Kelvingrove, Glasgow & The Cheerful Cherub.

Kelvingrove, Glasgow & the Cheerful Cherub.


photos by Pete Grafton


Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Ordnance Survey 1 inch to a Mile map, 1909.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, circa 1914. A Salmon postcard.

Kelvin Way Bridge and Bowling Greens, near Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, late 1920s/early 1930s. A Valentine postcard.


Near the north side of Kelvin Way Bridge, leading to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Kelvingrove Park near Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, with Glasgow University in the background.


Kelvin Way Bridge

Kelvin Way Bridge and bowling greens. Photo taken from a high vantage point of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Circa late 1920s/early 1930s.

Kelvin Way Bridge was built some years after the opening of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.  Spanning the River Kelvin it was designed with figurative bronze sculpture groups representing themes of Industry and Commerce, Inspiration, Peace and War, Navigation and Shipbuilding, and Philosophy.

Smiling bronze cast woman, Kelvin Way Bridge, with Glasgow University in the background.

Bronze cast detail, Kelvin Way Bridge, “Paul R. Montford”.  Australian born Paul Montford was the sculptor of the bronze figures on the bridge.

Bronze cast detail, Kelvin Way Bridge. “A.B.Burton”. A.B.Burton of Thames Ditton was the company that cast the bronze sculptures.


Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Looking towards the front and main entrance of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, from the east. The Oak Tree motif is from the Glasgow Coat of Arms

The steps leading up to the main entrance of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Retrospective Exhibition of Linda McCartney photographs July 5, 2019 – January 12, 2020.

Handrail by the steps of the main entrance, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Looking towards the front of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, from the west.

Looking across to Kelvin Hall.

East side of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, detail.

Above the rear (River Kelvin side) entrance of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Woman reading, bronze sculpture, rear entrance to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Door detail, rear entrance to the Kelvingrove Art gallery and Museum.

Ghost on the balcony, Main Hall, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Cheerful Cherub, by the rear entrance of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.


Photos Pete Grafton, November 2019.


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Small Town USA, 1950 – Nazareth, Pa.

Small Town USA, 1950 – Nazareth, Pa.

photos from the petegrafton collection

‘X’ marks the spot – Nazareth, Pa.   Map: Grateful acknowledgment Collins Atlas of the World, 2003 edition.

Photos taken circa 1950 in the Nazareth, Pennsylvania area by a local press or freelance photographer, using a Speed Graphic ’45’ camera, the standard press camera of the time.

Speed Graphic 45 camera.

 4″x5″ sheet negatives were used in the press Speed Graphic 45.  The photo scanner used for the negatives reproduced here has a maximum photo scan size that results in the 4″ x 5″ being cropped. However, no significant photo details are lost, but it explains the semi-panaramic nature of the full photo that will be seen below. The format below will first show details from within the full photo, followed by the full photo itself.

How do we know this is Nazareth, PA?  The U.S. eBay vendor that I bought the negatives from described them as being taken in the Nazareth and Easton area.  Nazareth (and neighbouring Hecktown)  is confirmed in details in some of the photos. Others, with no visual identification, are assumed to be in that area.


When these photos were taken in 1950 the top movies of the year were Walt Disney’s Cinderella, King Solomon’s Mines with Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr, Spencer Tracey as The Father of the Bride, MGM’s musical Annie Get Your Gun, and Bette Davis  in the Oscar winning All About Eve. Hit tunes of 1950 included Goodnight Irene,  Nat King Cole’s Mona Lisa, The Third Man theme, from the Joseph Cotten film, and Sam’s Song from Gary and Bing Crosby.

The Jolly Vets, Old Dutch Tavern.   “Vets” is likely “Veterans”, as in Second World War.

The Jolly Vets, Old Dutch Tavern, proprietor J. Scrampf.

The Jolly Vets, Nazareth area, circa 1950.

Dutch?  “Up until the mid-1900s, a large part of Nazareth’s population was of German origin, better known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.  “Dutch” being a corruption of the word “Deutsch”, which is German for “German.” The Pennsylvania Dutch were spread throughout many counties of southern and central Pennsylvania. In addition to the modern nation of Germany, Pennsylvania Dutch from Germany, many also came from Switzerland and the Alsace, region of France.” –  With grateful acknowledgement to the Nazareth Pa Wikipedia entry.

The Al Kurtz band (and tuba player) at a formal dinner, Nazareth, circa 1950. 

Detail of the tenor player and piano player, Al Kurtz band playing at Nazareth, circa 1950.

It’s ten to eight. Waitress seen below, and on the clock “For Good Jewelery and Repairing try Saeger, Nazareth, Pa”.

Bowling and snooker at the club of Loyal Order of Moose No 623, believed to be Bloomsburg, to the north west of Nazareth. However, there is a mystery about the location as Bloomsburg is the same distance as New York is to Nazareth – fees for taking the photo would not cover the photographer’s gasoline money.  Further, there is a possibility that Lodge No 623 has since amalgamated with another Lodge.

