Wednesday 26 August 2020

Framed 1920s wedding photograph from Exeter

 Framed 1920s wedding photograph from Exeter. Who are you?

From my last blog post, I brought this glass framed photograph along with a school cricket photo from a local car boot sale recently. It was from a seller who looked as though they undertook house clearances. The wedding photograph is of a bride and groom who married in the twenties.

Now I have just photographed the framed pic as I received it. The glass needs a good clean and the paper covering at the back is ripped. However the photograph is undisturbed held in the frame with it's original nails. 

There is no identity to this interesting couple, but the name on the bottom indicates the studio this photograph was taken at and framed. The car boot was local to the West Midlands. But the photograph was originally taken in Exeter. Under the photograph it has Alan Mills 11 Heavitree Rd, Exeter. 

A quick research of Alan Mills photographers brings up plenty of photographs that his studios undertook. But very little on the actual photographer. So with a bit more digging..

Alan Mills was 40 in 1911. In that census he lived with his wife Annie and their 2 children Eileen 16 and Marion 15. Interesting that Eileen was a scholar where as her sister Marion was a photographer's assistant. Also living with the family were borders Mildred Davis 1, George Spivey and his wife Martha and daughter Irene 11. In 1939 Alan is living at 11 Heavitree Rd and at 68 is still a photographer. There is a Louise and Beryl Mills born 1916 living with him. Louise is his wife Annie L Mills and Beryl may be his granddaughter or another relative. 

In September 1917, his daughter Eileen Mills married Frederick Green at St Sidwell's church. In August 1919, his youngest daughter Marion married Ernest Curnow at the same church. The photograph is of neither his daughters as the brides carried daisies and roses respectfully. The twenties bride above has a beautiful big bunch of lilies.

On the 21st March 1940 Alan Mills died aged 69 at the St Mary's nursing home in Exeter.. 

In the local paper on the 21st March 1940, Mr Mills was said to have been a photographer for 38 years. Prior to that he was employed by Messer's Heath and Messer's Bradley in the city. Alan Mills was born in London and travelled extensively in his younger days. He knew several languages as travelled to Germany, Russia and Poland. He took a keen interest in European affairs and died after being ill just a few short days.

Back to the twenties bride who looks so very dainty and not very tall. She has a tunic overlaid with lace. A long floral lace veil and a huge bouquet of lilies and gypsophila. A single row of pearls is around her neck. The groom has a pair of gloves and a hat in his hand. I hope they had a long and happy life together.

How this photo ended up many miles away is just part of someone's history. Where has it been in the last 100 years or so. Was it work that brought them inland? Or did the groom come from the Midlands originally. So many unanswered questions. If you can help fill in the details. Please message me below.  More car boot family history finds coming soon....   

Tuesday 25 August 2020

Bishop Vesey's Grammar school 1948 cricket team

 Bishop Vesey's Grammar School 1948 cricket team photograph.

I had no idea on what BVGS stood for but the handwritten 1948 in black ink drew my eyes. So for just £1.50 I handed over my coins. This however included a glass framed photo of a twenties wedding couple. Having haggled it down from £2, I was quite happy to add this photograph to my growing genealogy and local history car boot find's collection. 

So here is the Bishop Vesey Grammar school's photograph of the cricket team 2nd 11 for 1948. In pencil there is Speight and Sutton Coldfield. So doing a quick bit of research. This state grammar school was opened in 1527 in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands. Founded by Bishop John Vesey the school continues to excel in sports and education today. When this photograph was taken. The head teacher would have been Geoffrey John Cross.

Not sure who Speight was. He was either the person who took this cricket team's photograph or one of the group being photographed and his name was written to ensure he had an everlasting memory of his team.

Here is a close up of the proud team. These children would now be in their 80s, do you recognise anyone? I think they were all told to fold their arms and sit/stand up straight. But there is always one that doesn't follow instructions!! Note the long grass behind them and the rural setting with trees in the background. I think that is probably the wooden cricket/sports pavilion to the side. Not sure if it is still there as never visited this school. Just drove past a few times and I have lived in Sutton Coldfield for a few years. 

1948 was just 3 years after the end of World War one. These children would have already lived through the bombing and likely have lost someone in their family to the fighting. This year saw the start of the NHS and HMS Empire Windrush docked in London. 

