Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Another mystery . . .

This real photo postcard is another in the many mysteries of abandoned photos.  The mother and daughter are unknown (to me) and I find the studio backdrop with the tents another mystery.  Any ideas?

Monday, 30 May 2011

a day at the seaside . . .

in the late 1920s (exact location unknown).  I like that the lady on the left seems to be getting in on the photo from the row behind.  At first I thought the lady on the right was with the couple, but it looks like she might be getting in on the act too. 

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Sunday Stamps

This week's theme is people honoured on stamps.  I've chosen two world famous women.  Firstly Marlene Dietrich (1901 - 1992), singer and actress  (extensive bio on wiki here).  I really like Marlene Dietrich's music.  The stamp was issued in Germany in 1997 as part of the Famous Women series.
 Also Eva Peron . . .

Eva Peron passed away in 1952 at the young age of 33.  The stamps were issued by Argentina in 1952 and used well into the 1950s.  Although I am not a fan of musicals nor a theatre-goer, I love the movie Evita.  I was probably first aware of Eva Peron when Julie Covington's version of 'Don't Cry for me Argentina' was in the charts in 1976/7, a song that always sends a chill down my spine.  You can watch the video of that version here.

This post is part of Viridian's Sunday Stamps, you can find the other entries here (or by clicking the icon below).

Saturday, 28 May 2011

my rabbit

a snapshot from about 1979.  I liked this one as it looks like he can do maths.  He probably could actually as he was a very clever rabbit.  His name was Big Ears, not that original I know, but when he was small, his ears really were so much bigger than he was.  In fact he looked more like a hare than a rabbit.  I think he was about 10 years old when he died.  He used to eat anything we did, in addition to his healthy diet of fresh dandelions and other greens, and always had toast for breakfast.  He lived in a sort of shed with windows, had loads of space and light, as well as things to do.  He used to be let out in the garden a lot, he had a very active and involved life and was very sociable.
(The blackboard in the background shows my darts score, I've never been any good at darts, the rabbit was much better  - haha - only joking ;)).

Friday, 27 May 2011


An Edwardian doorstep with mother and children.  Again the postcard itself offers no clues as to the location, but with such a striking door surround with a bricked up window above, it surely can't be too difficult to find, can it? ;)

Thursday, 26 May 2011

" . . . the sooner I see the last of it . . ."

Sent to a Miss Crennell, in November 1903, the message reads:
"Miss Crennell,
Many a time I have walked past this building but the sooner I see the last of it the more I shall like it.  Hope you are well. J Sardon (?)"

Miss Crennell lived in Liverpool, England and the sender was on board the Ship Achnashie at Martinez, Cal.  The postcard back is undivided, hence the message on the front, and the image stands slightly in relief.  The cancellation on the address side is Martinez, CAL, on the front NEW YORK NY FOR. B'CH. (Foreign Branch).

The building the sender has clearly seen enough of is The Mission Dolores.  I can only think that he was looking forward to either setting sail or getting back home.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Mr Stickyback

'Mr Stickyback', Royal Studios, 98 New Street, Birmingham appears to have been a (presumably relatively) cheap and cheerful way to have your portrait taken and framed.  The photograph slips very easily into the cardboard frame.
I assume this to be c1900, based on the lady's dress.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Back in the day . . .

Presumed 1930s, I think they are at Blackpool, possibly off season.  They always look a little uncomfortable to me, maybe the photographer just asked the man to put out his cigarette.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Continuing . . .

with an Egyptian theme, this ad for Eastmar travel is on the back cover to an 'Egyptian Tourist Companion' guide book, for the season 1955/56.  I travelled with Eastmar in the 1990s.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sunday Stamps

This week I've chosen Queen Nefertiti for the theme of 'folk culture' (which may be stretching the theme a little).  These 4 stamps are the high values in a set of definitives which were issued by Egypt in 1953, the first definitives issued by the New Republic (technically they were issued under the reign of King Ahmed Fuad II, the infant son of ex-King Farouk).
The £1 (Egyptian £) value was issued on 21st April 1953 and featured on the cover of the July 1953 edition of the Egyptian Philatelic Journal, 'L'Orient Philatelique'.

