Monday, 13 October 2008


I was recently cleaning out a tin of old photographs (took hours as I lingered over every one) and I came across this photograph of my mother and two of her sisters. I think it sums up for me the optimism of the early post-war years.

Here they sit together on Skegness beach - a mile of sand before the chilly north Sea appears - in their sensible shoes and stockings, all well-corseted and all wearing what my mother chose to call "washing frocks". They have all brought their handbags, which would no doubt be full of useful things, no designer bags here - all sensible stuff.

The three husbands are around because their empty deck chairs and the odd sports jacket tells me this. One of them probably took the photograph on our old box Brownie camera.

I was a small child so I would be around somewhere, but I don't remember the occasion. My only memory of that holiday in Skegness is of going off with the three men and being allowed to put a penny in the "What the butler saw" machine; and all I remember of that is an awful lot of garter.

But what strikes me most - in retrospect - about this photograph is how happy they all are and how they appear to be enjoying themselves a lot. Of course they have good cause to be happy at this time because all three of them had had sons in the Second World War and they had all returned safe and sound. So maybe it was just a good time for optimism.
(My mother is the one on the left)


mrsnesbitt said...

Goodness! For a minute i thought the picture would be local, maybes Whitby or Scarborough! Great to read your blog, we are in fact not far away. We live in North Yorkshire too, but on the moors. We often visit Leyburn on route to the Lakes or Hawes.
I agree they all look so happy! My nana looked very similar!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for reading my blog. I am not a "local" - I am an "incomer" from Lincolnshirem married to a local! Shall read your blog now.

Rachel Fox said...

Washing frocks - excellent!

Arija said...

In those heady post was days there were many things to be glad about, They were so luccky to have their families return safely to them, no more bombing or fear of invasion, rationing was winding down, maybe even thir 'washing frocks' were available without coupons!
Maybe people were happy to just make do and be alive.
Unlike the era ot TV, mobile phones, washing machines and massive mortgages, people vere just happy to be alive.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

What a perfectly sweet and happy picture. It should be blown up and framed. Just the best representation of a lovely beachy time.

A treasure for you to keep forever.

Mad Bush Farm Crew said...

My mother showed me a photo of a great grandmother from the 1890's. It's lovely to have such lovely memories to keep and to share. Hope you are well. Just had a look at your puppy photos. He's so lovely.
Take care

The Weaver of Grass said...

I have never heard anyone else use the term, Rachel. Have you heard it before?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes, Arija - I think we got our happiness from much more simple things in those days (before the "must have" society. I suppose this attitude is a sign I am getting old!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Pamela - just might frame it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Madbush - yes pup is sweet but the world's worst chewer - has demolished a new bed in a few days so am just off to buy her a hard plastic pre-formed one - here was I thinking how nice a lambswool-lined one would be for winter. Most of the lambswool is now in the dustbin and the bed is a flat sheet!

willow said...

I absolutely love vintage family photos and the wonderful stories behind then. Thanks for sharing this and also for stopping by my place this morning and leaving a comment! Nice to "meet" you!

Willow x

Red Clover said...

Beautiful! I often think that we could find that optimism if we were to slow down a bit and be thankful for the many sons that come home from our personal wars. What a blessing all theirs did! I think that is my favorite part. Beautiful family!