Not sure how this school photo ended up in a local car boot. Probably from a house clearance sale. Someone did not want this lone photograph. A bit stained from the years passing. But the children look the same and it could have been taken today. I will be adding the framed wedding photo shortly that I brought with this print. For a small £1.50, it was worth the money and one to preserve for future generations.

Monday 24 August 2020

1950s wedding at St Mary's Acocks Green Birmingham

 Photographs from a 1950s wedding at St Mary's, Acocks Green, Birmingham.

This weekend I picked up another wedding album at our local car boot. For the sum of £1.00, it had no details on where or who the happy couple were. 

Yes it is a bit tatty and has stains to the cover. It also appears to be intact. It doesn't have as many photographs as some I have seen. It is also probably the one kept by the bride and groom. Parent's albums were smaller. The wedding photographers were Lacey's Studio, Birmingham. 

Lacey's Studio has been in existence since 1895. Originally based in Small Heath and now located to Solihull. It has changed owners a few times - but brilliant that a local business is still going strong. 

Here are the happy couple just emerging from the church just after they married. You can almost hear the church bells. This photograph shows the bride and groom. I would guess that it was taken around the 1950s. Probably in the later part of the 50s.

  The groom is wearing a traditional double breasted suit jacket with turn up trousers. The bride is a little bit more up to date. Her shoes are the open peep toe and showing over her dress length. It looks to be fairly plan with just lace trim and seems to have a jacket over the dress. A double strand of pearls and long length veil completes her outfit.
The distinctive entrance to the church indicates that it is St Mary The Virgin in Acocks Green, Birmingham. It is the church that my parents married in. As well as the church that I obtained a wedding album a few years ago from eBay. That was from the 40s/50s as well. The happy couple were also unknown.
Now normally there is a photo of the bride and grooms parents. But here it seems to be not one. Only this one. It has the grooms side being mostly of men. Would say best man and the grooms 4 brothers. On the bride's side is her father or grandfather to give her away. The bridesmaid who looks to be very similar to the bride so maybe her sister? Then a woman who may be her mother or older sister. Then two young boys. Love the shorts trouser suit on the youngest.
All the wedding party have a floral button hole and the bride and bridesmaid have a traditional floral hand held arrangement. I wonder what colour the bridesmaid dress was. It is unlikely that the bride wore anything but white for her first wedding.


A couple of photographs show 3 elder men at the back and another woman. This may be uncles and aunts. This family does not seem to have many women in the photographs. 

A nice photograph of the smiling couple leaving and covered in confetti. It was very traditional to give the couple good luck items. See the rolling pin in this photograph. Also lucky horseshoes, doves and black cat wedding day gift were popular 
Leaving the church with all the well wishers and wedding guests on the pavements. Note the wooden arch to the church. You can just see the bride and groom inside the vintage wedding car. 
  More of the wedding party leaving the church to go to the reception. 

Unfortunately there are no names to indicate who this wedding album originally belonged to. If you recognise anyone. Please message me. and let me know. In the meantime it will be preserved as I have with the other car boot photograph, brochures and newspaper clippings that I come across on my travels.

Saturday 22 August 2020

A small red photo album found

 A small red photo album found.

A few weeks ago, I came across a small red photo album in a car boot. Again it appeared to be in an assortment of bric a brac and household clearance stuff. At first glance it didn't appear to be very interesting. But once home. I discovered there were names on the back of most of the photographs. Some Victorian copies and some original. A few World War one soldier photos and names from Wilder, Batho, Felton, Butler, Evans, Merchant and Puffer families. Some of the families lived here in the West Midlands and some in London.

On Ancestry, I have traced the families and added the photographs as able. This is to aid anyone tracing their family trees. I don't know how this small collection ended up in a car boot. But I know that many branches of this family looking for details. So here are all the photographs for browsing. Any further information - please contact me.   

Three young men sat on a bench. Looks to be pre world war one. Postcard with no information on the reverse. Is one of the men in the photograph below? 

A copy of the original. Looks to have been re-photographed from an album. It has Ada Butler on the reverse. This looks to be Ada Butler who was born in 1888 and died in 1960. Her nickname was "Tot". This photo may be of her fiancé as she is showing off a ring on her finger. But she appeared not to have ever married.

 No name on the reverse but appears to be Hepzibah Georgina Florence Butler born in 1906 and died in 1970. She lived in Kent. She is shown on another family tree on Ancestry website and named. 

