Friday, 1 July 2011

Sepia Saturday 81.

This weeks Sepia Saturday prompt features a bazaar in Tramore, County Waterford. The picture shows a '20th Century Stall', staffed by five very smart ladies. So I had a look through my pictures, and came up with this....

Thankfully, as someone had the foresight to write on the bottom, we know when and where it was taken. It shows a tobacconists in Redhill, Surrey, and the four young men are presumably the staff. I couldn't help but notice that three of them are smartly dressed; the man on the left is even carrying a cane or walking stick! The fourth man, (on the motorbike) looks a proper 'Jack the Lad', complete with cigarette hanging from his lips! Mind you, since he worked for a tobacconists then I suppose that would have been encouraged! I like the detail of the window display; the time that must have taken! Today, you would get a couple of posters, probably peeling at the corners.

I cannot help but wonder what happened to the young men in the picture. Taken a couple of years before the first World War, I doubt that they all survived. It's just as well that we cannot see into the future.

My wife bought this in a charity shop, because she liked the frame. This photo was being used as a backing board for another picture that was visible. Ten years later, she took the picture out to use the frame, and this photo was discovered! Unable to just throw it away, a little research uncovered a man running a local history website for the Redhill area. So, after e-mailing him a copy, and asking if he'd like it (that's why it's still on our computer), she sent him the original. He, apparently, was thrilled to bits and the photo now has it's place on his website.

So a bit of a result, and all due to the person who wrote the details on the photo. There's a lesson there somewhere.......

This is a Sepia Saturday post.


  1. I’ve had that experience, when I removed a photo of my grandfather from a frame, to re-frame it, there was one of my great-grandfather behind it. The original photo had hung on my Gran’s wall for years and no-one had any idea. Thank goodness the picture found a happy home - fate eh?

    You are right to wonder about the future of the young men in the photo Martin, today’s date prompted my post on a similar theme.

  2. Spectacular photo and what a find! I had a look on Google Street View, there is nothing old left in this part of London Road Redhill now.

  3. Wonder if the man on the motorcycle was the delivery man. Or did they even deliver tobacco? I hope they all made it through alive.

  4. That's a fantastic photo. I never could have parted with it if I had found it.

  5. What a find that picture is : just the kind of old image you can enlarge and then wander around and keep discovering new delights. A belated welcome to Sepia Saturday Martin, it's great to have you on board.

  6. A superb photo in so many ways. There is just so much to look at.

  7. A beautiful find. The summer boaters and the motor bike add to the feel of an event. Perhaps the grand opening?

  8. This is indeed a grand photo to browse over. I love the style of the building and wondered if this was done for advertisement maybe. True about the date, makes for a good story plot if someone wanted to elaborate. Great post.

  9. Agree with QMM this would be a good photo for a tale or two...Very interesting detail when enlarged....lots to ponder

  10. How exciting to find a hidden treasure like this. Although this has never happened to me, I imagine it's not entirely uncommon.

  11. What a smashing photo, Martin - a lovely piece of our social history. It's great to hear that it is being saved for posterity:)

  12. Little Nell - These things are precious, more so than was realised at the time, I imagine. What a lovely story about your great-grandfather!
    I much enjoyed your post, although a sad subject.

    Howard - We looked on Street View as well. Disappointed to find it had gone, although not surprised.

    Kristin - I assumed that he was the delivery man, although I have no idea if this was common or not.

    Postcardy - My wife didn't really feel that she had any right to the picture, as neither of us have any connection to the area, or the people in the picture. She's happy that it's gone to a good home, and someone who can use it.

    Alan Burnett - Thank you, I've enjoyed the Sepia Saturday posts. You can blame Martin H for suggesting it to me.

    Sheila - You're right, there's a lot to look at. A very satisfying picture!

    Mike Brubaker - I assume it to be the opening, or some kind of special event. It's a shame we'll never know...

    (Queenmothermamaw)Peggy - I suppose it could have been an advertisement, I'd not thought of that. The writing on the bottom of the picture may have been done for display purposes, it's a bit neater than a quick scribble on the back!

    Pat transplanted to MN - I wouldn't have the imagination to construct a story around it. You never know, somebody else might!

    Christine H. - I think these pictures are found in all sorts of places. Thanks to the writing on the bottom, at least we can use this one.
    Thank you for following....

    Jane Turley - Glad you like it Jane. Funny how social history gets more interesting the older you get; when you're at school it's all battles and kings! Jethro Tull and the seed drill? Pah!!

    I should have mentioned that the owner of the Old Redhill website wanted to pay for the picture. My wife didn't want any payment, but he insisted so she asked for a donation to the charity she works for. So some good came out of the whole thing.

    Thank you all for your comments.

  13. What a lot to see in the detail of this photograph, from the Capstan above the doorway, to the Football notices, the characteristic pre-war motorcycle riding outfit, the young man's spiffing pin-striped suit, even the wonderful name of the shop owner ... Songhusrt. Thanks for sharing it.

  14. it's great that this picture thrilled so many people after being hidden for so long.

    thanx 4 sharing!!

  15. Brett Payne - You seem to see something new everytime!

    TICLKEBEAR - Glad you liked it..

  16. Yes.with WW1 just around the corner the photo ,in retrospect, is very poignant.
    As Well As Writing...Framing Is Important Too!


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