Black And White Discoveries

Today I had more fun scanning the old black and white negatives. Let us begin with two large format ones from 1957, both taken in the garden of 29a Stanton Road, London, SW20 where I grew up.

My mother and sister, Jacqueline, stand in the garden of the upstairs three bedroomed rented maisonette in which my parents raised their family of five. This little plot is the first one I tended, during my teens. Above the stone steps stands our back door, immediately behind which is a steep set of stairs leading directly into the kitchen. The window to the right is to one of those in the flat occupied by the Downes family who lived underneath. Beneath that window can be seen a pile of tea chests, which is what furniture removers used to pack belongings in those days. Dad drove a removal van. Fred Downes peers through his window to the left. Facing this scene is the railway path leading up to the embankment alongside which we used to play.

Jacqueline took this photograph of me.

By 1982 when the next group were taken, we were using 35 millimetre film.

This young man, like a fish in his element, was over the moon when publication of a magazine article illustrated by this image prompted a visit from Olympic swimmer, Duncan Goodhew, who brought a bag of gifts.

Here, Louisa sleeps in her cot in Gracedale Road.

I have already featured a number of pictures from the holiday at the Vachettes’ home in Normandy, when I couldn’t find this negative of her.

Becky, with cousin Susie, enjoys apples from the Drapers’ tree at Meldreth in Cambridgeshire.

Shelley paid a visit this afternoon and gave us a splendid pair of curtains that perfectly fit our French doors to the patio.

This evening we dined on the last of our Hello Fresh selection. The Lamb patties with yoghurt lentils and sweet potato discs were delicious and spicy. Contents can be seen when enlarging the image alongside my helping. Jackie will definitely keep all three recipe cards for further use. I drank more of the bordeaux and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.


  1. You were so kid in that photo, Derrick. 🙂
    Another beautiful story with pictures and memories…
    I love when you tell things about only you can know. When you say where that door leads or where stairs lead etc.

  2. Your mother and your sister is a sweet photograph and warm memories. Oh my, I have to say, “You were a handsome young man, Derrick!”
    I enjoyed Louisa, as a baby, on her tummy sleeping so soundly. You had a nice time in Normandy, I imagine with fun and outdoors scenery to frolic about in. Thanks for also sharing another meal. Made my stomach ‘growl!’ Take care and have a lovely week, as it seems very nice here, in the warm above normal temperature. Sunny after work, yippee! 🙂

  3. I’m guessing Becky, in the image with Susie, is the one facing us? Doesn’t she look like Liz? (or can’t you see it?) At least, how I imagine Liz must have looked a while ago.

  4. Thank you for this glimpse into your young life. I was fascinated with the design of the house. My memory of SW20 (or 19? – Southfield?) is of rather swish houses with bow windows, cosy living rooms and small front gardens. I’d never seen this style of maisonette. Still trying to imagine what the inside might have looked like for your neighbour. Seems as if he had a stairwell to skirt around when moving from one window to another? Curious. And the other photos are wonderful too. Such a blissful baby.

      1. I’ll have to come back to that link. Like you, I have lost my internet connection, only in my case it is for a week. The computer I am using runs off a mainframe which blocks sites – including both yours and my blogs! LOL

          1. It’s karma. You know my last post was about the grandkids being addicted to electronic devices? . . . “Let he who is without sin be the first to cast the stone!” teehee. Now I am learning to limit access to once a day on a restricted portal.

  5. Love the B &W. Conveys different emotional content than colour plus adding the context of the passage of time. Great post.

  6. Ah, a peek into your photo album! I especially love that pic of you taken by your little sister? — (excellent POV!) and tells a story of her big brother she “looks up to.” Thanks for sharing, Derrick. ? ?

  7. I love this post.What is a maisonette? Do you mean to say that your front stairs divided your downstairs neighbor’s space? It’s nice that both floors shared the garden, as small as it was.

    1. Thank you, Claire Marie. Literally it is, of course, a little house, but here it is purpose built two residences in one building. We never went into our neighbours’ home, but those (back) stairs were steep enough to have provided a useful cupboard

  8. Thank you, Derrick. It turns out I visited here in February. I won’t say same things I already mentioned below. 🙂
    Mom was happy to see your black and white photographs and particularly loved the sweet baby Louisa ones! <3

  9. I enjoyed your post, so many memories and great photos. I can’t even began to imagine the swimmer shock, when he met Duncan Goodhew ? I also love the image of the girls enjoy the apples, apple trees are truly meant to be enjoyed by all ?

    1. Thank you so much, Dolly. I wanted you to see the young man who was a member of a project for which I was responsible as chairman of a Charity; I had forgotten that the post was all in black and white, so was especially pleased.

      1. I thought so, even though it is not indicated in your post. The young man looked as if he was developmentally challenged. I see that you also have touched lives of individuals with disabilities, Derrick, so you can relate to my experience.

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