The photographer has put their Speed Graphic on a firm surface or a tripod, and taken the photo with a long exposure time. The ghost like people have come in, or gone out of the picture, whilst the lens was open.

General view of the bowling and snooker area and bar of the Loyal Order of Moose No. 623.

Band identified by letter “J” only. This is a a larger band than the Jolly Vets and the Al Kurtz band, with a full line up of trombone, two trumpets, drummer…

.. piano player and four horn players, two with clarinets for an Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman sound.

The “J” band swings out, and what looks like a wedding cake.

Unknown location, assumed to within the Nazareth area. Fred Astaire likes Sunbeam bread.

Going by the informal nature of the clothing it is assumed that this a celebration cake, not a wedding cake. A lady slices from the tray-bake.

Youngsters in fancy dress, believed to be in the Nazareth area, 1950.

More youngsters in fancy dress, believed to be the Nazareth area, 1950.

Fancy dress for youngsters, believed to be in the Nazareth, PA area, 1950.

“Bake a Cake!” for Father’s Day window display, possibly Heckman’s Market, 1950. (I.D. on negative sleeve, assuming the I.D. and the negative aren’t mismatched)

Bake a Cake for Father’s Day and glimpse of a 1940s auto. Possibly Heckman’s Market.

Window display at possibly Heckman’s Market, circa 1950.

Atlas Tires & Accesories, car items shop with large flower display in window.

Atlas tubes and Esso Products in a shop with large floral display in the window.  The poster is advertising the 3rd Carnival of Hecktown Firemen and Sportsmen.

3rd Annual Carnival, Hecktown Firemen & Sportsmen poster, circa 1950.

The Hecktown Volunteer Fire Company was founded in 1917 and serves the Lower Nazareth Township. See

Window full of flowers, Atlas products and a poster for Hecktown Firemen and Sportsmen 3rd Annual Carnival. Circa 1950.

Formal photo of Young Girl Scouts, believed to be in the Nazareth area, circa 1950.

Formal photo of Young Girl Scouts believed to be in the Nazareth area, circa 1950.

Young Girl Scouts (Brownies) believed to be in the Nazareth area, circa 1950.

A former British Girl Guide comments on the above photos, based on her experience of being a Brownie then Guide (Scout in the US) in the U.K. 1950s/1960s.    “I am surprised that they have not got more badges on the uniform but then it is possibly a new pack. The girls at the back without uniforms have not yet been enrolled….a wee ceremony after you have learned your brownie promise etc. Only then do you get to wear the uniform! There are a lot of new ones so maybe just starting up.” (1.)

“They Gave. Will you?”. Teens, Nazareth/Easton area, circa 1950.

“America’s Token of Thankfulness – Wear a Poppy”.  Teens and adult, Nazareth/Easton area, circa 1950.

“These Co-operative Merchants are working with Santa”.  J.M.Kieffer, Hobby Hang Out, Litwak’s Juvenile Sore, Grube Betts Sporting Goods, Sherwood Products Co.  Toys for Christmas display, believed to be 1950. Nazareth area.

Christmas toys display, Nazareth area, 1950. A small toy rocking horse and a MIG 15 jet fighter.

Detail of Christmas display: a boxed Russian MIG 15 (left).

The inclusion of a Russian MIG 15 model in the display suggests the year is 1950.  The MIG 15 jet fighter came into service of the Red airforce in 1949, and at the start of the Korean war (1950) was the fastest jet fighter in the world, outclassing  U.S. aircraft until the North American F-86 Sabre was introduced. It is not known whether there was a US news embargo on reporting the superiority of the MIG 15 until it was countered by the F-86 Sabre. On the display box the MIG 15 has just downed an unidentified plane.  It’s possible that in a 1951 Childrens Christmas Toys display the MIG 15 model would not be displayed.

TV repair shop with Motorola Television poster and man at repair/assembley work. Believed to be the Nazareth/Easton area, circa 1950.

Shelves in a TV repair workshop, Nazareth/Easton area, circa 1950. Note the partly assembled valve TV.

TV aerials reaching for the sky, Nazareth, circa 1950.

After the Second World War  TV developed quickly in the United States and by 1950 there were those in Hollywood who saw the danger of TV taking audiences away from their movies. This gave a boost to colour movies, wide-screen presentations and experiments with 3D film. At the time of writing, 2019, no U.S. company manufactures TVs from US made parts.

Pet Snatchers from Outer Space. Nazareth, 1950.

“Give us your pets, or else!”. Nazareth, 1950.

“You have one minute to hand them over! Or else.” Nazareth, 1950.

The high elevation of the downward looking shot suggests a flying saucer. Presumably the photographer is up a step-ladder. He’s using a strong flash – note the shadows.  Unpleasant aliens/beings from Outer Space threatening Earth were to become a theme of many 1950s Hollywood movies. Human bodies and not pets were snatched in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).

Setting off for a winter wedding in the snow. Believed to be in the Nazareth area, circa 1950.

