Sunday, October 27, 2013

Congratulations to Sepia Saturday 200th edition

Congratulations to Sepia Saturday 200th edition, and a special thank you to all those administrators who keep it running so smoothly.

I am sorry I have been away for the summer. I bought 3 packets of tomato seeds and got 33 seeds. With love and care each seed produced a beautiful plant, but the sheer attention to these plants has kept me in the garden and away from any blogging. Today as I write the clocks have gone back, a storm is brewing in the Atlantic, and the last tomato has to be picked. So maybe I will be back blogging soon....who knows?

It was hard to chose my favourite blog, so I just chose the one with the most comments, and it has some of my favourite sepia family photos. It also starts with the tones of the coming winter, and include some of my sillier ideas !!

I recognised him immediately. Being trained in observation from an early age as a Cub Scout was only part of it. What really made me jump was the connection with an inheritance from my grandmother, Granny Aspdin, (yes, the wife of my cycling bank clerk of a grandfather about whom I wrote last week). The inheritance is the only first edition book I have on my shelf, and were it not in less than mint condition I dare say it would be worth a bob or two.
My treasured first edition.

The book is very well known, and I will be surprised if I am the only one this week to have recognised Jerzy Fröwn, discretely standing there. His subtle choice of black on a snowy day is reflective of his early days training in the Czech navy, and quite possibly explains why he was fatally shot. [See 3rd line of page 2].

It was an unfortunate start to de-coding the message from Q his cell had received the day before, S370HSSV-0773H. He he never did realise he was reading it upside down.

But............... I know readers really want to know about my Granny Aspdin and English winters, so here she is in the 1930s in an era when we had genuine weather in Derby, and when water froze, those awful days before we finally succeeded in our quest to warm Earth sufficiently to stop us East-Midlanders having anything more than mud, fog  and grey skies in winter.

The nee Slater girls, Granny-Evelyn Aspdin right and
 sister Beatrix Smith left. The Mundy Paddling Pool,
 Markeaton Park, Derby, circa 1930, and today, below.

Granny Aspdin had married my grandfather Bertie Aspdin in 1914.

The "going away"....

....Vernon Street, Derby, 1914....woops !

 They must have had the wedding reception here at home, the family home where I now live, as photo evidence shows it did not entirely go without a hitch when they came to leave. Granny had a good life and lived into her 80s, but she always seemed jinxed on such occasions by unreliable transport. I remember that after the church funeral in 1966 all my family climbed into the big black limousine provided by the undertakers, only to find that the battery was flat. With my father telling me to get out and help push ( I refused out of embarrassment as a 16 year old) all the mourners put their shoulders behind the limo' for a jump start. A smooth purr later from the Rolls Royce engine and off we went, following Granny in the hearse to the crematorium.

(Photo 1904)  Granny Aspdin's father William Slater had built the house in
1895 for his family, below....

William Slater's children, Beatrix, the youngest and Evelyn (lower seated),
 with Alice, William and Harry. Can you recognise Evelyn and Beatrix
 on the skating photo?  Circa 1891

My great-grandfather William Slater with skating daughters Evelyn
(left) and Beatrix, outside the kitchen door. Circa 1899

Me with my daughters, Alice  (left) and Fiona, same pose,same place,
 just over 100 years later ! 2003.

Oh!...its Alice's 20th birthday Tuesday, I think I will post this early, she's away at University and I need to send her a card, this post can be her card, that will save a couple of quid.

 Happy Birthday AL !!
 Love Daddy xxxxxxxxxxxxx

The End


I scanned an image from page 2 of the book for you.


  1. I'm a bit muddled, if I'm honest, but your photos are grand. I like the way the bottom one of you and our girls mimics the one above which dates dates back.

  2. As always a great post and I lovethe "going away" photos especially.

  3. What a pleasure to see you back here. This is just as funny the second time through. Jerzy Frown is my new hero.

    1. Thank you......I will try and get back in the saddle !

  4. Thank you for posting Nigel; it wouldn’t be the same without you.

    1. I wonder how you find time when your climate permits G&T on the veranda every day of the year.

  5. I've had my coffee now, and I'm pleased to say it all makes sense now. 😃

    1. not overdo it early Sunday morning !!

  6. What a great photo to be standing in the same place of your great-grandfather. Nice post for Sepia Saturday 200!

  7. Love the two photos 100 years apart. All the pictures are wonderful. The 'going away' photos remind me of a time my family was going away - everyone waving several times before we were actually, finally going away! It happens. :)))

  8. This is a perfect choice, and I do remember this interesting post, especially well, with your great photos and always an often funny, but still fact filled story for us.

  9. I enjoyed this post the first time and this time as well. Wonderful photos with lots of interesting detail that I'll look forward to studying when the book comes out.

  10. This was good one to reprint, Nigel. I remembered the 1914 disabled limo photo, so much like a vintage Punch cartoon. And the final two centenary photos are priceless.

  11. I enjoy your posts Nigel and hope to read more in the future. Like you idea of recreating the old photo.

  12. It's even better this second time around. Marvellous photos.

  13. A great collection - welcome 'back'. I loved the story about your grandmother not having much luck with transport on special occasions!

  14. It is a fun blog. The pictures are so great and I was glad to see them and hear their stories.

  15. Very entertaining, especially "S370HSSV-0773H."

  16. I remember this post. It's so funny to think of you not helping to push because of your teen embarrassment. Isn't that just so typical?
    Ladies of the Grove

  17. Fun story to read [again] and I still love that re-enactment you did with your daughters
    of William's and his own daughters.
    Thanks for sharing [again]!!