Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Upon the Palace Green

Look into a picture and what do you see?

Well sometimes, rather a lot. I have a new posts lined up in the wings to delve inside some of the photographs that once belonged to my gran. The people however are often nameless in them, but they are intriguing centrepieces worthy of a wider audience.

While I myself am a born Yorkshire girl my roots go back on most sides of the family to the North East, particularly Durham and to a smaller extent bar my own four years, Newcastle. Yet the extent to which part of our family has been in Durham is somewhat of a mystery. Involve a story of an legitimate child, the year 1887, an unknown father, a grand carriage and the burning of adoption papers and you end up with half the story of my great grandfathers journey to Durham. As father to my gran who was born in 1924, and until her marriage to my Hull born and raised Grandad who she met during World War 2, she spent her youth living under the shadows of the cathedral.

Since her passing, we've inherited half of her photo ablums, often filled with numerous black and white images of weddings and children sat before the camera. And then there is this one which I'm posting here, its a little different and who and why it was taken remains unknown. So to, does the date. We're thinking 1940s or 1950s but if anyone has any other ideas let me know, especially if you can judge by the clothing.

But it is an image with a grand circus of characters.There is the man in his kilt holding his pipe, other dressed up women flowers upon their coats, their gloves in hand. There is the young girl to the far left, bored and looking out into the distance. There is the laughing women in her light and striped coat, giggling over to the women at the left [she happens, if one is allowed, my favourite]. A proud father kneeling down holding his child, another child with their backs turned, caught blurry and moving. Perhaps they are all lined up in shot for a wedding photographs - they are the remaining guests are the departure of man and wife. Or they are all off, or have been on some form on excursion?

The reason why it was in my grans album will always probably now remain unknown. None of the faces can be recognised, possibly the lady dressed in black at the far right is my great gran, but then again we can never be sure.
[Click on the image for a larger view]

What we do know is that this image was taken upon the Palace Green in Durham, behind them the keep of the University owned Castle appears.


  1. Great photos! Have a great Tuesday! Kori xoxo

  2. judging from the clothes and hats I would say late 30s or 40s, there are some mid 30s ladies suits, and hats and one or two even earlier handbags.
    did you notice some ladies are wearing flowers?

  3. Ah thank you for that information Miss Rayne - you've helped to narrow the era down a little more so thank you!

    We did notice some of the ladies wearing flowers, there are even one or two men wearing them [in the middle of the image] so that's what was making us think it was perhaps guests at a wedding.

  4. I enlarged the photo and my instant first impression is that this photo dates to the somewhere between '35 and '45 (possibly a little later). I agree with Miss Rayne that there seems to be some 30s-esque suits (and hats) in there, but it's possible that this shot hails from during the war years, as people often wore or refashioned clothes they'd had for some times during the years of rationing. It would be fascinating to find out who this group was and what year this shot was snapped.

    Wishing you a beautiful Wednesday, sweet dear!
    ♥ Jessica

  5. @ Jessica - my mam thought it could be during the war herself due to the lack of men in comparison to women. While there are some there seems to be a lot of partners missing.

    I'm defiantly going to have to dig deeper and see where this photo leads!