… Setting off for a double winter wedding in the snow. Believed to be the Nazareth area, circa 1950.

Setting off for a double wedding in the winter snow, believed to be Nazareth PA, circa 1950.

One and one makes two, two and two makes four, four and four….  Formal photograph of a large family. Believed to be in the Nazareth area, circa 1950.

The young baby girl in the photo above will be, in 2019,  approximately seventy years old, four years younger than the writer of this Post.


The Moravian Church, Nazareth. Vintage postcard.

The Lutheran Church, Nazareth, Pa. Vintage postcard.

Cement works, Nazareth, Pa circa 1908.

The present population of Nazareth is around 5,746.  Nazareth was created in 1740 by religious Moravian immigrants from Germany.

In terms of jobs, historically cement mills have been a large employer in the area.

In addition, a world-wide name for excellence in acoustic guitars, Martin guitars were founded in Nazareth in 1833 by German emigre Christian Frederick Martin. The Martin headquarters and primary factory are still in Nazareth. Contemporary players of the Martin guitar include Ed Sheeran. Back in the 1960s Martin guitars were favourites with singer-songwriter Jackson C Frank (born 1943, Buffalo, N.Y.), who took a boat to England and in 1965 recorded an LP in London, with Paul Simon producing.

1908: A workshop in the C.F.Martin & Co factory. Photo Unknown. Source pininterest.

Martin & Co Inc., Nazareth.  Photo  Grateful acknowledgment C.F.Martin & Co.

A young Jackson C Frank with Elvis, Graceland, Memphis.



  1. My thanks to Elspeth Wight for her thoughts re. the photos of the young Girl Scouts.

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MV Isle of Arran

MV Isle of Arran

photos Pete Grafton

Arran, seen from MV Isle of Arran, July 10, 2019.  Bound for the mainland.

MV Isle of Arran docking at the old Brodick (Isle of Arran) pier. Summer 1985.

Two coils of rope, MV Isle of Arran, afternoon sailing July 2019.

Looking back at Arran from MV Isle of Arran, afternoon crossing, August 10, 2019.

MV Isle of Arran berthed at the old pier, Brodick, August 2013.


The Arran Ferry – Crisis and Controversey

The MV Isle of Arran, built on the Clyde at Port Glasgow entered service in April 1984, running between Adrossan, Ayrshire, and Brodick. As the volume of people, cars and lorries increased the larger MV Caledonian Isles came into service on the route in 1993, replacing the MV Isle of Arran.  In turn, with continued increase in traffic, a larger boat the MV Glen Sannox was commissioned by the Scottish National Party government (2016) to be built for the Scottish government owned Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) ferry company. The Ferguson yard at Port Glasgow, which the Scottish Government had assisted financially, won the contract, following a tendering process that included Polish and other overseas shipyards.

The MV Glen Sannox was scheducled to enter service in early 2018. However, technical problems with aspects of the build forced the shipyard to ask the government for more money to finish the contract. This was not forthcoming and the firm went into liquidation, and was nationalised by the Scottish government.  At present, September 2019, the new scheduled date for the ferry to enter service is hoped to be the summer of 2020 – two years late.  Meanwhile the crisis, and controversary surrounding the perceived causes of the crisis continues.  The Isle of Arran has a resident population of 4,629 (2011 Census), a population that balloons during the holiday seasons. For all Scottish islands a regular dependable ferry is the lifeline that sustains island life.  Arran, for instance – just one example –  now imports all its milk for human consumption from the mainland. Local dairy herds no longer give even a subsistence living for farmers. In the 1960s it is estimated that over 80%, or more of milk drunk on the island was produced on the island.

Because of the delay to the introduction of the new ferry, MV Isle of Arran has been brought back and is presently supplementing the summer sailings to Brodick with the MV Caledonian Isles.


Coming next on petegraftonphotos

Small Town USA, 1950.

Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

Photos from the petegrafton collection.

White on white, wintertime double wedding. Nazareth, circa 1950.

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Biggar Agricultural Show, July 20, 2019

Biggar Agricultural Show, Scotland*, July 20, 2019.


photos  Pete Grafton


Industrial Tent, Biggar Show, July, 2019.



Jam: Industrial Tent, Biggar Show, July, 2019.

“200 Years of Biggar Farmers Club 2008”, Biggar Show, July, 2019.


Biggar Farmers Club was founded three years after the Battle of Trafalgar. For more information about the club:


* There is also a Biggar in Canada.

Biggar, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Photo source

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Edinburgh Festival Pavements, August 2019

Edinburgh Festival Pavements, August 2019.

photos Pete Grafton.

