Summer Holidays 1912 - An insight into my Great Grandmother's childhood

Along with documenting family trips, there is a lot of material from home and the surrounding area. My Great Grandmother grew up at Sindlesham Mill in Reading (which I believe is now a Best Western hotel) it's on a river and as you can imagine they spent a lot of time on the water - they also had a tennis court. I have been told that a relative from that branch of the family was a very early winner of the female of the Wimbledon women's doubles - however I can't seem to verify that based on the surnames I am familiar with. It's quite possible that it's a more loosely related member of the family I am unfamiliar with, or it's one of those family moments which doesn't quite relate to real life. There are quite a few in my family...

It's difficult to work out who is who in this collection. I originally thought this was my Great Great Grandfather, however I am not so sure at the moment.

And my Great Great Grandmother

The girl to the left on this photo, looks a lot like my Great Grandmother. It does lend weight to them being who we originally thought.

They could of course be her grandparents, in which case they would be my Great Great Great Grandparents. I am trying to get a hold of my father's copy of the family tree at the moment to verify when and where they lived.

My grandmother comes from a long line of priests, ministers, and other church related line's of work. From the looks of a lot of the photos they lived a comfortable lifestyle. I have read newspaper accounts of the weddings they attended and the social circles that they were familiar with. They certainly weren't a poor family.

Throughout the collection there are plenty of beach photos. I always associated my grandfather's side of the family with the sea - due to a lot of them going into the Navy. However, it appears my grandmother's side also loved the water. I wonder if that's one of the things that drew them together originally.

One of these girls I am sure is my Great Grandmother - it's hard to tell which one with the hats!

I've spent all this time talking about the people in the photos. However, who is taking them? This is something that I can't really be sure of - I know that John Howkins is listed on a lot of the wallets, I can assume that he was the photographer. However, he didn't survive Passchendaele - who then took the photos later in the 1900s. Whoever it was, the photographer was clearly keen to capture the world around them along with recording memories of their family for future generations.

Whether this was an intentional slow shutter, or a product of the older camera technology. It's an effect you don't often see in the age of camera phones and fancy cameras. It's too easy to freeze the world in an instant and not think about how to show it full of life.

I know this isn't the greatest of framed photos. However, I do like the effect of the poorly preserved negative and the contrast of the rocks and cliff against the sea.

You can see more photos from this set on 500px