A Gem From Photography’s Early Years

Torrential rain this morning made us grateful for the splendid day we had enjoyed yesterday, but it did prompt an early departure for Louisa, Errol, Jessica and Imogen, who needed to return to Mapperley in Nottinghamshire.
When the deluge had desisted I took my Hordle Cliff top walk. The blustery wind roaring off The Solent, tore at the tresses and the raiment of a group of young women being Scarf snagged on bramblepropelled up the steps from the shingle. The fragile black scarf of one of them had been snagged on a bramble. I helped her free it.
It is a common phenomenon that some distant members of families only meet at weddings and funerals. I had last met my cousin Maureen at the funeral of her father, my Uncle Derrick. Marcus Derrick Knight had been my Auntie Gwen‘s executor. When Gwen's MedalMaureen had been clearing out her parents’ bungalow she had discovered various memorabilia of Gwen. Having thought I was the person who should have them, she brought them to Chris’s funeral on 31st October, and handed them over. There were various framed certificates, photographs, an eulogy, and a medal. The bronze coloured medallion records her length of employment at the Association for the Propagation of the Faith. This service is described in the APF newsletter framed by Gwen herself with the addition of an in memoriam card that must have been Auntie Gwen eulogyinserted by her brother. My godmother, born in 1904, would have looked, when I was born in 1942, as she does in the memorial card. I remember her more as in the later photograph illustrating the magazine article. What that piece does not describe is Gwen’s transport to and from Wimbledon Station from her homes, first at 18 South Park Road, then 9 Latimer Road. This was a sturdy upright bicycle on which she travelled everywhere, even into old age.
The cross mentioned by Canon Mark Swaby must be the gold papal medal that Derrick had given me after Gwen’s death. It was almost certainly stolen in the burglary at Newark mentioned in my post ‘The Rosewood Wine Table’.
The Gwen I could not possibly have remembered was photographed around 1908. The delicately tinted print bears the stamp of Britannia’s Ltd, 8 Emery Lane, Boston, and was Auntie Gwenframed by F.J.Salisbury of 64 Upper Tooting Road, London, SW17. This gem from the early years of photography would grace our walls even if we were unable to identify the subject.
For dinner this evening Jackie produced delicious lamb jalfrezi (recipe) and exquisite egg fried rice, followed by fruity blackberry and apple crumble and custard. She drank Cimarosa Pedro Jimenez reserva 2013, and I drank Kingfisher.

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