Bridget Riley bus.

photos Pete Grafton


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1930s School Girls

1930s School Girls

photos from the Pete Grafton Collection

This is a story of three comfortably off British schoolgirls in the 1930s  – an incomplete story, a story of guesses and detection, as all photos are. “The camera doesn’t lie” is often not true. The camera captures a bit of reality in a split second. There are other ‘truths’ either side of that split second when a shutter is pressed that could emerge.  The subject matter – the “reality” – may be consciously selective, such as was in National Socialist Germany and Communist countries.  Or it may reflect the editorial policy of a newspaper or magazine.  Or the emotional/ideological bent of the freelance photographer in presenting a so-called “reality”.  Mostly, the amateur photograph of family and friends is free of the above distortions/slants of truth, but one has still to be careful in making strong assumptions in interpretating what one is looking at.

Photo negative Contact Sheet, from 1930s Schoolgirls.

Being comfortably off only means economically, not whether individual members of the family and friends are comfortably off emotionally. What can be said about the family of the three (possibly four) sisters is that they are “bookish”,  but also enjoy the seaside and horse riding; that there is a physical tenderness between the sisters, and between one of the grandmother’s and a sister.  Glimpses of their life is against a 1930s Europe of an already established Fascist government in Italy, an emerging National Socialist government in Germany,  revolutionary tensions between right and left in France in 1934, a civil war in Spain and a totalitarian Soviet Union.  Apart from strident idealists, religious or political, (who when in power fill prisons and erect concentration camps)  most folk quite reasonably wanted to get by without being constantly told what to do by their governments, asked to fight by their governments or heavily taxed by their governments.

The collection of film negatives seem to span a five year period from 1930/31 to 1935/36.

One of the earliest photographs: Three sisters and their mother, with an aunt or family friend. Circa early 1930s. 

One of the earliest photos of the three sisters, based on the height of the youngest sister. The bulges around her knees, underneath her socks, suggest bandages, possibly because of psoriasis.  (1.)

The younger sister with one of her elder sisters. Photo probably taken by the third sister.

Mum with one of the sisters.

One of the sisters seated, it is believed, near the front door of their home.

A beginning of term photo? The youngest girl holds a magazine that on the back cover has an advertisement for The Listener magazine.

Dad, two of the sisters, possibly family friends or relatives on an outing. Taken two or so years on from the previous photo.

Dad has a book and a camera tucked under his elbow. It is assumed, by his appearance,  that he is an academic, a scientist or a medical consultant. Dad only appears three times in this collection of photos, not necessarily because he is the one taking the photos. One camera is often used by one of the elder sisters – a camera that part of a frayed  light seal shows up in the negative. (This blemish has been removed in the digital clean up of the images.)  A second camera used – we don’t know by who – does not have this characteristic feature, and the lens is a touch sharper.

Part of the frayed light seal top right. This minor blemish has been removed in the digital clean up of the photos.

Mum with a Thermos flask and one of the older daughters, possibly, going by the patches of chalk, on the Sussex Downs.

The youngest sister at the same location with a young woman who may be the eldest sister or a cousin. We will also see the possible eldest sister or cousin in a Roedean photo, and in a photo from Switzerland.

Family friend or Uncle at the same picnic.

Family friend or Uncle at the same location.

A Formal Picnic with a Grandma

Some years before: Picnic in the countryside with fine bone china and a Sunbeam 20.9 Fixed Head Coupe, manufactured circa 1930. (2)

The formal picnic, rather than the family’s usual al fresco approach is probably due to the presence of Grandma, believed to be the mother’s Mother.

Grandma at the picnic and the car.

The family picnics were usually more al fresco.

The youngest daughter with, it is assumed, her other Granny. There is a strong facial similarity between the two.

The Seaside and Water

By the seaside.

By the seaside, two of the sisters, a sandcastle and the photographer’s shadow. Identified as Kynance Cove, Cornwall.  (See below)

This, and the photo above, is Kynance Cove, in Cornwall.  My thanks to David Milward for identifying the location of this beach.

Three girls in a punt.

One of the daughters with possibly the gent we saw in the earlier el fresco picnic photo. The river could be the Thames.

A year or two on, and Mum and her three daughters in a boat off, it is believed, the English coast. The daughter on the right has a book in her lap. The function of the weathered gent at the prow is not clear. Note the two chairs and probable lack of oar locks, which suggests there is an outboard motor.

Another  year or so on: one of the daughters in the sea, and a friend. School-friend?

Roedean School

Roedean: In the background the family Sunbeam 20.9 Fixed Head Coupe. The identity of the school girls is not clear, although the girl on the right is in two other family photos.

The photo above was possibly taken on the evening before the September start of the autumn term.  Note the long shadows, suggesting late afternoon or early evening.  It’s been a warm day too, the windows are wide open (even allowing for the then public school  ethos of plenty of fresh air). And a young hand is holding a plant sprig out of the rear car window.

A cousin or the eldest sister (of four sisters) by the Sunbeam 20.9 Fixed Head Coupe, Roedean School.

It can’t be ruled out that the girl above is the eldest sister. This is the second photograph we have seen of her, and there is a third one of her to come, taken in Switzerland.  Her absence from most of the photographs could be explained by her boarding at Roedean School. Although it is possible that the family lived in Sussex, it would not have been unusual – even up to the 1950s –  to send a child to a boarding school in the same county as the family lived.

