Friday, 17 June 2011

Sepia Saturday 79.

This weeks Sepia Saturday call features two ladies at Atlantic City beach. I had a trawl through my old photos, and came up with this one. Unless you live in the UK, you've no idea how hard it is to find a picture of a sandy beach!

This was taken in Wales in 1962. The couple on the right hand side of the picture, are my parents. I'm leaning against my Dad's knee with a dozy look on my face! Unfortunately, I can't remember what I'm looking at, but it's not the camera. If we assume this was taken sometime in the summer, I'd have been just over two years old.

The lady sat next to my mum is my Auntie Sylvia. She's actually my mum's cousin; apparently they spent a lot of time together when they were growing up. She has her youngest son Lawrence, on her knee. Her older boys, David and Richard are behind her.

The lady at the back, is my Auntie Sylvia's mother; I knew her as Auntie Biddy, if you've been paying attention you'll realise that she was my great-aunt. She was a formidable lady; I quickly learned that you upset her at your peril! I remember her spending an afternoon picking strawberries, only to be refused entry on to the bus when she tried to go home. The bus driver, apparently, was treated to a piece of her mind!

Auntie Biddy had a son Russell. He's not in the picture as he died before I was born. Mary, his wife and Russelle, their daughter, are on the left hand side of the picture.

Apart from my parents, the others are from the Welsh side of the family. They lived near Mumbles on the Gower coast, a very pretty part of the world. There are two sandy beaches within easy walking distance, and I imagine this picture was taken at one of them.

Happy days......

This is a Sepia Saturday post.


  1. What did the bus driver have against strawberries? Thanks for sharing the photo - it give a good impression of an English beach, I imagine.

  2. Great picture! They look like they're having fun in a quarry! I assume the sea is behind the photographer...

  3. That's a nice looking family picture. To me, the background doesn't look like it belongs near a sandy beach.

  4. First I'm so glad to know there are actually sandy beaches in Britain. I admit to being dismayed when all I found were rocky shores.

    And I'm loving Aunt Biddy. What a great character she'd make in a book.

    A very nice family shot.

  5. My most favorite beaches were in much pure white hot sand...especially if you are near the dunes....sometimes you could barely walk in all that sand...those were the days growing up on beaches for sure...great family photo! Thanks.

  6. Happy days, indeed, Martin. You have a fondness for your childhood, that comes through loud and clear in your writing. Nice post.

  7. Lovely photo of a family gathering, that doesn't go on that much now.

  8. Brett Payne - I think he was complaining about the quantity; they picked a lot as I recall. Or maybe he just got out of bed the wrong side. Either way, he picked on the wrong person with Auntie Biddy...
    I'm not sure it's a typical picture, after all it has got sand!

    Howard - You're right, it doesn't look much like a beach but I can't imagine where else it would have been.

    Postcardy - No, the background isn't typical. But my dad has taken his shoes off; he wouldn't have done that just anywhere....

    Tattered and Lost - They do exist, especially in Cornwall and other parts of the West Country. Auntie Biddy (Bridget), was certainly a character, but she had to be. She was my grandmother's big sister, and they were Irish. Their parents sent them to live in Wales when they were all quite young, and Aunty Biddy was in charge! I've seen a family tree for that side of the family, and there were fifteen children! However, ten of them didn't survive childhood.....

    Karen S. - Now you're talking about proper beaches! White hot sand is not a problem we have over here...
    Thanks for stopping by.

    Martin H. - Thank you Martin. I must admit, I enjoy writing about them.

    Anonymous - Maybe people are short of time these days. Families seem to be spread all over the world.

  9. A memory of a hot sunny day - beach or not! Everyone looks happy anyway.

  10. I abso-bloody-lutely love your blog posts that feature old photographs. It is like being whisked back in time to the olden days.

    I know the Gower well ... if that picture was taken there, you definitely had a good time as a two year old!

  11. Family photos like these are such treasures. No one moved while the photo was being taken so we can see everyone quite clearly. Your Auntie Biddy certainly looks like a no-nonsense person!

  12. Very nice post - and my reward for being late is that I get to read all of the other comments. Everybody looks so happy in this photo. What a great preservation of that moment.

  13. Little Nell - Hot sunny day indeed! Whatever happened to them?

    Annie (Lady M) - Whaddya mean old photographs? I'm in it, so it can't be old!!!! Olden days indeed....

    Nancy - You're right about these being treasures, Nancy. When I'm in charge, I'm going to introduce a law stating that people should write details of the picture on the back. Nobody ever thinks to do this at the time.

    Christine H. - Thank you, enjoyed your post as well.

  14. Yep, lovely family photo there, Martin. I particularly like baby Lawerence who looks likes he's looking at his fingernails and wondering why the photo is taking so long! Interesting shirt you've got on too - hope you've toned it down since then!!!

  15. Jane Turley - I expect Lawrence was wondering if they were edible! As for my shirt, you aint seen nothing yet, I've pictures of me wearing far, far worse things. I've *cough* refined my tastes since then, although I'm not quite ready for the 'beige' look....

  16. I look forward to seeing an interesting array of your shirts in due course, Martin! I shall keep my sick bucket close at hand just in case I feel queasy...:)

    You know,I'm thinking I should become a milkman - the amount of time I'm awake at night I could be doing something positive and getting paid for it! There's not much to do at 3am except blog or deliver milk... although I guess I could become a hooker. Hmm...on second thoughts not sure that line of business is for me or, indeed, if I'd get any business:))How popular are middle aged housewives with thunder thighs?? Hmm...not sure if i want to know the answer to that:)) Besides it would be too cold on those streets corners - something to be said for having a milk float I suppose... By the way - do you have a proper milk float with the aeriated doors (ie none)? My milkman has a van with sliding doors - which essentially is I think that's cheating - half the skill of being a milkman is driving one of things through the numerous potholes and keeping the bottles on board. I can barely keep my cildren on board with the doors maybe I wouldn't be good as a milklady either....

    Right now - it's 3 am whose blog shall I invade now?! Although I suppose I could always read The Daily Mail website - always gives a sense of superiority...

  17. Jane Turley - It's not my shirts you want to worry about, Jane! I have in my possession a picture of me wearing lederhosen! It's not my fault, I was only four or five! For that picture to reach the interweb, money will have to change hands. And lots of it......
    Sorry to hear you're having trouble sleeping. I'm sure I wouldn't know how popular middle aged housewives are as hookers! If you find yourself up at this time in the morning again, try listening to Alex Lester on Radio 2. He plays an unusual selection, and has a sense of humour you might like. Of course, you can always try him anytime on the miraculous iPlayer.
    I stand in for people who are on holiday or sick, so I drive vans or the electric floats. The electric ones are far better to work from, but we deliver to places that are outside their range. Hence the vans; at least these have a radio.
    I'd keep away from that Daily Mail lot if I were you. They'll only make you cross......


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