This is another photograph of Hepzibah Butler. On the reverse in pencil is "Aunt Hepzibah". Here she is a little older and I have been unable to identify who the baby is. 

This is an original photo - a little creased and torn. It has been removed from an older photo album. On the reverse in pencil it has - grandfather, grandmother, Anid, Ema and Mum. Above two strips of paper have been stuck onto the back. It says GT Grandparents Batho back, Aunt Em, Nan Buck, front. Uncle Hector. 

From this family tree. I think the back two people standing are Henry Frederick Batho born 1873 - 1929., his wife Florence Eliza M Ingram 1877 - 1953. The child's mother holding him is Florence Lily Edith Batho 1897 - 1991. The woman next to her is Emily Gertrude Batho (Also known as Emma) 1895 - 1970. The baby appears to be Hector Henry William Buck 1925 - 1925. 

 This is a copy of the original. On the reverse is written - Nanny Batho *Pat Ingram. Aunt Sarah (Wilder) NB's sister (written on left side) Aunt Lizzy NB's sis in law(written on right side) Mum (written in the middle) Aunt Lizzy daughter, Little boy ? maybe Aunt Lizzy's son.

I have yet to work out who is who on the photo above. But watch this space...

This is an original photo. Written on stripes of paper on the back is the following: Back Aunt Ollie and Grt Grandma (Ingram)? Buck. Aunt Gwen, Uncle Bill, Left to right taken in Laindon. 

However from looking at other people's family tree photographs and doing a little genealogy researching. The photograph shows from left to right. Top Hepzibah Georgina Florence Buck 1906 - 1970. Lillie Rogers Yeo (married name Buck) 1874 - 1943. Children are Gwendoline Florence Buck 1927 - 2002, William Charles B Buck 1921 - 2000, Albert Edward Buck 1925 - 2009.

This original photo, has been taken out of an old album by the looks of it. On the back on paper stripes it has pen written names. Back GT Nan Batho. Nan Buck, Front Mum, Cousin Pat, Uncle Billie. Cousin Pat has (Nan Batho's brother daughter) underneath.

So this is probably Florence Eliza M Batho nee Ingram 1877 - 1953 who married Henry Frederick Batho 1873 - 1929. Who would be Gt Nan Batho. Nan Buck would be Florence Lily Edith Batho 1897 - 1991 who married William John Benjamin Buck 1893 - 1970. Mum I would guess to be Joan Lillie Buck 1923 - 2010, Cousin Pat, I haven't identified yet, but Nan Batho's only living brother was Henry Frederick Batho 1899 - 1919. But she may also actually be Patricia Buck b 1929. With Billie being William Charles B Buck 1921 - 2000.    

A nice 1940's wedding photograph here. It is a copy of the original with Uncle Charles and Aunt Nesta written on the back faintly in pencil. This is Charles Alfred Challenger Buck 1902 - 1962 and his wife Nesta M Bennett 1910 - 1996. Both born in Kent. They do not appear to have had any children.

Another copy of the original photo with pen written on the reverse. Back Ada Butler, middle row Mary Ann Butler (nee Evans), Marion Butler (nee Merchant). Front row Ada Butler (MN Felton) Frank Butler, Julia Butler (MN Joyce) 

From research Ada Butler 1889 - 1960. Mary Ann (Polly) Evans 1865 - ?, Marion Merchant 1886 - 1964,  Ada Doris Butler 1910 - 1992, Frank William Butler 1911 - 1971, Julia Mary Butler 1914 - 1974. 

A copy of an original photo. No names on the reverse. From research it appears to be Frank Felton standing. Frank William Felton 1908 - 1986. No idea on who the man sitting is. 

This brilliant Edwardian photo is a copy of the original. On the back in pen is Julia Puffer and Baby Ada Butler (MN Felton) Julia Puffer 1854 - 1913 from Birmingham. The baby is Ada Doris Butler 1910 - 1992 also from Birmingham.

Two elderly ladies in this photo. Its a copy of the original. No names on the back but from looking at the other photos in this album. I would say this is Mary Ann (Polly) Evans 1865 - ? Married name Butler. Also Ada 1889 - 1960, who appeared not to get married - see the photo of her earlier in this blog.

A copy of the original with Thomas Puffer written in pen on the back. Now there are 3 generations of Thomas Puffer's in this tree. So I think this is Thomas Edwin Puffer 1881 - 1936. But it may be his son Thomas Edwin Puffer 1901 - 1981. But his clothes look more Victorian/Edwardian than the 1920s.But I may be wrong.

