Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 7 September 2012

Ladies and Gentleman

I confess. The above image is not genuinely sepia and I cheated a little. It is over twenty years old though, so still qualifies for entry in this week's Sepia Saturday, where Alan gave us an image of two elegant ladies and a gentleman posing in beautiful clothes. This is the nearest I could get. It's me and my offspring enjoying a day at Morwellham Quay in Devon in July 1992. This is another of those wonderful living museums where you can step back in time, wear period costume, and visit the farm and copper mine of the Victorian age. There are many images and videos on the web for those who are interested, suffice it to say we remember the day as being great fun. I've only recently unearthed these pictures to the amusement of my grown-up children. My son couldn't resist commenting on his height (he now towers over me of course) and I said it was because I cut his feet off (not literally) as the trainers gave the game away. Thank goodness for the stovepipe hat, worthy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Here we are in glorious technicolour.

















At the other end of the scale, and to remind us that life back then was not all velvet muffs and pretty hats, we also dressed as Cornish tin miners. The miners and their families, by contrast, had a very hard life which you can read about here. We had a lot of fun on the day but my son still remembers that his miner's costume had a candle in the hat. Did you notice I'd swapped hats with my daughter in the picture on the right?



Even the grandparents got into the spirit of the things. Mum still recalls my son, acting the part and making us all laugh with his 'mock Cornish' accent as he asked for a 'paaaasty'! Cornish pasties were the staple diet of the miners and you can read some of the traditions, including folklore and legend associated with them at the Proper Cornish website.


If you want to see what other Sepia Saturday contributors have found in their family albums, why not join us?

I had some trouble reposting a blogpost this week. Some people saw it, some didn't and it hasn't appeared in everybody's blogroll, or if it did the link didn't work. I reposted it for a special reason, so I would be delighted if you scroll down after reding this post and have a look. Or click this link. One of Our Aircraft is Missing.

25 comments:

  1. Hello:
    Well, the first photograph could certainly have fooled us. You really were 'living history' when you visited the museum and donned the appropriate clothing too. I have never heard of this before but it is surely a way to make sure that nobody forgets their visit.

    Your reference to the Cornish tin mines reminds us of a wonderful dinner we enjoyed with friends in Cornwall at a restaurant which had been developed from the buildings of an old mine. It was incredibly atmospheric and, as dusk came and shadows crossed the landscape, it all became strangely moving.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally bought that first photo. You could have strung me along for quite awhile. I love living museums - absolutely worthwhile every time I've been to one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great pictures and a great idea of this museum. It's about time we go to Devon too. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, new follower. I think now I want a candle on my baseball cap.... Thanks!

    The Overnight Bestseller
    http://michaeljmccannsblog.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete
  5. In all the years we lived in Cornwall, we never made it over the border to Morwellham Quay. Might have to put that right next year, with the grandchildren in tow.

    Love the period costumes, particularly the stovepipe hat. I wonder if they'll ever make a comeback?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh how cool! I'd love to do something like that. The costumes are quite good.

    Dee @Shakin' the Family Tree

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds a good place. Ive been to the welsh folk museum and they do something similar.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What great fun - I would loved to have worn those costumes. I was fooled with the first one, until I started reading your account of your day out.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very cute photos of a nice Museum Day. I love museums, especially the outdoor museums.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh my gosh Marilyn, this is just wonderful. What a fun time I just know you all had. I so love these kinds of things around here too. You know it's funny the first photo, from 1992, had you all taken one of those with a more true to the day (way back when) and replaced it with a more blank expression,(never such a happy smile) the way you worked sepia magic it would be hard to tell that it was snapped in 1992! Excellent post.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow! How fun that must have been to dress up in period costume. It sounds like quite a learning experience too, as your son remembers the hat with the candle.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We have a place like that with silouettes of Stephen Foster and Jeannie and all the characters in the Stephen Foster Story. I was fooled in the first photo too.'Great job.
    QMM

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have been to several historic village museums but never one where they had clothes available for dress up. A novel idea for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my, this is so wonderful! We have living museums, but no costumes to dress up in as we visit them. What a great idea. Even the pictures that are in color look old, because of the clothing and the buildings. A candle on a hat? How dangerous is that? Is that your Mom and Dad in the last picture? This was a fun and fascinating post, and I would sure like to visit that place someday.

    Thanks for sharing with us, Marilyn.

    Kathy M.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Here is Titania's comment which my fat fingers deleted on the iPad! Why do they put 'publish' and 'delete' so close together?

    With the first picture I thought it was a genuine sepia, as you all look so authentic, so much fun to dress up. As you said for many people it was not fun and a easy life, especially in the mines. In fact it was dreadful. The pictures are a real pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Our family took a similar tour of living museums at a lead mine in Kilope, Durham county and a coal mine in West Virginia. Makes one appreciate the advance of civilization.

    I am inspired by your photo trick to pursue an idea I have about color vs. sepia. Can we make sepia "color" swatches that might give clues to the hue and color of fabrics in old photos?

    ReplyDelete
  17. These are really fun images. I wish I'd known about this place when I visited Devon

    ReplyDelete
  18. It was a surprise to see how bright the costumes were after looking at the black and white photo. It looks like a fun place to visit.

    ReplyDelete

  19. And here's Queen Bee from 'Bee's Knees Daily', who had problems of her own leaving comments this week.

    What a fun learning experience for your family at this living history museum. Such a stark contrast to dress up in both the dressy Victorian costumes and then change into the Cornish miners clothing. Apparently it made quite an impression on your son, since he remembers it so well. Fun post!
    http://www.beeskneesdaily.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. You certainly got into the spirit of things here!! Cool pics!!
    My mom had one of those things, that hand warmer, in mink...
    with the mink coat and mink pillbox hat too!!
    :D~
    HUGZ

    ReplyDelete
  21. It's a surprise to see the sepia picture in full blown colour. It's strange to realise that the people shown on my own collection of 19th century photographes probably are also wearing colourfull clothes.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Museum AND dressing up, a winning combination. The candle in the hat really points up how primitive and dangerous mining was in those days.

    ReplyDelete
  23. You do wonderfully with the photos. Isn't it strange how a tint can transport us through time. Sepia sends us back 100 years whilst an over-done technicolour rushes us back to the 50s. I wonder what the colour, shade or tint of the early 21st century will be in decades to come.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love living museums- as you know I have just blogged about Beamish but really must go to this one too!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great photos Marilyn - 'adjusted' or not. Thanks for the links to the museum site and Proper Cornwall. Did you go on the mine trip underground? I spent an evening in a coppere mine near Alderley Edge it was an enlightening experience crawling through some of the narrow tunnels. The total blackness was never to be forgotten when our guide made us switch of our safety lights in on eo the huge caverns

    ReplyDelete