Mixed cricket, on the cricket field near the cliff, Roedean School, Sussex.

It was the photo above that clinched it that the school was Roedean, besides the architecture of the building behind the school girls above. Roedean, built by chalk cliffs near Brighton, Sussex was started by the  Lawrence sisters in 1885. It was founded to prepare girls for entrance to the then newly opened women’s college at Cambridge Univeristy: Girton and Newnham.

Two girls out of doors, reading informally, Roedean.

Roedean girl in “civvies”  sitting on a balustrade.  Courts of some kind below.

A “candid” photo of “Miss” or a senior girl. Roedean.

 Image source unknown

 Image source unknown.

Three girls in school uniform. The girl closest to us is one of the older sisters.

Three girls in school uniform. The one in the middle is one of the older sisters.

Until we can identify their uniform we can not say that the girls are at Roedean. Even allowing for different summer uniform and rest of the year uniform, it does not conform to the pictures of the possible eldest sister’s uniform, nor the uniform of Roedean girls a few years laters, seen below, from circa 1943 when the school was evacuated to Keswick in Cumberland in the north of England. It is possible, but not known whether the Roedean uniform changed at the end of the 1930s.

Evacuated Roedean girls in Keswick, circa 1943. Photo source unknown. 

Trip to Switzerland

On a cross channel boat, possibly to Ostende. The youngest daughter with scarf and book. Vacated chair on right – photo presumed to be taken by the third sister.

Burcht, near Antwerp in Flemish Belgium. Identification by window on left and hotel on right.

It is possible that the family motored through Belgium, Germany and then into Switzerland.  The following locations have not been identified, yet, though there is Flemish/Dutch style buildings in at least one.

Bruges, Belgium. 1930s.

As yet unidentified town.

As yet unidentified town.

German autobahn.

The photo above has been taken, it seems, from a bridge spanning the built, but not as yet opened autobahn.

The family in an unidentified German speaking Swiss town. The father with his characteristic spectacles and bow tie, his wife to his right. Then to their right two, possibly three of the sisters. The ‘woman’ with the hat to the right of the mother is possibly the eldest daughter, that we saw in a photo taken on the Sussex Downs with the youngest girl, and also the photo taken of her in front of Roedean School. There is a facial similarity to the mother.  The lady on the left is possibly Swiss.

Unidentified Swiss town back gardens.

The sisters with perhaps their Swiss family hosts. This is quite a few years on from the first photo we saw at the beginning of this Post. The gent to the right has a similar sartorial garb as the father of the girls, suggesting he is a professional colleague of Dad’s. The girls to the left and right of the youngest daughter seem to be twins.

The – Swiss? – twins with the same dresses. We have already seen the lady with the glasses in the previous group photo.

Dad sketching in lower Alpine pasture. In the mid distance there is a woman sitting. One of his daughters?

Two of the sisters in mid Alpine pasture with their Swiss hostess, who we have seen in two previous photographs. The elder of the two girls has bruises or insect bites on her shin.

Youngest daughter centre in cafe table scene. Her mother to her left, and behind her, left to right, the fourth eldest sister (?) and one of her middle sisters.

There are photos of another trip abroad, in either Denmark or the German Baltic coast.

Dad with his pipe and bow tie and a dusty Sunbeam 20.9 Fixed Head Coupe. Dusty perhaps because of their trip to Switzerland. The identity of the “boy” and what seems a mechanic and their relationship to Dad, who has put on workers garb to protect his suit, is not clear. Although the family is comfortably off it doesn’t seem likely that they would keep a full-time chauffeur/mechanic in the 1930s.  Pre 1914, yes.

The Danish Coast or the German North Sea Coast

Possibly either Danish coast or German North Sea Coast.

The youngest daughter sitting on a bench by a thatched cottage. Believed to be by the Danish or German North Sea coast, circa 1935/36.

The youngest daughter and one of the middle sisters playing croquet near the Danish coast or the North Sea German coast.

Stooks of corn near the Danish Coast or the German North Sea Coast, circa 1935.

Back Home.

Believed to be Sussex. A field of  sheep and a chalk track.

Variant of  sheep photo above. Believed to be Sussex. Circa 1935.

Another family al fresco picnic, probably Sussex. The youngest daughter is centre, her mother to her left, and then the possible fourth, eldest daughter. One of the middle girls to the right. Unknown gents.


Growing up: from circa 1931 to 1936.

Circa 1931.

Middle sister on a horse. Circa 1936.

Youngest (but growing up) sister on a horse. And smiling. Circa 1936.



“London’s Searchlights and Sound Locators Manned by A.T.S. By the beginning of 1942 there were searchlight batteries in the London Defence Area manned entirely by members of the A.T.S.; this group on a searchlight site is operating a sound locator, forerunner of radio-location.”   Photo Illustrated.  Source The Second Great War, Volume Six.

