Have You Heard?

Feeling better again today, but still pretty drowsy, I scanned a batch of 22 unsorted random black and white negatives, and tested my memory in an attempt to date and locate them. I think the images were all produced in 1983.

Derrick & Louisa 1983001

It was probably Jessica who made this picture of Louisa and me in our house in Gracedale Road. The ginger jar on the shelf above my shoulder was one of the spoils from our mudlarking.82388e8f3ec42ef598b97c6e7ae6e37a The large gilt-framed painting above Louisa’s head is ‘Have You Heard’, by Mary Evelina Kindon, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1905. Sadly, I no longer had room to hang it when I returned to London, so Michael arranged for its sale at a Bonhams auction in 2009.

Becky & Louisa 1983 001Becky & Louisa 1983 002

It was only this morning that Becky was amusing us with a description of how she would work on the pc at Commonside Trust, whilst simultaneously cradling a teenage client’s infant. The next two shots, as she plays cards whilst nursing Louisa, demonstrate how she perfected the skill.

Matthew through magnifying glassMagnifying glass

Having peered through a magnifying glass all that time ago, Matthew was to give Jackie and me one each for Christmas a couple of years ago.


Sam is engaged in one of his favourite pastimes.

Landscape 1

Landscape 2

These landscapes were probably taken in Surrey on a visit to Polesden Lacey.

Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey is an Edwardian house and estate. Located on the North Downs at Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey, it is owned and managed by the National Trust and is one of the Trust’s most popular properties. This photograph suggests to me that it was here that Sam lost his soldier. Jessica, Michael, Sam, Louisa, and I travelled quite regularly down the A3 from Gracedale Road to this garden.


Michael, inspired by these visits soon became a life member of the National Trust.

Louisa 1983 002Louisa 1983 04

Here are two of Louisa concentrating on her food in Gracedale Road.

Jessica, Louisa & Sam 1983

Jessica, Louisa, and Sam enjoy a game of ball at the home of Aunt Elspeth in Rugby.

Jessica, Louisa & Sam 1983 002

Jessica’s late. loved, cousin Anthony tends his mother’s garden in the background.


The daffodils suggest this must have been around Louisa’s first birthday.


Finally, can anyone identify this grasping plant?

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb liver casserole, mashed potato and swede, and crisp carrots, broccoli, and green beans. I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon opened four or five days ago. It was still drinkable. Ian and Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and Becky rose.


  1. Such evocative pictures and such darling children. When I look at pictures of my own children when they were young, it always makes me a little wistful. Of course, there is no way that I could keep up with young children now. So the wistful feeling doesn’t last too long 😉

  2. great pictures; black and white is so evocative. We took the MIL to Polesdon Lacey two weeks ago, in one of those coincidences… Beautiful and very full

  3. Oh my goodness, what magical and special photos, Derrick, and how generous of you to share them with us. I love seeing this little glimpse into your past. 🙂

  4. The photos are great – I remember doing so many trust visits when I lived there…I probably should have bought a life-time membership (but alas I returned to the great down-unda)
    I’m glad to hear you are feeling a bit better

  5. What can I add to so many other comments? Obviously, these are wonderful photos. It is nice to go back through time and visit our life’s journey. I often have to make a good guess when it comes to dating photos – thinking I would never forget the time and place (I was wrong). Thankfully, I do remember the people. I always feel a little sad when parting with belongings like a painting, but sometimes there is no longer a place to hang them. Now others can enjoy it. And I have to second the vote that the plant looks like something alien.

    I wish you good health!

  6. Wonderful photographs of the family Derrick – always with the brightest of smiles. Glad to read you are feeling better.

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