»  The Virtual Attic — Photographs — 1943-1958


This page contains links to family photographs dating from my parents' marriage in 1942, through my own childhood, to the late 1950s.

EAK This is my mother. The picture must have been taken in the early 1940s.
Baby Judith My sister Judith with Mum, sometime in late 1943.
Baby Derbs My sister Judith and me, late 1945. The frock Judith is wearing was red and white. I don't know how or why I remember that.
Derbs in the park A great family favorite, presumably taken in the summer of 1947. It shows (left to right) myself, Judith, an unknown child, and Mum, in Abington Park, Northampton. The picture was actually taken by a newspaper photographer and printed in the Chronicle & Echo, Northampton's home town paper.
Studio Portrait This is a studio portrait of me and Judith taken early in 1948. My mother treasured the original till nearly the end of her life, when she sent it to me in a letter dated Feb. 23, 1997. She supplied the following commentary:   "John would be nearly three & Judy four & a half. John's shoes were red & his little suit green & white. He was then very fair. Judy's dress I'd made, it was very pale pink chiffon over a pink slip. She looked quite angelic. They were so alike everyone thought they were twins." The reverse of the photograph has the photographer's stamp: Eric Ager of Northampton, 10 St. Giles Street, Telephone 2666.
Grandad & Grandma Grandad and Grandma Derbyshire, some time in the late 1940s, I am guessing.
Dad's last Though outsiders in Northampton society, my parents took on some of the local culture. It's a shoe town, and local people did their own minor shoe repairs on a cast-iron last. Here is Dad's last with his cobbler's hammer, features of the household as far back as I can remember, so that I suppose he acquired them soon after moving to Northampton in the early 1940s. I have had the last sand-cleaned and lacquered, and keep it on my bookshelf as a memento of my home town.

When finishing up some repetitive task, local people (and my parents) would say: "That's what the cobbler threw at his wife." (I.e. "That's the last.") This may not be a particularly Northampton saying, though, I really don't know. Throwing Dad's last at your wife, or anybody, would likely be fatal: it weighs eight pounds.
Noel & pal My brother Noel (at left) in 1949. Noel liked the Army.
Noel & pal Reverse side of the previous.
Front step Uncle Fred (Littlehales), Judith, me, and Mum, on the front step at 62 Friars Avenue. This and the following four pictures are ones I can't date with any precision. They are all from around 1950.
Grandad's garden Me, Auntie Muriel, Mum, and Judith, in the back garden at Grandad's cottage in Princess Street, Hednesford.
Derries The Derries stride out. It must have been a seaside trip; Auntie Cissie (at the right) is carrying a child's sand bucket. Cousin Michael (Derry) is next to her, and Cousin Janet is the left one of the two young women. I don't know who the other people are.
Noel My brother Noel, aged about 20.
Wicksteed Park My sister Judith, our cousin Vicky (Knowles), and me, at Wicksteed Park.
Auntie Win's garden My mother, Auntie Mu, Judith, and me. This picture and the next were both taken in the garden of Auntie Win's cottage in Stourbridge. Both are undated. I look to be about eight years old here, which would make it 1953.
Auntie Win's garden Mother and Auntie Mu. Possibly taken around the same time as the previous.
Grandad Grandad Knowles playing dominoes in (apparently) some kind of old folks club in Hednesford. This must have been early or middle 1950s. Staying at Grandad's cottage as a small boy, one of my pleasures was to get down his box of dominoes, tip them out on the floor, and build towers with them. Dominoes was a popular pub game in the West Midlands, along with cribbage and darts.
Hunstanton My sister, me, and somebody's dog. on the beach at Hunstanton, Norfolk, where we took a vacation in the summer of 1953.
Noel's wedding My brother's wedding: November 7, 1953.
Jack & Esther Knowles Grandma and Grandad Knowles, sometime in the early 1950s.
Bayko Heading into the middle 1950s here. My keenest pleasure at this point, before I discovered plastic model-plane kits ca. 1955, was my Bayko Building Set. It came with metal rods that you set upright in a green plastic base. then you slid bricks, doors, windows, and so on in between the rods to make various kinds of structures. I loved the thing. Here I am at work on the back-garden path at Auntie Muriel's house.
Germany In the summer of 1954 we went to stay with my brother Noel, who was living in married quarters near Düsseldorf, Germany. It was my first trip abroad. The house had a basement where my brother kept his spare kit. I amused myself by dressing up in odd bits of uniform.
Germany My mother, myself, Noel, and Judith, in the garden of Noel's house.
Germany We took a walk in the Black Forest.
Doorstep Me and Judith on the front step at 62 Friars Avenue, mid-1950s.
Class photograph My class photograph, probably 1956, from Far Cotton County Primary School.
Knowleses Some Derbyshires, Littlehaleses, and Knowleses in Auntie Mu's front room, around 1958. I am sitting there in the foreground, with Grandma and Grandad Knowles behind me. Left to right standing are Ron's wife (Ron is Fred Littlehales' brother), Uncle Bill (Knowles), my sister, my mother, Auntie Mu, Uncle Fred, and Auntie Gladys (Bill's wife).