So I am grateful to Alan who over the last few weeks has tirelessly dug out, scanned and sent me photographs of his family from the beginning of the last century.
They are a unique collection for not everyone has bothered to save these pictures. Often they have no date and no name so that within a few generations their meaning is lost and they run the risk of being thrown out.
In the case of this collection Alan knows the people staring back at us and armed with a name and a few brief biographical details it is possible to bring them out of the shadows.
But today rather than concentrate on the person it is the picture that fascinates me. From the moment the first commercial photographers set up shop they were keen to make their portrait pictures just that bit different.
And so along with varied and often exotic props came the backcloth and of course where better to be photographed than Blackpool.
By the 1890s it was the seaside resort of choice not only for the North West but for all over the North and it could count on upwards of 3 million staying for the full week.
That said it is equally possible that the picture was actually taken within sight of the Tower, giving that week away just a permanent reminder of the sun sand and I hope no rain.
Picture; courtesy of Alan