“I Wish I Could Get Up Like That”

I am clearly no Val Erde, but today I made a start on retouching the images scanned yesterday.

Our Uncle Roy holds the shepherd’s crook in this scene from a parade during about 1927. I began with this picture because Becky has spent so long trying to establish the location. It was a safe bet that is somewhere in the North of England, given that our maternal grandfather was from Yorkshire, and grandmother from Lancashire. In vain did Becky, and later, Jackie try to identify the shop or to read the writing on the window. Trams ran on lines over cobbles in many towns in Yorkshire at that time. Shepherds’ crooks were widely used in May Day parades during the 1920s.

This portrait of Mum on the beach at Conwy in about 1926 deserved to come next. In my post, “Genes Will Out”, I had featured the likeness between my sister, Jacqueline, and her son, my nephew, James. I had been unaware of where this strain began – if not before. The deckchairs in the background would not be unfamiliar on any beach today, although the sand bucket would most likely now be made of plastic.

The third of today’s improvements was made on this photograph of Mum and Roy, who still lives in Leicester. Our uncle looks ready to take on the world. Shoes and socks are less likely to be seen on the seashore today.

When Elizabeth brought Mum over this afternoon, our mother demonstrated that she could have saved us all the research. She informed us that the location of the parade was Manchester, the occasion, Whit Monday, and Roy’s companion, Joan Heald. Grandpa, being a prison engineer, was based at Strangeways at the time. Joan was the daughter of a neighbouring officer’s family.

This led us to https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-annual-whit-monday-procession-1927-online

After a brief explanation of the event, which continues today, this one minute silent film shows the likely procession Mum remembers.

Monday is the day for non-Catholics; Catholics parade on the Friday.

With a little further research, Becky and I were able to find the film which Mum could watch on my laptop.

My mother and sister had enjoyed a late lunch at Holmsley Old Station Tea Rooms. This did not deter them from scoffing cream teas.

Mum unwittingly cracked the joke of the day when, watching me haul myself out of my chair, she said “I wish I could get up like that”. Howls of laughter ensued.

Becky and Ian are still with us. Mum and Elizabeth left shortly before we ordered a takeaway meal from Forest Tandoori. My choice was prawn jalfrezi with special fried rice. I drank Uco Valley Malbec 2018. Should they be interested the others may speak for themselves.


  1. You’ve made a good job of those photos Derrick. Your mum’s memory is quite incredible – I wish mine was that good! And her sense of humour πŸ˜€ Unfortunately the little clip won’t play outside of the UK.

  2. It seems like your mom is in great shape, and funny, too. The tea spread looks delicious and your dinner sounds wonderful, too. You’ve done a good job with the photos.

    1. Thanks very much, Sue. Especially as Grandpa was transferred from prison to prison every three years, being able to identify a short-lived neighbour was especially impressive.

  3. I loved your further commentary on the photos, and laughed at your mother’s being so quick with details. It really is wonderful that she’s able to share so much, and that you all are willing and able to get some of your family’s history secured before it slips away.

    1. Thank you very much, Linda. Because her sight is now so poor Mum originally thought the girl with Roy was herself. As soon as I told her it wasn’t, she identified their neighbour

  4. Those are timeless photographs. Given that A. V. Clarke was a fantasy writer, perhaps that is a bookstore? Your mum has solved the conundrum anyway. I couldn’t watch the film as the BVI player averred that my location was not authorised.

  5. I think that you’ve done an excellent job with those photographs, Derrick. I’ve tried it myself with WW2 pictures and it’s not as easy as it looks! I love the picture of Mum and Roy. Perhaps the shoes and socks were because of pollution back in those days which is no longer there today. Or perhaps those slate like stones were sharp.

    1. Thank you very much, John. It is amazing how many blemishes those tiny prints are revealing. Now you come to mention it, those stones must have been very uncomfortable

  6. “Life doesn’t come with a manual. It comes with a mother.” πŸ™‚ OH, how I love seeing your beautiful, dear Mum so happy, Derrick! And her observation of you rising out of the chair made me snort-laugh! πŸ˜€
    I wish your Mum good health, love, joy, peace, and much laughter!
    When my siblings and I couldn’t remember something or someone, we’d ask our Mum. She was always as sharp as a tack…with an amazing memory!
    The photos are so beautiful! Excellent job, Derrick! πŸ™‚
    HUGS to all!!! πŸ™‚

  7. It’s wonderful to see your Mum out and enjoying herself with family… and also to be able to provide better information than Google in certain areas! πŸ™‚

    I think i may know where you have acquired your prodigious appetite from. πŸ™‚

  8. Mum is looking so well – I’m very happy for you and your family!!
    You all do know how to eat well – this blog should dispel the stereotype that English food is awful!!

  9. You are doing a great job restoring those precious photos, Derrick. I am simply amazed at your mother’s memory; she is clearly in possession of all her mental faculties!

  10. Excellent work on the pictures Derrick, I always enjoy nostalgic memories, your Mum has a great memory I believe, tried to view the video but not authorised over here.

  11. Your uncle’s hair is bit like our Uncle Dennis’ hair. I can’t find a way to send it to you here though.

  12. β€˜I wish I could get up like that’. That’s what my dad says when I get up from a chair, too – nice when your athleticism is admire, no ?

    Anyway, interesting to see the photos from the past. I could see the likeness of your mum today with when she was a little girl.

        1. On one occasion, my grandmother was watching, seated on a folding chair. I nipped out of the line and kissed her on the top of her head. That must have added a few seconds to my time πŸ™‚

  13. Passing old photos to digital form is a great idea. Apart from this, the memory of the elders is a file that stores more information than the Internet.

  14. I am delighted with the beach clothes, the socks and shoes, and your mum’s haircut! I had those same kind of little leather shoes when I was a baby. It’s nice your mum could use you as the butt of her joke, and provide a little perspective. So funny. πŸ˜‰

  15. How lovely your Mum was able to see the parade she remembered! πŸ™‚ I enjoyed watching it… that’s some awesome vintage film, and very similar to my picture of a parade and the video I embedded in the post. I love the way they slow those very fast films we used to see some years ago to a normal speed, it makes so much difference in watching it. I can see why you gave me link to this now!

    Your Mum as a little girl looks a lot like you Derrick… the likeness is very striking. We can’t escape the DNA!

    Sorry I took a while, I’ve literally not been able to make a comment (WP is messed up again!) I hope you get this comment okay?

      1. Well that’s good news. That recurring problem on WP goes back a long way… used to drive me crazy when I did a lot more blogging years ago. They really do take their time fixing it too!

        No problem Derrick… don’t feel you have to comment on all my posts… I don’t mind at all.

    1. Just been talking about you to Jackie. She said that not only had she read your comments, but she had visited your site – which she rarely does. She really enjoyed it and told me about the beautiful women moving from B/W to colour – one of those I will look at when I have finished answering comments on mine πŸ™‚

      1. That was so kind of her… thank you Jackie!!? Ah yes the video… it’s quite interesting what some photo editing apps can do now. Twenty years from now we’ll have holograms of our ancestors walking into our living rooms I’m sure!!?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: