I thought about one of the old photos in my collection yesterday when I was looking after my grandaughter Scarlett. Not yet two years old she loves animals and wildlife. We have been teaching her the names of different birds and while out and about she was overjoyed to see a “Rodin” . We were so pleased that she had recognised one without prompting from us.
That afternoon in the spring sunshine we were out in the garden. She was sitting on the bench with my youngest daughter watching me watering some new plants when another little robin starting running about in the flower bed. So tame and cheeky it was right next to us and Scarlett could not contain her joy at the moment.
Later that evening after Scarlett had gone I was thinking how wonderful moments like this make memories but I doubt Scarlett will remember it . If only we had been ready and taken a photograph it may have become a memory in life. One to hold onto in adulthood as a precious childhood moment. It is a lesson learned. Forget selfies with your children and grandchildren but capture the moment around you.
This is the lovely photo I thought of, look at the expressions on the women’s faces, it really is a tiny moment in time to bring joy forever. It certainly brings me joy when I look at it.
I buy my photos from lots of different places. Car boot sales are always a good source and while I am browsing around I always looks for house clearance dealers. I can spot them easily, with large boxes of household items totally unsorted. There is something so sad about looking through them. People’s lives in boxes, discarded and unwanted. When I find old photographs I am elated, I feel as though these people are being rescued and their happy, ordinary but precious lives are now being recorded for ever.
The other place I buy photos is ebay and although I occasionally buy single photos I mainly but job lots. I can find 500 photos for around £30 and they are always full of little gems that deserve to be saved for the future. Recently I purchased a large job lot from a dealer in Cambridgeshire. There were some lovely wedding photos in the collection from a couple of different family weddings.
They are such happy photos, with beautiful fashions and family moments. I wonder about their lives when ever I look at them.
While I was searching through boxes at a car boot sale in Ewell Surrey, so a very long way from Cambridgeshire, I found a photo I thought looked familiar. A beautiful framed photo of a 1960s bride and groom. When I got home I checked my collection and sure enough it was the same bride and groom.
It was a strange, but happy coincidence . I’m just happy the photos are back together. They really were a lovely couple.
The earliest use of the word “playpen” cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is 1902
When my children were babies in the 1980s and 1990s playpens had fallen out of favour but when this photo was taken in the 1960s they were a must have accessory. Ebay has some lovely vintage versions for sale which take me right back to my childhood. I have clear memories of being in one as a toddler in the early 1960s and my Mum told me she would put me in one when she needed to do things like put the washing on the line. It was not very successful at keeping me confined as she told me I would pick up the playpen, squeeze it together to fit through doors, then run down the garden behind her holding the playpen around me. I’ve always loved a challenge!
This adorable baby looks to me as if he may be planning a method of escape and it I’m sure it is a nostalgic photo for other people who were toddlers in the 50s and 60s.
After the outbreak of the First World War the loneliness felt by the men on the front line and the women left behind during the First World War encouraged relationships to start through letters. Women were even encouraged by local communities to form friendships with lonely soldiers by writing to them.This scenario was portrayed so well in the story of Daisy marrying William in Downton Abbey. Marriage was certainly a source of hope to the millions of men in the trenches. Because of the war, many marriages were planned very quickly, either before the groom went away to fight, or whilst he was home on leave so many brides had no option but to borrow a wedding gown to wear on the day therefore a more austere wedding appeared throughout the war. The Great War robbed two million women of the men they would have married. A whole generation grew old relying on the friendships of women they had known since schooldays, many of them becoming strong resilient women
When I was a student nurse in the 1970s the old people on the wards were people who had lived and served through world war one. I wish so much I had talked to them more about their lives. I do remember clearly one 89 year old woman I looked after. While I was washing her I commented on an old tattoo she had at the top of her arm. In the 1970s, not like today, it was very unusual to see a tattoo on a woman. It was faded on her old skin but I could see it was words. When I asked her what it said she told me it was the name of her husband. “Lots of us young girls had our young men’s names tattooed on us before they went off to fight” she told me. “We had only met for few weeks before we married and we were married for just nine days before he left for the front. He never came back and I never married again” She said sadly. “Oh Ellen that is so sad” I replied. “It was even sadder when my Father saw the tattoo one day” she said with a laugh “I got a proper hiding!” They were different times indeed.
I have been a passionate collector of old photographs for many years. I love those little box brownie snaps of days gone by. Each decade brings a new type of photograph, a new type of fashion and a new type of person. However no matter how much life changes one thing stays the same The people with smiling faces in the photos wanted to record that moment as it was special to them. Modern technology is so wonderful that when that tiny little image is scanned minute details suddenly come to life. A look between two people, a tiny puppy asleep on someone’s lap or a treasured possession held in a child’s hand. Many of the people may be long gone but that moment lasts forever in the photograph. Each one is a tiny moment frozen in time. Working, playing, holidays, schooldays, days at the seaside and special moments such as weddings and christenings are all recorded. As Dr Seuss said “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory” and never is that more true than enjoying the little lost moments in old photos. Hundreds of these photos are available to browse through and enjoy at my website Moments Become Memories
In this blog I will sharing what’s new and would love to hear comments on what peoples views are of the photos I share. Most of all I hope people will be able to smile and get pleasure from the little moments that have been caught by the camera