Queen Nefertiti was the wife of the 'heretic' Pharaoh Akhenaton. The famous bust of Nefertiti was 'discovered' in Amarna, Egypt in 1912 and taken to Germany in 1913, where she resides in one of the museums in Berlin.   (Wiki article link here).
I saw Nefertiti back in the mid-1980s in Germany and she is indeed very beautiful.  The above postcard was sent to me in the early 1990s.
The Deutsche Bundespost issued this stamp of Nefertiti in 1987.

This post is part of Viridian's Sunday Stamps #20, you can check it out here or by clicking the icon below.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


This cdv is a recent find.  The lady's dress has some beautiful beadwork beneath the lace, I would think it's a mourning dress (although the lighter coloured bead choker may not support that theory or maybe the choker was a deliberate choice to transgress the rules of mourning attire).  I like her expression and poise.   The photographer is a D Jones who had his Art Studio at 66a, Bold Street, Liverpool.

Friday, 20 May 2011

'Best Wishes'

A family scene, including the dog.  Once again, no clues as to who they are or where they are.  It might be a farm house or (large) cottage in Herefordshire (if it belongs with some of the photos I bought at the same time), certainly a rural area.  The wooden box of plants on the window ledge once contained Bovril.  The door archway to the left of the girl may be a door to a coal cellar.  I would think c1910 or a little later (but probably pre-WW1).  Maybe they had this photo postcard printed intending to send it as a Christmas or New Year card and this one didn't get sent. 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

such a large banner . . .

. . . for such a little girl.  This is a photo postcard which I acquired recently.  Although it was for sale (when I got it) in amongst the commercially produced postcards, as far as I can tell it is actually a photograph.  Again no information at all and it hasn't been sent through the mail.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The Ovaltineys (2)

Now you can see why I am reluctant to reveal too much about the contents of the Ovaltiney rule book.  Suffice it so say, it contains 7 Golden Rules which my mom signed 'to keep to the best of her ability', this did not include any kind of activity against other beverages, but there was a commitment to drinking Ovaltine regularly.  The secret code and password, I shall be keeping to myself - HA!

And Monday's 'In Blackpool' photo is part of a lot which I got a few months ago, and some of them I have posted already.  I shall endeavour to find another photo of the 'Lady on the Left'.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Ovaltineys

You can listen to the song here.
My mom was an Ovaltiney, but we don't seem to have the badge any more. 

Monday, 16 May 2011

in Blackpool

This is another photo that immediately conjures up 'Bonnie and Clyde', I think it is the standing by the car that does it.  Obviously there is a friend in this version too and it is in Blackpool in front of a row of boarding houses/hotels.  The lady on the right, marries, (at the end of the War), a man who looks like the man in the centre, but having just looked closely at this photo, I'm not sure the man here is the man she marries as he looks older.  Maybe it is a relative of her husband to be.  I haven't worked out who the lady on the left is, but she does appear in other photos in this lot.    As for date, I think late 1930s.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Sunday Stamps - theme Mother's Day

Egypt issued this stamp for Mother's Day on 21 March 1957.

This post is part of Viridian's Sunday Stamps, you can find this week's entries here  (or click on the Sunday Stamps icon below).

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The May Queen . . .

and her attendants.  Once again, sadly no information as to the who, where or when.  The reverse of the postcard informs me, 
but it doesn't have the price of inland postage at ½d in the stamp corner, so that makes me think it might be 1917-1919 (or thereabouts).
The tradition of the May Queen and May Day celebrations can be found here.  I don't know of any May Day celebrations these days, perhaps the rumour that the May Queen would be sacrificed put people off.  One year at school we did do a bit of Maypole dancing, but I don't think it was part of the curriculum.

Friday, 13 May 2011

A Sister's Love . . .

. . . from Scarborough.
Dated  9 January 1919, this card was written to Tom, thanking him for his letters and promising a letter in a day or two. 
Given the date, I imagine Tom to be a returned soldier who is wounded and recovering either in a hospital or some kind of convalescent home.  But I don't know for sure.  I find the card quite depressing really, I get that the sister will be sad that her brother is away at War or because of the War, but this card seems to have so much sadness that I worry it would have only made Tom feel worse.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

behind the gate . . .

