This month has been a fairly poor one, as far as work is concerned. Most of my stock has come from a library clearance sale and the gems appear to have been weeded-out. However, a few curious photographs have managed to slip through the net.
This wonderful street scene is from the turn of the last century, but you'll have to click on the image to fully appreciate it. When I first saw the photo, it looked unsettlingly familiar, then I discovered that it was of Station Road, Hampton, near where I grew up.
Most of the buildings in Teddington and Hampton sprang up in the 1880s and 90s, during the huge expansion of the London suburbs. Today, the streets look remarkably unchanged, with long rows of Victorian semi-detached houses. The few 20th century buildings were generally built to fill the gaps left by the Luftwaffe.
Here's another town that has changed very little:
On the reverse of the postcard, which has a postmark dated 4PM - SP 7 - 09, I found some more information about "Mrs Wakefield":
I think I might incorporate the naughty Mrs Wakefield into my five-year-old son's bedtime story routine.
This gentleman appears to be wearing a large flower in his buttonhole. Is he off to a wedding?
I'd also like to know more about the next two photos. Is it the same man in both pictures?
At first glance, I'd say they were different men, but it's amazing what a receding hairline and a luxuriant moustache can do to add a certain gravitas. Fighting in the First World War probably added a few years too.
Assuming that the photographer is her husband (or boyfriend), this photograph is curiously touching. My mother would probably say something about "mutton dressed up as lamb", but I like that fact that the woman seems at ease with herself and is having fun.
My father used to do of cycling and youth hostelling in his 20s and was always telling me what fun it was, but there must be easier ways to get girls into bed.
Two notable worthies, these photos were found in a crumbling, leather double frame. Sadly there were no clues to their identity.
Finally, my favourite book from last week:
Ideal gift? For who? Presumably someone you dislike, as I can't think of a more depressing present.
The title doesn't help. Why can't it be "Enjoying Retirement", with the gentleman on the front happily pruning some roses or playing with a train set?
On the other hand, given the grim economic forecasts for the pensions industry, perhaps those Saga catalogues that feature white-haired people enjoying exotic cruises and exhausting multi-city intineraries, will soon be a thing of the past.