Tuesday, 23 May 2017

When Harold married Alma in the April of 1928 at Dartford

I am looking at two images which are now 88 years old.

This was the wedding celebrations of Harold Morris and Alma Minnie Shove in April 1928.

We all have pictures like this but many of them will be undated and long ago the identities of those staring back at us will have been forgotten as have the events surrounding the image.

Now even if I didn’t know some of the people and couldn’t place them in the first half of the last century they do have a fascination and an importance.

Part of this is because photographs like this so rarely see the light of day and if they do it is limited to a close set of family and friends.

What of course strikes you first off are the clothes including those above the knee dresses, soon to fall a few inches as the 1930s came along.

And then there is the half hidden garden and house a reminder that most weddings for people like Harold and Alma ended back at the house.

But even here there are questions that we might never know or have an answer to, like the name and age of the elderly woman in the corner of the second picture. I rather think she will be in her 70s or perhaps older, and so her presence takes us back to the late 1850s.

A time almost as remote from Harold and Alma’s experiences as 1928 is to us.

It is just possible that this lady may have walked to her wedding, that amongst the guests would have been those who could remember reading the stories of the old Queen’s wedding in 1840, and more than a few whose parents had talked of the rejoicing of the news of the allied victory at Waterloo and the shock they felt at hearing of the death of Lord Nelson.

And in the same way looking back at that April of 1928 is to see a totally different landscape. Alma might have been 23 years old but it would be another four months before Parliament voted to extend the franchise to her and a full year before she vote in a general election.

That general election in the May of 1929  was dubbed the flapper election marking as it did the first time that women of Alma’s age and class could help determine the next government of this country.

Nor is that all for if the newlyweds had wanted to dance to record music it would have been via a wind up gramophone, many of the films they might have watched would still have been silent ones and many such couples could only hope to aspire to one of those new and clean electric cooker.

So bring on these old family photographs.

Location; Eltham, London

Picture’s from the collection of Jean Gammons

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