Friday, 19 August 2011

Sepia Saturday 88

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt features a large and impressive tree. So, being a creature of little imagination, I'm going to write about trees!

This is my father; with his parents, at Sheffield Park, East Sussex. This is a National Trust property, with large informal gardens originally designed by 'Capability' Brown. It's also, confusingly, nowhere near Sheffield! I would guess my father to be about eighteen at the time, so this photo is from the mid fifties. I have no idea who the photographer was; my aunt was married by this time, so if she was there then my uncle probably would have been too, and you'd think one of them would have been in the picture. The slightly blurred faces gave me a small clue however; although this was taken several years before they were married, I think there's every chance it was my mother. I've lost count of the family photos I've seen where the heads have been chopped off, or the subject is slightly blurred! Even a finger over the lens if she was having a really good day!

As you can see from the background, Sheffield Park has a lot of trees. Fifty-five years later in September 2009, my wife and I went for a trip to the same place. At the time, I had never seen the above photo, and had no idea that my dad had ever been there. Funnily enough, he was supposed to come with us; unfortunately we had to cancel on the arranged day due to bad weather, and he was busy elsewhere when we did go.

If you look at the top of the next picture, you can see a couple on the bridge that my dad and grandparents stood on all those years before. I've no idea who they are, but it was the bridge that gave the game away!

The rest of this post is going to descend into gratuitous pictures of trees, I'm afraid. And all in colour as well; I'll be getting a telling off if I'm not careful! As I had no camera in those days (I'm a late convert to digital photography), I have to thank Mizzkay (my wife), for the pictures. I reckon she did a pretty good job......

This is taken from the same bridge......

And this is a view across one of the lakes, towards the house. Note the gardener clearing out the lake on the right of the picture.

A closer view of the house. They have been converted into flats; imagine buying curtains for the old chapel window at the end!

I just like the colours in this one; if you visit in the autumn this is what you can expect...

And finally, more trees!

I hope you enjoyed this; if you're ever in this area go and visit, you won't be disappointed. We certainly weren't, and I don't imagine my grandparents were fifty-five years before.

This is a Sepia Saturday post.


  1. At first I thought you were just going to write about your "family tree."

  2. Ah, like Leeds Castle is confusingly nowhere near Leeds! It’s good to have a picture from the past which sends you on a merry jaunt. So your Mum and Dad were an item when they were quite young then, like mine. The photo doesn’t look blurred to me, but then my eyes aren’t what they were.

  3. Nice post, Martin. It just goes to show how one old family photograph can lead us on a journey from past to present.

  4. Love these shots... nice photo there of your dad and his parents! Have a great weekend, Martin! :)

  5. Yes! Mizzkay did an outstanding job. Great tree photos and story!

  6. Beautiful pictures! If it was your Mom who took the first one, I think that she did a fine job too. I really enjoyed your post and seeing the beautiful park. Thanks for sharing these.

    Kathy M.

  7. Imagine being able to live in a place like that and surrounded by those grounds! And you wouldn't even have to mow the lawn.

  8. I think the tree in the dark shot in the heading photo is beautiful!

  9. Love your discovery of that bridge and the one your parents visited. Thank goodness for zoom to be able to see it. Nice post.

  10. To find and recognise that bridge was quite an achievement, A set of fine photos, especially the first two in colour. L would like to visit that garden.

  11. I love those enormous homes with the forests in Britain. I had a pass so I could go in and out of them and found I much more enjoyed wandering through the gardens and forests than the houses with the silly portraits of ancestors.

    And I was taken with how everything was so so green. Always green.

  12. You'll get no telling off from me : great photos. The coincidence in almost taking the same photograph of Sheffield Park is fascinating - I rather like the idea of ones' descendants taking photographs from "the other side"

  13. I've heard a few phrases with the word "gratuitous" in but never "gratuitous pictures of trees" - I laughed out loud!

    I've never been to Sheffield Park but it looks stunning. I think trees are one of nature's most beautiful creations:)

  14. Postcardy - I hadn't thought of that.....

    Little Nell - Funnily enough, I thought of Leeds Castle when I was typing that sentence. I've been there as well! My mum had to wait for my dad while he did his National Service. People waited for all sorts of things in those days...

    Martin H. - Just happened to find this amongst my dad's stuff. A bit of luck, really.

    Lord Thomas of Wellington - Thank you sir! Glad you liked it.

    Karen S. - Yes she did didn't she? But don't let on or she'll be unbearable.

    Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy - If it wasn't my mum, then I don't know who it would have been. But I'm guessing really......

    Sheila @ A Postcard a Day - It must be a full time job to mow the lawn! And just imagine the window cleaning bills.....

    Kristin - Thank you; I'd forgotten that I'd put that there!

    (Queenmothermamaw) Peggy - Zoom lenses are wonderful things; saves a lot of walking!

    Bob Scotney - Thank you. If you ever get the chance you wouldn't be disappointed. A fantastic place.

    Tattered and Lost - I'm with you on this, usually enjoy the gardens more than the house. Everything looks green because of the rain!

    Alan Burnett - Glad you liked it Alan. And thank you for your fascinating pictures, week after week.

    Jane Turley - It's just tree porn really Jane! It is indeed a terrific place...

    Thank you for your comments. Apologies for my late reply.


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