Sunday, 31 July 2011

here we are again . . .

The year is 1911 and we're still travelling down the Canal.  The postcard depicts a mosque in Port Said, but our sender Hugh was kind enough to stick the stamps on the front of the postcard and the cancellation is Port Taufiq, so although he (probably) bought the postcard in Port Said, he didn't mail it until the ship reached Suez.   The recipient was a Miss Marjorie Sanders whose family ran a boarding house on Victoria Parade, in Torquay, Devon.  The message reads:
"We are going through the Canal. get to Suez tonight.  How's Torquay looking up."

Saturday, 30 July 2011

did we say goodbye too soon?

to Monsieur de Lesseps, that is. 
As we sail 'down' the Canal to Ismailia (where we disembark and take a stroll), then we see the house which he had built.

"This is the home that Ferdinand de Lesseps the man who built the Canal used to live in.  I often go for walks down ___.  It's only about a hundred yards from our office.  I found these postcards at the office & send them for what they are worth, which is not much  __________"

Friday, 29 July 2011

. . . before we leave . . .

a final look at Port Said,  and a wave goodbye to Ferdinand de Lesseps.

This postcard was posted on board ship, it has a paquebot cancellation, an Edward VII stamp, but I can't see the date.  It was written in Esperanto and sent to Fraulino Doroteo Moore, who lived in Westbourne Gardens, Bayswater, Londono, Anglolando.   Apart from the obvious questions of who would write in Esperanto and why, it's another of those cards where the identity of the sender remains a mystery.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

some views . . .

of Port Said (while we're there).  The first one shows the Suez Canal and harbour at the Mediterranean and the second postcard, the Offices of the Suez Canal Company.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

. . . travelling on . . .

 . . . to Port Said in 1908 (the date when this postcard was sent).

The sender didn't leave a message.  As he used the whole of the reverse for the address, I am tempted to think that he was more used to the earlier postcards with undivided backs where any words of greeting had to be written on the face of the postcard.  But he didn't have any words to send.  So Mrs Leeming must have known who would be sending her a postcard from Port Said.  I am assuming the sender to be male, as a traveller to or via Port Said in 1908 is likely someone travelling on the Suez Canal.   The Mrs Leeming who lived  at 425 Grafton Street, Liverpool was Helen, aged 25 in 1908, and with a daughter Lily, who would've been 7.  As Liverpool is a port, perhaps her husband was a sailor.  I think her husband was Charles Harold Leeming, but whether he was the sender of the postcard will have to remain a mystery.  There's just something about the handwriting that makes me think it might be someone else . . .

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

. . . travelling on . . .

to 'Alexandria ~ The New Station.'  Another unused/undated postcard, probably 1930s.

The railways in Egypt began operating in 1854, and seem to have been constructed (to a degree) according to the 'objectives' of the British.
You can read more about the history here on wiki  and here.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Cairo Station back in the day . . .

I thought I'd continue with some more vintage postcards from Egypt.  These two views are of the main railway station in central Cairo, neither card has been postally used so dating them is an estimation.  I think the first one is probably about 1915 and the second one maybe a decade later or even into the 1930s.  I don't know the date for the addition of the pond and garden in the centre of the square.  Needless to say today's view is very different, for one thing the 6 October flyover going from the bridge over the Nile then over the Ramesis area (of the station) towards Heliopolis, makes such a clear view impossible.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Sunday Stamps

For this week's free theme, I've chosen one of my favourite postcards.  Sent in June 1933 from Cairo to Hungary, the sender very nicely arranged the stamps on the front.  The stamps are from the definitives issued under King Fuad (the stamps being issued from 1927 - 1937 with a few colour changes and value changes during that time).  The deep blue green version of the 3ml was issued in 1931 (the earlier 3ml was pale brown and another brown value was issued later); the brown 4ml value was also issued in 1931 (the earlier 4ml was green, then the brown value was succeeded by a blue-green 4ml issued in 1933). The red 10ml was replaced by a violet 10ml in 1934.   I don't know the reason for the colour changes over the years.  In any case the recipient received a very nice postcard with a selection of the lower values definitives. 

This post is part of Viridian's Sunday Stamps, you can check this week's entries here or by clicking on the icon.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Sandbanks (2)

to conclude our visit to Sandbanks in 1935, some more shots of the beach, back in the day when it was knitted swimsuits and a cigarette while you waded in to the sea.

Friday, 22 July 2011


in the summer of 1935.  Sandbanks is in Dorset (here's the wiki link) and according to wiki has incredibly high property prices.  That house with the steps down to the beach in the first photo does look rather desirable.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

West Kirkby (2)

some more snaps from the picnic trip in 1935.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

West Kirkby

(picnic) is the caption to these photos from the 1935 pages of the album.  I think it may well have been an outing with the church as the vicar is in some of the group shots.  The lady on the right in the second photo is the owner of the album.  She doesn't name the other ladies, but the one on the right (first photo) might be her sister, who we saw in 'outdoor lunch'.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

O'Connell Street

another shot from the trip to Dublin in 1935.  This looks to be one of those taken by a street photographer, the reverse is a section of a postcard, presumably there would have been 4 or 5 of these shots on the full postcard.