In December 1941 Britain was the first country to conscript unmarried women for war service in the Second World War, with a shortage in the Services, munitions, and aircraft production.  By July 1943 the upper age limit was extended to 51. The entry age had been set at 19. Many women volunteered for certain kinds of work or Services to try and avoid being conscripted to a job or Service they didn’t want.  Some parents would have concerns too as to where their daughters went, as the womens’ Services were tainted with notions of “Impropriety” (3).  Waafs were often called “officers ground-sheets”. (4)   If unmarried, all of the sisters would have been eligible for conscription. If any of the sisters had already started to work in the Civil Service or were training to be teachers they would be unmarried as married women were not allowed to work in the Civil Service or in teaching  – the “Marriage Bar”.  The ban in the UK was finally revoked in 1946.

“Liberation of Europe: W.A.A.F. nursing orderlies fly to France. These nursing orderlies are responsible for the general care of sick and injured personnel at R.A.F. hospitals and sick quarters. A number of airwomen escort patients in air ambulances.” Photo British Official Photograph.  Source Women in Uniform, D.Collett Wadge, Sampson Low, 1946. D. Collett Wadge was formerly the Senior Commander of the A.T.S.

“Airwoman (W.A.A.F.) at the control of a winch lorry used for raising and lowering barrage balloons; a steel grille protects her from injury.”  Photo Fox Photos.  Source The Second Great War, Volume Four.

“British nurses with the B.L.A. (British army of Liberation, afterwards designated the Army of the Rhine) worked in Normandy at the hospitals well up towards the front line. Shelling and bombing within half a mile of the hospital was no new experience. They wore battledress and lived in the same manner as the troops. The picture shows a group of Q.A.I.M.N.S officers carrying their kit past tents near the front-line hospital.”  Note their steel helmets they carry.  Photo British Official Photograph. Source Women in Uniform, D.Collett Wadge, Sampson Low, 1946.

“A Wren ship mechanic welding on bow door of landing craft”. Photo British Official Photograph. Source Women in Uniform, D.Collett Wadge, Sampson Low, 1946.

“A Wren steward waiting on naval officers in the wardroom which was once the library of a famous school.”  As Roedean School was requisitioned by the Royal Navy during the War there is a sporting chance this is Roedean.  Photo British Official Photograph. Source Women in Uniform, Sampson Low, 1946.

“A Wren steward at work in a naval establishment”. This is possibly Roedean School. Photo British Official Photograph. Source Women in Uniform, Sampson Low, 1946.

“Radio Wrens coming off duty at a Royal Navy air station.”  Photo British Official Photograph. Source Women in Uniform, Sampson Low, 1946.



  1. Psoriasis. Thanks to Elspeth Wight for suggesting the likely cause of the knee bulges.
  2. Sunbeam car. Thanks to Ian Reid for facilitating the identification of the Sunbeam car, and to members of the Austin A30 – A35 Owner’s Club for the identification.
  3. Impropriety. See The People’s War, Angus Calder, London, 1969.
  4. Officers ground-sheet. See You, You & You: The People Out of Step with World War 11, Pete Grafton, London, 1981.



If you spot a mistake, can identify a location, or have any suggestions do use the Leave a Comment facility at the bottom of this Post. Many thanks.


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The Elbe at Hamburg

The Elbe at Hamburg

photos by Pete Grafton.

The Elbe at Hamburg, 2014.

Park Fiction (Plastic Park), St Pauli, over-looking the Elbe, 2015.

Big boats on the Elbe, 2011.

Iced, Landungsbruken, 2002.

Iced (2), Landungsbruken, 2002.

Iced (3), Landungsbruken, 2002.

Iced (4) Landungsbruken, 2002.

Iced (5)  Landungsbruken, 2002.

Iced (6)   Landungsbruken, 2002.

Iced (7), Landungsbruken, 2002.

Elbe, Landungsbruken, 2014.

Elbe, Haben Geburtstag, May 2014.  Rickmer Rickmers foreground, Hamburg Elbe concert hall/Elbphilharmonie Hamburg background.

Elbe, Haben Geburtstag concert, May 2014.

Elbe Haben Geburtstag,  backing band, May 2014.

Strolling people, Elbe Haben Geburtstag, May 2014.

Ferry boat, Elbe, Hamburg, 2011.

Elbe vessel upstream from Blankenese, Hamburg. 2007.

Sandy foreshore, Elbe, near Hamburg, 2011.

Elbe shore building site, 2002.

Elbe shore building site (2), 2002.

Elbe shore building site (3), 2002.

Elbe shore building site (4), 2002.

Elbe shore building site (5), 2002.

Elbe reeds downstream from Wedel. 2001.

Elbe reeds (2) downstream from Wedel, 2001.

Elbe,  Uwe shipwreck, Falkensteiner Ufer, Hamburg, 2018.

The Uwe shipwreck, Falkensteiner Ufer, Elbe, Hamburg, 2018.

