Friday, August 1, 2014

Sepia Saturday Aug 2

Sepia Saturday

Today's theme is:
239  : Postcards, proverbs, mischievous women

This is one of several postcards sent to me from my grand aunt Kate (Catherine), my maternal grandmother's sister. Kate's story was common at that time. As the youngest child she stayed at home t o take care of her widowed, blind mother. When her mother died she finally married her long time suitor Jimmy Doyle and they moved to England and had a daughter Anne.
Unfortunately she died at an early age in 1960 and we lost touch with her husband and daughter.

This card dates from 1958 as she mentions my first communion and confirmation. It was sent from England to Baie Comeau Quebec. 
Kate spoiled me as her first grand niece. 

 They look so old to be first time parents! Kate was 41 when she died so I would guess she is in her late 30s in this photo.

I've no idea who the older girl is in this photo. That is my mother's handwriting. 

Alex commented that my postcard looked a lot like hers. I can see that mine is marked as Bamforth Taylot Tot No. K190.
The original Yorkshire based cheeky postcard company

His background coupled with a certain artistic flair and an interest in photography made possible a departure from the family business.
His first major enterprise was the production of illustrated lanetrn slides, a form of entertainment held all over the country. He later introduced photography, replacing the painted slide which proved to be highly successful.
In 1904 his factory expanded with half the floor space taken by photographic studios as an average of 600 takes a year had to be illustrated.
The Bamforth Postcard evolved from the slide and by the early 1900′s had become increasingly popular. By 1905 he had branches in New York and London, although the head office remained in Holmfirth, and by the end of WW1 20,000,000 cards were being printed every year. By 1960 Bamforth Postcards had become the world’s largest publisher of comic postcards.
Bamforth’s Postcards were the market leader throughout the twentieth century. Their artists poking fun at every aspect of human activity. They commented on politics, fashion and the changes in social activity and perhaps most famously they invaded the toilet and the bedroom. Sex, in various guises and disguises, was the main subject fom the start of the genre.
In 1910, Bamforth’s introduced their first artist-drawn comic postcards employing just four staff artists – Douglas Tempest, Arnold Taylor, Philip Taylor and Brian Fitzpatrick – who contributed the bulk of the output. In addition various freelance artists were used on an irregular basis, including the famous Donald McGill.
The staple characters were extremely fat ladies accompanied by small, ineffectual and hen-pecked husbands. Thin, unattractive girls looking in vain for a boy, entire families, courting couples and men resting from work. The picture said it all, and the cards struck a chord.
In 90 years approximately 50,000 comic designs have been published – the success was phenomenal.


  1. Oh my, that is sad to die so young. I always have a hard time estimating people's age in old photos because they always looked older than they were. (I guess there was no Mary Kay back then. LOL) The little girl with Ann might have been a cousin since they were dressed alike for the photo.

  2. I would love to know who designed/illustrated your postcard because it is very similar in facial features to the one I posted - rosy cheeks - high arched eyebrows, the puppy...what do you think?

  3. It sometimes happens with a death in the family that you lose track of the family that is left behind like that.

  4. That’s really sad but she clearly loved you very much. The years of caring sem to have taken their toll as I would have said that was the proud grandma. Poor Catherine.

  5. As Wendy surmised, the older girl in the photo must be a close relative or friend for the two girls to be dressed identically like that. I would have guessed the other girl was you except I'm sure you would know yourself. :))
    It is sad Ann's mother died so young, but sadder still is the lost communication with Ann & her father. What a shame.

  6. I've lost touch with relatives too and keep hoping they'll pop back up via the internet. You were fortunate to have such a loving great aunt. I suspect she looked much better/younger in person.

  7. Good luck with tracing Anne.. But cousins of our parents can be a trouble. Recently a death notice of one of my father's cousins who I don-t think I had ever met made me count the number of first cousins Dad had on both sides of the family and I came up with over 50 names. I have only met a fraction of them unless some meetings was when I was a child and I don;t remember. A lovely story.

  8. Chubby cheeked babies must have been popular on postcards for a long time. I noticed that the postcard is a Bamforth, which was my topic this week.

  9. bamfords is just up the road from here. Those saucy seaside postcards are still produced and still sold at and sent from a host of British seaside resorts.

  10. They must have had such hard lives to look so much older than their ages (or we just have easy lives). I remember looking at a picture of my great grandmother and thinking that she looked old, only to turn the photo over to see that she was the same age as me at the time.

  11. Your great aunt certainly looks a great deal older than anyone should in her thirties! Are you 100% sure that it's her?


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