Sunday, 14 September 2008

Labelling photographs

I have a huge collection of old family photographs and I treasure them. The only problem is that some of them are unidentified others are half identified, like the one below of me. I know it is me but I have absolutely no idea where it was taken. It could have been in Leicester where we used to live or it could be Shirebrook, where we used to visit grandma. I'd love to know and I've no one to ask.

The photo below, also of me, was taken, I'm sure, in a park in London when we went to stay with my mother's friend, but which one? I do notice that I seem always to have my socks around my ankles, what a scruffy child!

The photo below I've absolutely no idea about. Where was it taken? Who are the people? Family members? Friends? Was it kept by the family of one of the injured patients or of one of the nurses? How to date it? Second world war perhaps? Are the sandbags a clue? Perhaps the style of the nurses' uniforms will help? I don't know?

The jaunty gent below? Who is he? Where was he? What date was it taken? How I'd love to know.

The moral of this short tale is always identify your photographs with date, place, names etc. or if you have old photos get them identified whilst the people you can ask are still around to help.

Edit - since I wrote this my kind brother-in-law has let me know that the first photo is indeed Shirebrook - in fact the model village which was where my grandparents lived. Thankyou! So the second moral of this tale is that sometimes it isn't too late to identify photos!


  1. Old photos are fascinating. On my other blog Wealthy's Bonnet each individual story is the result of an old photo.Once an individual is identified it's like an addiction to discover as much as you can about them!
    I've enjoyed reading about your photos named and unidentified as well.

  2. welcome, miss maddie - old photos are wonderful aren't they - they open so many windows on the past for us - like you I love them even if I don't know where or who they are - I can weave stories around them - probably far from the reality - I will pop over and visit 'Wealthy's Bonnet' :)

  3. When my husband returns next week, (from the UK), he will be bringing all our old family photos. (Not ours), but from before we got together. They've been up in the loft for a few years. It will be a great opportunity to look through them organise them, and chat about them. My daughter is very keen to have them, so it's good to know that they will eventually go to a good home.
    I don't know whether you are aware of the 70, and not out campaign on Radio 2, but it does make the point to talk to people before it's too late. Usually it's only as we get older that we want to ask more questions of our parents and how things were for them. sadly it's often too late.
    Hope all is well with you,

  4. hello Lynne, thanks for your comment - I didn't know about the Radio 2 campaign but I will look at their website and find out all about it. I hope all your family photos arrive safely - and your husband, of course :) - and that you have a great time sorting through them. Nearly all of the photos I have are of my mother's family - I don't have any from my father's side at all. One lot of photos came all the way from Canada from my mother's cousin who sent them to me when she knew I was doing family history, there are some beautiful ones and she did try to identify most of them for me - mother was able to help a little too, before she died - but I still have many questions and know I will never have the answers :)

  5. Loved the old photos.You where a very bright eyed little girl..socks are supposed to be sitting around ankles that way:)
    In our family we have a big shoe box with pictures we do not know very much about,its a mystery box really!
    Love to visit this site!

  6. hello, dutchess, thanks for your kind comment - it was found at school that those little bright eyes didn't see as well as they should and not long after I had to wear glasses! Glasses and saggy socks was not a good look for a small child! ;)

  7. Hello Rosie,
    I just found your blog and I am so intrigued. All I can say is WOW! What a treasure you have here. And I do follow your advise about labeling photos with dates and names, etc. I know what the photos are about. But some day in the future someone else may not have a clue! I'm looking forward to purusing your blog and maybe I'll even get to investigating my own lineage.