Again a copy with Thomas Puffer on the reverse. Taken at The Crown Studios, 7 High St Birmingham. Again it is one of the above men. Can not find any details on the Crown Studios online as would help date this. 

A copy of an original and unfortunately no names on the reverse. From another photograph I would say two are Henry Frederick Batho 1873 - 1929 and his wife Florence Eliza M Ingram 1877 - 1953. However only 2 of their children lived past babyhood. But as the 2 standing at the back are very similar to the two adults sitting they are either children or sibling. So haven't worked out who they are just yet. 

Unnamed WW1 soldier. A copy of the original. Love the pose with a cigarette and pot plant on a table. I wonder if he survived the war. 

A copy of a World War one photo of 3 men. One is named. Frank Butler standing on right written on the back in pen. Now technically this is the man with his hand on the seated man's shoulder. His hat badge is not visible. But the man on the left has the Royal Warwickshire regiment badge. Frank served in the RWR and unfortunately died in 1922. I can not work out if one of the men is the same as above photo from this and the man seated looks to be Ada Butler's fiancĂ© in an earlier picture!! 

Frank Butler 1886 - 1922 died in or near Kings Norton Birmingham. He married Marion Merchant 1886 - 1964. After his death, she married his brother John (Jack) Butler 1891 - 1974. She had about 10 children in total. 

 An original photograph with "To my darling daddy from your everloving daughter Yvonne xxxxx xxxxx" on the reverse. Stamped 22 Oct 1945. This is of Yvonne Lillie Florence Butler 1942 - 1916. 

A recent 1980s photograph. Going on the mullet hairstyles and clothing at a party. It is written on the back "Thought you would like this" I think as the first word is difficult to read. No other details.

A 40th wedding anniversary celebration. It was on the 30. 6 45 to 30. 6 85. However it says just mom and dad on the photo. Haven't been able to work out who it was yet.

If you have any further information - then please contact me via the leaving messages. I screen all before publishing so no contact details will be published. For this blog, I have researched other family trees and looked at the names on the back of all the above photographs However, I have not obtained any certificates to verify any of the names or dates. If you are undertaking family history research, it is advisable that death, birth and marriage certificates are obtained to make sure you have the right people in your tree. Along with any other certificates and information.  

April 2021 - photographs re-united with family

In the last few weeks, I have had three family members contact me regarding these photographs. One via Ancestry and two by this blog. Having scanned and sent the copies to each of them. This little red book of photographs has been sent and re-united with the sister of the woman who originally owned the album. Thank you to all for contacting me.

Friday 21 August 2020

1940s old tintype photo find

 1940s old tintype photo find in a car boot.

I love history and also hunting around car boots. In my other life I brought and sold vintage costume jewellery. Having stopped buying to sell I still enjoy our Sunday morning visits to the various car boots in the area. Recently I have found amongst the house clearance clutter photographs, newspaper cuttings and other ephemera that has someone's history just lying amongst the dust and bric a brac.  

I found an old tintype photo in a picture frame along with the enlarged photo copy of it. The copy wasn't the best. But I brought it as I had never come across this type of vintage photo and I was intrigued. Unfortunately there was no name on the pictures. 

The glass frame is fairly modern and so is the printed sheet. I imagined someone enlarging the photo for someone elderly as it was the only one they had of his/her mother or his wife. Sad that it ended up in a pile of house clearance stuff.

This small photo has many scratches and some peeling of the enamel on the edges of the metal. In it's time a cheap and cheerful way of capturing images. I believe this one was taken around the 1940s or 1950s, because of the ladies clothing and accessories. She has a fur trimmed hat, long dangling earrings and a fox fur stole. Also a fur brooch with gloves. Her clothes are a little too big for her. She has either lost weight or is wearing someone else's clothes. Borrowed for the occasion. She may be pregnant as the long jacket seems to be bunched up around her middle?

I have found many different photo albums in the car boot. As well as single photographs. A snapshot of lives gone by and not to be left in a car boot box. Maybe they had no descendants or their family was not interested in keeping them. For what ever reason I have been buying the odd album or stack of photographs over the years. So I will be adding them to this blog as I can. I also track them on Ancestry if named and add them there for anyone who is researching their family trees to access.