Muddy girl and wooden ship carcass (the Polstjernan), Falkensteiner Ufer, Elbe, Hamburg, 2018.

Idyll, Falkensteiner Ufer, Elbe, Hamburg, 2018.

The Photographer relaxes, Elbe 2009. photo Elspeth Wight.



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1950s Paris in Colour

1950s Paris in Colour


A collection of slides from the Pete Grafton Collection.


A mixture of slides (transparencies) of Paris from the 1950s, bought on ebay in 2008.   The Kodak Kodachrome transparencies were taken by American tourists to Paris between 1950 and 1958.  We know this as some slides are annotated with the date, as above, and the 1958 slides can be dated as that was the year  Kodak started to emboss the cardboard mount of the slide with the date they were processed.

The other slides in this collection were “ready-made”, from the same period, bought probably by mail order in the States, rather than from racks outside tourist spots in Paris.  The ready made slides were marketed by the American company Maston – “Maston’s Travels Around the World” series. They would be marketed in the likes of the American Photography magazine. You could travel the world from the comfort of your armchair using a 35mm slide viewer.

Argus slide viewer. Photo Source Pinterest

Maston’s probably used local freelance photographers to build up their library.

Maston. “Eiffel Tower, from New York Ave”.

Tourist. Eiffel tower, scooter & coach. 1958.

Tourist. East pillar, Eiffel Tower. 1958.

Tourist. Spar, Eiffel Tower. 1950 – 1957.

Tourist. “View from Eiffel”. 1950 – 1957.

Tourist. “Paris from Tower”. 1958.

Tourist. “Paris” (Ice cream vendor). 1958.

Maston. “Place de la Concorde.”

Tourist. “Concorde Square. 1953.”   The car with the red and black body paint is a Paris taxi.  This colouring of Paris taxis was characteristic of the period, and will be seen in further slides.

Tourist.  Champs d’Elysies. 1950 – 1957.

Tourist. Champs d’Elysies. 1958.

Maston. “Champs d’Elysies street scene”.

Tourist. Arc de Triumph. Circa 1953.

Tourist. “Arc de Triumph. July 1950”.

Tourist. “Paris. 1950”

Maston. “Luxembourg Palace and Park.”

Maston. “Church of the Madeleine.”

Maston. “Pantheon.”

Tourist. “Dome de Invalides” 1950 – 1957.

Maston. “Sacre-Coeur.”

Maston. “Montmatre Street.”

Tourist. “Monmartre”. 1958.

Maston. “Notre Dame Gardens”.

Tourist. Fishing by the Seine and Notre Dame. 1958.

Tourist. The Seine and bookstalls. 1958.

Maston. “Bookstalls – River Seine, Notre Dame background”

Tourist. Book stall. 1958.

Tourist.  1950 – 1957.

Tourist. “Flower Market. 1953.”

Mastons. “Rue des Barre’s Pass.”  (Rue des Barres, Paris 4, is between Quai de l’Hotel de Ville and Rue de Rivoli)


Colour Photos of 1950s France



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Christmas Time in Paris, Hamburg, Scotland & England

By Monckebergstr., Hamburg,  December, 2002

Christmas Time in Paris, Hamburg, Scotland & England.

Exchange Place, Glasgow, December, 2003

La Défense, Paris, December, 2010.

La Défense, Paris, December, 2010

Central London, December, 2013

La Défense, Paris  2010

By Monckebergstr., Hamburg, December 2003

La Défense, Paris, December, 2010

Leicester Square, London, December, 2013

St Pauli, Hamburg, December, 2013

St Pauli, Hamburg, December, 2010.

BHV Department Store, Rue de la Verrerie, Paris, December,  2010

Turkey judging, Dartmouth, Devon, December, 2012

Au Bon Marché department store,  December, 2010

Christmas window display, Au Bon Marché, Paris, December, 2010

Deli, High Street, Peebles, Scotland, December, 2002.

Leicester Square, London, December, 2013

Leiccester Square, London, December, 2013

Leicester Square, London, December, 2013

Leicester Square, London, December,  2013

Leicester Square, London, December,  2013

Altona Bus Station, Hamburg, December, 2003

Double decker bus, London, December, 2014

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof,  December, 2004

Yeovil Junction railway station tea room, Somerset, England, December, 2014

Tank engine, Paignton, Devon, England, December 2011


Royal Castle Hotel, Dartmouth, Devon, England, December, 2012

Rue de Sèvres, Paris, December, 2010

 Rue de Sèvres, Paris, December,  2010

Mistletoe, Dartmouth, Devon, England, December, 2012

Ottenser Hauptstrasse., Altona, Hamburg, December, 2002

Grosse Bergstrasse, Altona, Hamburg December, 2011

Ottenser Hauptstrasse, Altona, Hamburg, December, 2011

Mercado, Ottenser Hauptstrasse, Altona, Hamburg December, 2011

Ottenser Hauptstrasse, Altona, Hamburg, December, 2003

Ottenser Hauptstrasse, Altona, Hamburg, December, 2017

Ottenser Hauptstrasse, Altona, Hamburg, December, 2016

Teignmouth, Devon, England, December, 2012

Rathausmarkt, Hamburg, December, 2003

By Monckebergstrasse, Hamburg, December, 2003

Ottenser Hauptstrasse, Altona, Hamburg, December, 2016

Dawlish, Devon, England, December, 2013

Biggar, Scotland, December 2017.