Monday, 18 July 2011


Ok, so I'm not very good at keeping these photos from the orphaned family albums in chronological order.  This photo is dated 1935 (and on the same page as the first photo of Shirley) and the caption is 'Self (Sutton - Dublin)'.   The number plate clearly seen is Z-4496 with the Z indicating that it's a Dublin county registration (some time between March 1927 - Sept 1938).  I'm not sure of the make of car (yet again), but will add it if I find out.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

A continuation . . .

of photos from the same family albums in yesterday's blog post.  Today we have time travelled on to 1947 and a picnic on Denbigh Moors . . .

The second photo is captioned 'Penrith'.  I'm not sure of the make of the car, but I may find a clearer photo to identify it, obviously those ledges were very handy for sitting on if you hadn't been able to pack the deckchairs.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

an outdoor lunch


the girl whose album this was soon tired of names and dates on every page, so I can only offer an approx year.  (She also ran out of photo corners and was a little heavy handed with the glue).  Having said that, I really like these scenes of an outdoor lunch.  Maybe it was late summer/early autumn and with a chill in the air as the mother has quite a heavy coat on.  I like the assortment of chairs, a pouffe, stool and deckchair completing the ensemble of improvised dining chairs.  The chap on the right is wearing what look like checked plus fours with tartan socks.  And although it is a bit difficult to identify all the food, that definitely looks like a bottle of HP sauce in the centre of the table.

and the last photo is Shirley (also seen yesterday).  These photos are all well glued to the same page, but this last one was most likely a different day, when the weather was warmer.

Friday, 15 July 2011


is the name of this beloved dog.  It comes from an album with lots of names and dates, the page is dated 1933. (not the same album as the unnamed cats)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

177½ Broad Street, . . .

. . . Birmingham, is the business address of the photographer of yesterday's photo.  He was William Bonehill (c1836-1906).  His daughter, Ann, was also a photographer (according to the census).  It may well be that they worked together, if she was ever named on the backmark, I don't know, yesterday's photograph possibly dates from the 1890s and so that may be before a time when she would be named in the business.  William Bonehill's career as a photographer appears to cover 30 years or so, but it was not without difficulties;

edit, the text referring to William Bonehill won't display correctly, so I've removed it.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


This cabinet card is one of my finds from this last weekend.  I wonder if the father booked the photographer to visit them at home or was it a passing photographer looking for customers who called at the house and so they all rushed out to the garden with the picnic rug and the dog (and  an extra chair, half of which can be seen).  The two boys (least I think they are boys) look to be sitting on little milking stools.  Nice that the dog made it into the shot, although he/she does seem to have been looking the other way.
Family unknown, photographer W Bonehill, Birmingham (England).

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

on the doorstep

I like these photos of people on their doorsteps.  I wonder if this lady is the maid.  The curtains (fabric visible below the blinds) look to be a design similar to the patterns of William Morris, mind you if they allow the plants to keep growing, then they won't be in need of the blinds.  And of course this house should be easy to find with such an ornate gate and the detail in the brickwork between the upper windows.
Location and identity unknown.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

gone are the days . . .

. . .  when you could go to the zoo and see all the animals smoking roll-ups.

This ad is from a late 1960s guide to Chessington Zoo.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

on the steps . . .

This photo is somehow connected to Eric and Bob, and I think it's 1940s or 1950s and I think it might be in Denmark.    Why I say Denmark is that there are a number of photos in this style, with this deckled edge and of this era and one of them is a boy and his dog and I think that says Denmark. 
At the moment I am a bit brain-dead from trying to sort out the new monitor, you know what it's like 5 minute job that 3 days later is still an issue.  Anyway that's why the normal discontinuity and randomness may be even more so.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

chill . . .

"Palm Beach is never in it at Lochranga
is the message on the reverse, hasn't been sent through the mail, so no clues there.

I imagined this photo postcard to be from colonial times, somewhere in Africa, but it seems there is a Lochranga in Scotland, so what do I know?  I have no idea.
Hope you are having a chilled weekend with not too much sepia.

Friday, 1 July 2011

girls in berets . . .

Steven, if the girls are wearing berets, can we expect to see you in a cloth cap? ;)

I don't know who or where they are, or when.  I noticed the striped knitted/crocheted hand bag (where you had the two rings for the handle) and wondered if I might find (ie already have) one of those or even make one (probably have a pattern somewhere, if I still have the booklet of crochet patterns).
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