This morning, while searching for something, I came across this photograph and it took me back to those days for so many reasons.
In the photograph my parents are second and third from the left and they are on holiday in Skegness (Lincolnshire and our nearest seaside place - 30 miles away although in those days it seemed a long journey). They had gone on holiday - the year was 1946, so only one year after the end of the Second World War - to the YMCA Holiday Camp with their best friends. And here they all are on what is obviously a pleasant day, on their walk down to the Promenade.
The first thing that struck me was that I knew everyone's Christian name except for the lady in the hat. She was the Postmistress in our little village and very formidable. Everyone called her Mrs Applewhite and I never knew her first name - my parents always called her 'Mrs Jack' (her husband was Jack.) Along with Alf and Edna, the other couple in the photograph, they spent hours together - all were keen crown-green bowlers, all went to chapel (Methodist) on Sundays and they holidayed together for several years.
The other thing that struck me was that this was the period when dress code began to change. Alf is already in shirt sleeves but is still wearing his braces - belts were too modern. Father and Jack are still wearing their ties (they are on holiday for goodness sake) and jackets. Mrs Applewhite is still wearing a hat!
It made me think of the time when shirts with attached collars came in (my father had always worn loose collars with collar studs back and front and a clean starched collar every morning, even if he wore the same shirt for two days). Someone - probably my sister, who tried desperately to get them up-dated for many years - bought Dad a couple of short sleeved shirts with attached collars for his birthday and he swore he would never wear them. Of course, the first hot day that came (yes, we actually got hot days in 1946) he tried one out and was instantly converted.
Jack is wearing a cap and I was about to say how old fashioned that was when I realised how difficult it is to separate the farmer from his cap! The fact is that he is bald and a hot sunny day makes life unbearable. I don't remember ever seeing Jack Applewhite without his cap, but maybe he was bald too and needed it for protection.
But it is one of my favourite photographs because it shows friendship at its very best. All are long dead now of course. But this was only just after the War; my brother would not have been home from his soldiering all that long. But already there is an air of relaxation in the photograph - it is all over and now we can begin to pick up the pieces kind of thing. And we are determined to enjoy ourselves for every single minute of this holiday, come rain or shine.
Thank you all for your kind comments about the recurrence of my irritating medical condition - blogging friendships are so important to me and I do appreciate your concern.