Biggar, Scotland, December, 2017.

30 December, 2017, Biggar, Scotland.

30 December, 2014, Dawlish, Devon, England.


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Buchenwald Concentration Camp, June 2009

Buchenwald Concentration Camp, June 2009.

photos Pete Grafton

Former railway track leading to Buchenwald concentration camp.

The No. 6  bus to Buchenwald. Weimar, June 2009.


Buchenwald Concentration Camp is on a wooded hill near the town of Weimar in eastern Germany. It is a 10 km (6 mile) bus ride from the town.  The camp was built in 1937 and liberated by American troops in April 1945. Between 1937 and 1945 it is estimated that 56,545 inmates died, from being shot, hung, worked to death or from illness.

Former goods sidings at Weimar railway station. Some transits for Buchenwald left from here.

Site of railway track leading into Buchenwald. The railway was built by Buchenwald prisoners.

Buchenwald railway track. Work on memorial stones to those that died.

Memorial stones to four of the estimated 56,000 who died at Buchenwald.

Journey’s end: the Buchenwald terminus of the railway line. In the foreground a few artifacts found during the ‘restoration’ of the line.

The main entrance gate to Buchenwald concentration camp: Jedem Das Seine – To Each His Own.

Medical examination slab, Buchenwald.

Sink, crematorium complex, Buchenwald.

Floor of wash-up surgical area, crematorium complex, Buchenwald.

Visitor in the surgical wash-up area photographing former prisoners of Buchenwald.

Crematorium ovens, Buchenwald.

Crematorium ovens, a bouquet of flowers and a little girl, Buchenwald.

Reproduction from Visitors “Comments” book: “Danke Hitler – Thanks Hitler“, and  below it,  a Deutsche Volksunion sticker.

Gents urinals in the Buchenwald visitor centre.

Empty coat-hangers in the Buchenwald Visitor Centre cafeteria.

Visitor Centre foreground and SS NCO barracks in the background, Buchenwald.

“Effects, clothing and equipment depot building”, Buchenwald.

Levelled area of prisoners buildings, Buchenwald.

Levelled prisoners buildings, looking towards Stores Depot building, Buchenwald.

Levelled ground of prisoners buildings, looking towards main entrance of the camp, Buchenwald.

Boot scrape amongst levelled ground at Buchenwald.

Rear view of the Crematorium, Buchenwald. Note the “No Smoking ” sign and the “No dogs” sign. The  concentration camp guard-dog kennels are still intact.  The kennels are near the SS NCO barracks, shown to the rear of the photo of the Visitor Centre entrance.

Buchenwald concentration camp security van, 2009.

Buchenwald concentration camp Siemens/MAN standby emergency generator to maintain the electricity supply to the electrified fencing, perimeter searchlights and lighting within the camp.

Detail of the Siemens/MAN emergency standby generator – “MAN Dieselmotor”, Buchenwald.


Soviet Camp No.2 Buchenwald 1945 – 1950.

Because of agreements made at conferences at Yalta (January 1945) and Potsdam (July 1945) between  the USA, UK and the USSR,  the American forces  were obliged to withdraw from Buchenwald and Weimar to a line approximately 275 km (170 miles) to the west, leaving behind an area that eventually became part of the DDR (the German Democratic Republic).  Soviet forces, including the Soviet equivalent of the German Gestapo, took over. At Buchenwald a concentration camp was set up by the Soviets, known as Soviet Camp No.2. The prisoners were alleged political or “class” enemies. It was run by the Soviets from 1945 until 1950.  It is estimated 7,113 prisoners died at the camp.  They were buried in unmarked mass graves in the surrounding woods. The camp was handed over to the Soviet satellite state the DDR in 1950.

“Stalin: The Best Friend of the German People” poster in the small exhibition area dedicated to Soviet Camp No. 2, Buchenwald.

Surviving perimeter concrete fence posts of  Soviet concentration camp No.2, Buchenwald.

After the collapse of the DDR in 1990 poles were erected marking the mass graves of those who died  in the Soviet Camp No.2 Buchenwald. This wooded area is near the railway track that leads into Buchenwald Concentration camp.

Buchenwald Concentration Camp 1937 – 1945: A Guide to the Historical Exhibition. Wallstein Verlag, 2004.  This is an essential in-depth book about those who were sent to Buchenwald, life inside the camp, and the  liberation of the camp in April 1945.

The No.6 bus returning from Buchenwald to Weimar.


The photographs were taken over two days in June, 2009.  Photos taken by Pete Grafton.  For use of a photo or photos please use the Leave a Reply box below.



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