Sunday, 4 July 2010


My Dad took this photograph of my Mum on the day they first met - 1st June 1947. My Mum is 20 years old and she was at a picnic arranged by my Aunty Doll who was doing a bit of sneaky match-making! The picnic took place at Chingford Mount but, prior to going there they'd met at the house my Aunt lived in which had previously been a house for 'Fallen Women' and still  had the bars at the doors and windows. My Mum saw my Dad standing by the fireplace wearing his army uniform and her first thought was 'that is the man I am going to marry'. My Dad chatted her up and cleverly arranged a date by taking this picture and then arranging to show it to her when it had been developed and printed. Mum had made her own skirt and crocheted her hat and as she put it 'bought the blouse for tuppence hapenny'. She was wearing her sister Dos's shoes because she didn't have anything decent of her own. By the end of August they'd got engaged using Dad's demob money from the army - £30 to be exact. They  were married in the September of the following year. My Dad gives talks about his career as a photographer and always puts this photograph up saying how it is the most important photograph he ever took.

Hard to imagine that what I consider a treasure trove of family memorabilia was found in my parents shed after extensive searches of all the more likely places.

Also hard to imagine, is the depth of the conversations they evoke with my parents. I have honestly learnt more about their early lives looking at these pictures with them recently than I've ever known before. It is such a relief that their shed isn't damp!


  1. What a great story. I'm so glad for you that you are getting these stories and have found the photos. Best wishes for more.

  2. Isn't it funny how she just knew that he was the one she'd marry? My mom said it was the same for her.

  3. What a beautiful story, gives me goose bumps. How special is that that you are able to get the story of the photograph from your parents. That will live on forever.

  4. I love this story, the picture of your beautiful Mum and the bit about what clothes she was wearing and why. Your Mum and Dad were clearly meant to be together, such a sweet love story.

    More Penny, more!


  5. Thanks for sharing this,Penny; it's a beautiful piece of everyday life that could so easily get lost. I'm glad your parent's shed is leak proof!

  6. Wonderful pictures and stories. fantastic blog- hope to see more! :0)

  7. How fortunate you are to have these wonderful photographs! I am positively GREEN with envy!

  8. This is an awesome blog, Penny. I love that your father says this was the most important photo he ever took. swoon!! so romantic!

  9. This tugs at my heart strings.
    I love the idea that your Dad took a photograph of your mum on their first date.
    So romantic.
    P.S. I am a sucker for old photographs

  10. Awesome picture. She's so pretty!!!

    I really like this blog (read a few entries, but when I saw this picture I HAD to comment:) - looking forward to reading more!