Sunday, 6 April 2008

More Old Photos

I've been looking through the box of old photographs sent to me, at least 10 years ago, by my mother's cousin from Canada. I'm always intrigued by old photos, by what they can tell us when we study them closely. This one looks like a small farm house in a rural setting. In fact it is just the kind of house I used to draw as a child and still occasionally draw when I'm doodling. Central front door, four windows, long drive up to the front of the house, a tree or two.

The original is actually a post card. On the back is written 'with love and best wishes from J&S, Xmas, 1909. My mother's cousin has written on the back 'Mount Pleasant, Aunt Sarah's House'. Now, my mother told me that her Aunt Sarah lived at or near Claypole in Nottinghamshire and that Aunt Sarah's husband bred Rhode Island Red chickens. So I'm assuming this house was at Claypole.

I always thought that the photograph above was of the same house but on looking at it more closely I've realised that it is a totally different house. It looks similar to the first house but there are many differences. A different style of porch, a fifth window over the porch. A lean-to on the side, no tree close to the chimney and no shed at the side. How very strange. It is in the same style and print as the first one and dated 1909 but it can't be the same house after alterations. Can it? Whose house is it? A neighbour's house? Another family home? It is very similar in style to the other one so is it in the same village?

The thing is now I don't know who these people are in the second photo, which is a shame. I'm intrigued by this new realisation. I need to find out more.

The photo above is of my mother's aunt Sarah Stubbs. Apparently she was the youngest and most favourite of my grandmother's sisters. Which of those houses did she live in? I'm guessing the first house, but then did my mother's cousin make the same mistake as me when she labeled the photos and think the houses were the same one? I like to think that Sarah was happily sitting in the garden of one of the houses, anyway.

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