I had cleared out several years ago. With the photograph was an old telegram:


The text of the telegram is intriguing. It was sent in August 1935 and would seem to have been sent by Uncle Frank (Frank Fieldhouse) to his parents who lived on Cumberland Road, Bradford. "Mimi" was the pet name of Auntie Miriam, but questions remain. What was the strange illness that brought about their urgent return from Blackpool? What were they up to in Blackpool in the first place (you might want to note that they didn't get married until June 1942)? And finally, if things were that urgent, why wasn't the emergency dealt with in Blackpool rather than after a long bus journey home?

All this goes to prove that it is not just photographs and documents that fall out of old books or old suitcases, but questions as well. You can make more discoveries by going on over to the Sepia Saturday Blog and following the various links.

12 comments:

  1. I guess that was Tweeting, 1930s style.

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  2. This might be the ultimate Auntie Miriam post to celebrate her day. Whimsy, mystery, and drama all in one.
    Inform All !

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  3. It was cool to see Peter with us again, and hearing about Auntie Miriam is always a delight.

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  4. "Bookends" was my reaction to the photo even before I read what you wrote.

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  5. I don't know about bookends. I was drawn to each of the women before looking at the man. But then I love those white shoes.

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  6. Any emergency worthy of a telegram must have been serious. This note by itself would have scared me to death until I could speak to someone.

    But don't those peep-toe white shoes look brightly polished? I recall wearing many white shoes with a chalky white polish applied to fresh them up and hide the scuff marks.

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  7. The 'inform all' comment is interesting. What on earth does that mean? All in the immediate family?
    A lot of public notices in early Australian newspapers include the sentence 'Home papers please copy'. 'Home' meant the British Isles which was a huge place when the item might have only been of interest to a few people in one village . Makes me wonder if the home papers ever did copy.
    Glad to see Auntie Miriam getting another mention:)

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  8. Mysterious! The text "returning immediately Mimi" sounds to me like Frank considered Mimi a commodity or something. But on second thought that is very disrespectful of me. My apologies to Auntie!
    I also wonder what kind of "doubtful words" the Post Office would willing to clarify.
    And Alan, thanks for the mention!

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  9. Yes Alan, a picture is worth a thousand words, but, sometimes not the answers.....

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  10. I think you need to find out what happened, and let us all know...amazing photo!

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  11. Imagine how Frank’s parents felt! A telegram usually meant bad news in those days, so they would have been on tenterhooks until ‘all' had been informed!

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  12. Intriguing mystery and one worth investigating further.

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