What Would You Save?

Using mostly out-of-focus prints ranging from 12cm x 7cm to 8cm x 10cm in size, I aimed today to produce the rest of the A4 prints of the wedding of the parents of Ron and his sister Jackie, in Highcliffe on 15th September 1945. The originals could not be removed from the septuagenarian album, so I had to scan them in situ, balancing one side of the volume on the handle of a conveniently placed hole punch. Scanning a page at a time meant that there were two or three to be copied at once. I then had to duplicate the pages and crop one photo at a time. The resultant images vary somewhat in quality, but I am reasonably pleased with them.

Here are the final half dozen:

Salinger Wedding 15.9.45 007

An unknown photographer did well to make this image of the ceremony using the available light inside St Mark’s Church, Highcliffe. I left this one alone, feeling that the creases accompanied the shafts of sunlight in a rather charming manner.

Salinger Wedding 15.9.45 008

I imagine Captain Raymond Salinger is here accompanied by his best man. The photographer had clearly developed a list. I straightened to picture as much as I could without shaving the gentleman on our right. Daphne’s parents were the licensees of The Walkford which was closed to the public for the reception.

Salinger Wedding 15.9.19006

As the bride and groom leave the church, a Wren unwittingly steals the picture, which I would have been pleased to have taken.

Salinger Wedding 15.9.45 003Salinger Wedding 15.9.45 004

Group photos in the garden of The Walkford perhaps caused one gentleman to be impatient

Salinger Wedding 15.9.45 005

for Daphne and Ray to lead the way into the reception.

A conversation piece is often the question: ‘what would you save if your house was burning down’. Very often the answer is ‘photographs’.

Had Mr and Mrs Salinger not saved their wedding album when, some twenty years later, their house burnt to the ground with most of its contents, this post would not have been possible. Not that that would have entered their heads. Or mine.

After this continuation of a task begun yesterday, I all but completed another. This was incinerating branches and clippings. Heaps of leaves remain for another session.

Having spent the day on garden maintenance, Jackie produced her famous chicken jalfrezi (recipe) with mushroom rice for this evening’s dinner. She drank Hoegaarden and I quaffed more of the cabernet sauvignon.


  1. A lovely post! It reminds me to dig up the box containing several glass negatives of family photos pictures taken between the wars in Norway and see to getting them developed!

  2. I think you’re doing a great job Derrick. The creases etc add to the story of the originals. We really need to start sorting photos here too. A very big job, but a worthwhile one. A wonderful post.

  3. These photographs are in remarkably good shape considering. I would try to save our photographs – they bring together history and memories like nothing else can. The church scene with the creases – I wouldn’t change it. Have really enjoyed reading about your work on these negatives Derrick.

  4. One thing that struck me was how very young the groom and best man look, and this is after the war, presumably they had already served some part of five years. I may have missed an earlier post – what age were they?

  5. I love old photographs. My brother-in-law scanned a lot of old family photos for our family, and I put together a ‘heritage album’ for my husband of his great grandparents, grandparents, parents and his brothers and their families.
    We have a wedding photograph of his great grandmother and great grandfather on their wedding day. She was quite the beauty when she was young in the late 1800s, and her husband handsome in an old world sort of way. I love that photograph.

  6. I like the lady in the centre of the photo that has them all going in after the photographs have been taken, she is a rather portly lady with a hat to the side of her head and an enormous fox fur stole, straight out of an Agatha Christie novel.

  7. You did a fine job with the pictures, Derrick. I feel the same way about saving them. I did have a house burn down, but I wasn’t home – lost a ton of old memories.

  8. Good save. I’d save a folder of my old poems. I have already lost most family photos but I have two brothers and two sisters who have a lot of copies.

  9. What striking and beautiful photos … I felt like I went on a journey back in time while viewing them. And I so love that first shot in particular … The creases *do* look like wayward sunbeams caught in the lens. Magical! 🙂

  10. Thanks so much for sharing the link Derrick. Such a posh affair ! I must say, the best man is quite dashing (snicker). How nice of you to take on the task of digitizing the photos. Sounded like a big job. I really adore old photos ! It’s like having a time machine to pop back and be in the mix of things. I looked and looked for the wren. Maybe I’m mistaking it for what I think might be a shadow. Is it in front of the lady at the door, on the left of the bride? I’m always impressed too by the preservation of buildings in Europe. See, here they tear down anything quaint, historical and interesting and replace it with something that looks just like the building across the street. It’s usually very mundane.

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. I’m sorry the wren sent you on a wild goose chase. She is in the foreground on the right of the picture – a member of the Women’s Royal Navy, commonly known as a Wren. Ron has sent me four more pics, one of which is the outside of The Walkford. I will post them today.,

Leave a Reply