Thursday, 1 October 2015

The picture that revealed a family story ................. the wedding photograph of Miss Lomax of Hough End Hall

The wedding of Miss Lomax and Mr Kitchin, May 1915
This is the wedding photograph of Ethel Mary Lomax of Hough End Hall and Harold Kitching and it is a picture I have long hoped would turn up.

For here are the faces of people I have come to know during the last four years of researching the story of the Hall and along with another thirty or so pictures begin to help tell the story of the Lomax family who were tenant farmers at Hough End from the late 1840s through to 1940.

Until the family album turned up last week we had just one photograph dating from around 1900 which showed the children in the family garden.

There were of course the census returns, some birth, marriage and death certificates along with a few newspaper cuttings but nothing which put you face to face with any of them.

But the photograph album has changed all of that and now I can look upon Samuel and Ethel Lomax and begin to see how the children changed as they grew up.

That said there are many in the album who I cannot identify and I guess a few who will forever remain a mystery but others will come out of the shadows.

Of these there are some fine pictures of Evelyn Lomax in the grounds of the Hall in the 1930s.

She was the youngest of the children and was born in 1910, married Thomas Milburn in 1946 and died only in 2002.

Sadly she doesn’t appear on the wedding photograph because at the moment the photographer set up his camera she ran away hiding  somewhere deep inside the hall or maybe in one of the out houses.

Now that is a loss but before she died she did record the names of some of the wedding party all of which offers up rich pastures of research.

In time we may even discover how Harold and Ethel met.

I know that in 1915 he was living at number 14 Oak Avenue and gave his occupation as a merchant and that he grew up on Cheetham Hill Road.

Evelyn Lomax with Bobby the dog at the hall sometime in the 1930s
So had they come across each other at some social event or was it a chance meeting when Mr Kitchin was out walking past the hall?

Idle speculation maybe but it’s what makes looking into other people’s lives just that bit more fun and even if I don’t ever discover that little mystery I know in time I will find out where they set up home and a bit of what happened to them.

Already I know a some of the other wedding guests and a heap more about Evelyn so the rest is for the future, but it does underline that simple observation that you should never be surprised at the way something unexpected can turn up out of the blue.

And that means that the Lomax family and their time at the Hall has just got a lot more interesting.

Pictures; the wedding of Miss Lomax and Mr Kitching, 1915 and Evelyn at the Hall circa 1930s from the family album of Evelyn nee Lomax Milburn donated by Mrs D Miller

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