Monday, 25 March 2013


One of my interests is doing photographic restorations on line.  It  gives me a great deal of satisfaction to see an old tattered and torn and age spotted photograph restored to pristine condition, and the owners of the photograph are always delighted to see their relative literally re emerge from the shadows.

My favourites are the old Victorian era photographs, the fashions were so elegant and elaborate and often the ladies hats were completely over the top, with some so huge they were almost cart wheel size.  Nothing could be further removed from the dainty fascinators that the modern women wear today.

It is amazing how many photos that come to light are unidentified.  They are found in old photo albums without a name or a date or a place to bless themselves with, and the current generation of relatives who are putting together their family tree haven't a clue as to who the people are.  If there is one thing I have learned from this it is to label your pictures, don't rely on your memory because sadly as we age our memories start to fail and then we don't remember either.

It was that thought that caused me to write this , and when you are naming your photos don't forget the family pet.  People never seem to think of them but to their owner, even though may be gone to God, that dog, horse, cat etc was no doubt much loved and played an important part in their lives.


Maureen Clifford ©  

The girl was only five or maybe six - the years fly fast.
Age seems to cloud the memories with a haze.
But she sat on the carpet beside Granny’s rocking chair.
Together they explored the good old days.

Her Gran, now in her nineties, was slowly turning pages
and pointing out the things she liked to share,
whilst musing over pictures, those taken through the ages;
one clawed and birdlike hand smoothed the girls hair.
With age some prints were mottled and others badly faded
and some folks features now were indistinct.
Whilst some were set on cardstock and elegantly portrayed,
others were simple ones with edges pinked.

They showed people in places the small girl had never been.
One showed a massive ship tied to a Quay.
Your Grandpa’s ship, the ‘Melbourne’ before her fateful trip
that saw, she said, your Grandpa lost to me.

Some photos were of horses, sheep and boys with working dogs,
and small dogs alongside young girls gowned in lace,
and ladies with the biggest hats that you have ever seen.
Young men with scratchy whiskers on their face.
Many wedding group photos, some quite simple, others grand
and family portraits - all posed in their best,
with suits, shined boots, long dresses, with stiff whalebone in their stays.
Folks all departed to their final rest.

The little girl moved closer for something had caught her eye.
Who are those people there Gran?  What’s their name?
Who owned the dog - do you know?  Where was the picture taken?
I know that house but it’s not quite the same.

Her Gran held the book closer to the light and peered within
and turned a page or two and then went back.
She stared into the distance and then once again she looked.
Try as she might the puzzle would not crack.
  I don’t recall Jess darling, just exactly who they are
though I knew them, of that fact I am sure.
Her brow became frown furrowed and distress showed in her eyes,
her voice had become shaky, immature.

They’re people long forgotten; now nobody knows their name.
It wasn’t written down in black and white
for future generations seeking a name, date and place
when researching their history  as they might.
It’s something to be mindful of when pictures you might take
one can’t always rely on memory.
It’s OK Gran, the small child said , I’ll never forget you
for safe within my heart you’ll always be.


Here's a before and after shot I did 
of my Dad who served as a Fireman during WWII in Isleworth an outer  London suburb.  He was there through the  London blitz 

Photo taken  around 1936

And every album has shots taken 
at Christmas time don't they ?
These kids must have been waiting for Santa.

Photo taken around 1956
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