I have to say that so far all efforts to locate the doorstep (from Monday) have amounted to nothing, maybe this one will be easier to find - although neither the house name or number are visible, it does have a rather fancy gate.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

'from Olive to her Bill'

a World War 1 postcard/birthday card.  This wasn't sent through the mail (or maybe it was sent in an envelope) so no other information/date.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Dear Mabel, . . .

This is one of the postcards that was added to my collection at the weekend :).  Both characters are males, maybe it would not have been 'proper' to ask a real young lady to pose for the card, or maybe it's an on-going joke and there's a series with these two chaps, I don't know.

But it was the message that really appealed to me,

"Dear Mabel,
Just tell Fluff
 I am bringing him
 a change of diet
 for next week a dead
fish from the tower
of Blackpool."

Unfortunately the writer did not sign the card, and there are lots of girls called Mabel Jones in 1911, so I cannot (at this time) add any more to the story.  
Steven, does 'your' Mabel (of the postcards) by any chance have a cat called Fluff? ;)

Edit:  the cancellation is St. Anne's on the Sea  Lancs - it's south of Blackpool, between Blackpool South Shore and Lytham St Anne's.

Monday, 9 May 2011

on the doorstep . . .

to No. 30.  Late 1920s or  maybe early 1930s.  Lady and location unknown.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

First Flight . . .

A first day cover for the first flight of Concorde.  The set of stamps and cover were issued 3 March 1969.

This post is for Viridian's Sunday Stamps, which you can find here (or click on the Sunday Stamps icon).

Saturday, 7 May 2011

I don't know . . .

if this is the same unknown man as yesterday's photo, it might well be him.  Yesterday's photo was sepia, today's is b&w, and so gives the feeling of being quite a bit later date-wise, but they are from the same lot of photos.

Friday, 6 May 2011


presumed c 1930, names, location and fate unknown.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

the group

I don't know the connection between these Edwardian ladies, but suspect it might be a shared interest or place of worship.  The hinge on the door looks like it could be to a church door or communal building of some kind and those may be some kind of benches that you can see just on the right edge.  If not connected through a church or chapel, they could be teachers (the younger girls teaching assistants) and the building a school.  The lady in the black dress has a very masculine appearance when you look closely.  The postcard doesn't give any clues, not even a photographer's name or location.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

sibling rivalry . . .

may be the reason that someone took the scissors to this picture, but appear to have been interrupted before the complete removal of the head of the offending sibling.  Then it was kept for 70 years or so before ending up in house clearance photos to be sold.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Old money

Prior to decimalisation in February 1971, we had 'old money' consisting of £s, shillings and pence (d). 
In old money £1 = 20 shillings, 1s = 12d, so £1 = 240d.  And if that wasn't enough, you also had coins such as half a crown (2 shillings and 6d), florin (2s), as well as farthings (¼ d), threepenny bits, and sixpences (known as tanners). 
I think people must have been much sharper at mental arithmetic to work in old money, and any calculations took quite a bit of working out, with base 12 in the pennies column, base 20 in the shillings column - I think you can tell from my analysis that I personally was spared learning it (born too late), although I think I might have quite liked it (I liked maths and learning bases).  Nor do I have any memories of actually using old money. 
The above image is from the back cover of a weekly rent book which was in use in 1912 -1914 and you can see there is a handy table to help with working out the rent if it is £x per year.

Monday, 2 May 2011


This partly-used booklet of 4d stamps dates from July 1969.  Back then 4d was the cost of sending a letter by second class mail.   This booklet is one of a series with birds on the covers which were issued throughout 1969, were it complete, according to my Stanley Gibbons GB Concise 2001 catalogue, it would have a catalogue value of £2.50.   Now given that my catalogue is 10 years out of date, and as far as I understand you generally pay lower than catalogue price if you buy to collect, and most importantly 8 stamps have been removed so it is not complete and in mint condition, then it is probably an accurate estimate to say that to all intents and purposes, this item is worthless (of course that would be the case were I trying to sell it, if I wanted to buy one, then I'm sure it would have a price).
However as one of the little advertisements in the booklet is by the Pelman Institute encouraging you to 'Take up Pelmanism - for progress and prosperity', then it may yet change my life . . .  (you can read more about Pelmanism here).

Sunday, 1 May 2011


I guess telegrams are a thing of the past now, this envelope is from 1952.

The wedding cards are also from 1952.

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