106 : Two Smiling Theatricals


Two more smilers, but this time I suspect there are differences. First of all we have, I think, two women here. Secondly, I suspect that this photograph is later than the previous one - probably dating from the 1920s rather than the Victorian era. And thirdly, I suspect that the backdrop is not a photographic studio backdrop but a theatrical backdrop - and therefore we can realistically conclude that we have two smiling theatricals

105 : Why Victorians Rarely Smiled


This Victorian couple are both smiling, which is rare for photographs of this age. It wasn't just that Victorians weren't all that into smiling, it was also that photographers discouraged facial expressions that could not easily be maintained for the lengthy shutter times that were needed back then.

104 : Round Old Woman


She has a round face and round glasses. One is tempted to believe that if we could see the rest of her the round theme would be continued. And she is still around after more than one hundred years thanks to an old, found photograph.

103 : Rendezvous In Dunure


I seem to have met two of these three before - in another found photograph, in another place, in another time.

102 : Style And Some Pen Strokes

This is a late nineteenth century Carte de Visite (CdV) from the studio of Rudolph Tiffee of Cleve , a German town a few miles from the German-Dutch border.In many ways it is fairly typical of the studio portraits of the time, although the subject has a more stylish sense of dress than many of his British equivalents of the time. And if you look really carefully - around the moustache and whiskers - you can see where the studio have added a few extra pen strokes in order to emphasise the hair growth!

101 : A Deckchair Suspended High Above A Pine Forest

This scanned negative comes from the same set as the Jersey series, but this time our holidaymakers have left domestic shores and, it would appear, gone to the Alps. Looking at the scene through twenty-first century eyes, one cannot help noticing the flimsiness of the chairlift - it has the look of a deckchair suspended from wires high above a pine forest. After the comparative safety of a Jersey beach and tearoom our 1950 tourists are living life dangerously.

100 : You Never Quite Know

And then we went to Newquay. It was the year after the holiday in Jersey (or perhaps it was the year before) And we didn't go with the big crowd this time, it was just Jeff and me (or was it Colin or Frank). That's the trouble with lost and found negatives - you never quite know. But that certainly is the famous footbridge in Newquay - just behind our Betty (or was it Joan)?

99 : Teatime In Jersey

A further scan from the photographs of a group of friends who, by now, are becoming rather familiar to us - it's the Jersey Boys (and Jersey Girls). We can tell they are still on the island from the lifebuoy hanging conveniently just in shot. I can make out Jersey and the other word might well be "harbour" - and the wall at the back certainly has the strength and solidity of a typical harbour wall.

​Once again, a rough guess at the date would come up with the mid 1950s - that half smoked cigarette tucked behind the ear is as accurate a marker as any date stamp.

98 : We've Been To Corbiere Light

There is always an element of pleasing mystery when you buy a job lot of old photographs or negatives from one of the on-line auction sites. There are the usual "what", "where", and "who" questions - most of which will inevitably go unanswered - but there is also the question of what connects the various images. Are they the same family, the same holiday, the same photography - or are they a desperate lot thrown together from the contents of several old shoeboxes? 

When I started scanning the current batch< i came across a beach scene which could be accurately identified as St Brelade's Bay in Jersey. The second scan moves us a few miles along the coast, to the unforgettable landmark of La Corbiere Lighthouse. A good percentage of visitors to the island of Jersey have had a similar photograph taken (I certainly have). Who exactly this is, I still have no idea - but I know where she's been.

97 : Group On The Beach : Midbay

"Midbay" has a slightly un-British ring to it, more fitted, perhaps, to an Australian surf-pounded beach or a location in a Raymond Chandler novel. But the people featured in this scan of a long-lost negative of unknown origins, have a half-familiar feel to them - they are faces from my youth, stances from my memories. Midbay was relatively easy to pin down - there is a Midbay in St Brelade's Bay on the island of Jersey. A comparison with an on-line archive shot of the Midbay stores confirms the location. Who the group are, I have absolutely no idea at all, but it is the kind of photograph you can take a stroll around - look at a face here, a connection there. Even the smallest, most grain-infested corner can be turned into an impressionist's picnic.

96 : A Confident Confectioner

There is such an air of confidence about this young chap - legs crossed, hands firmly pocketed and a smile that radiates satisfaction. The small, faded photograph came to me as a lost and unloved - but how could anyone not love this epitome of a 1920s delivery boy. A little research reveals that the firm must be that of W G Pannett who were confectioners in Horsham, West Sussex. Now that we have a name and location, perhaps somebody will step forward and claim him.

106 : Two Smiling Theatricals

1707-133 : TWO THEATRICALS Two more smilers, but this time I suspect there are differences. First of all we have, I think, two women ...