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, 23 May 2014

Bedding In


The picture above is of my room at Bishop Grosseteste Teacher Training College in Lincoln. I had it all to myself, a real luxury having shared for the previous two years. It also had a washbasin and mirror and a desk and chair but was a bit on the small side. For my fourth year I moved to a more spacious one at the other end of the corridor. I’m no longer in touch with those lovely girls, so I hope they don’t mind me sharing this picture. I can barely remember their names; Maggie, Jeanette, Debbie and Joan, I think that’s right.

We would usually congregate in one room or another, although we did share a little ‘common room’ to each four bedrooms which had easy chairs and a coffee table (and, being the 70s, was plastered with iconic posters of Robert Redford and Che Guevara!).

Look at those coffee mugs and that 70s bed cover and matching curtains (drapes) as well. Can you see my trendy patchwork suede bag hanging above Maggie’s head? I had a mini-skirt to match. I don’t know what the picture is behind Maggie’s shoulder but it helps me to match this picture with the prompt for Sepia Saturday this week. Taken from the State Archives of North Carolina about 1917. It’s a room much more sparsely decorated; an iron bedstead and bare wooden floorboards. A picture on the wall which looks like a man in uniform and could be the girls’ idol, the equivalent of Robert Redford.


No posters are visible however, instead we have college pennants which would have been just as important to these girls. I couldn’t resist scrolling through The Knowles Collection, from which this image comes, and immediately found myself sidetracked by accompanying pictures which come from ‘The Peace College'. There are more of girls in their dorms, and, like the image above, the odd ukulele or two puts in an appearance. Apparently it was ‘The Ukulele Club’ of Meredith College (or Peace College).


And there are more pennants(and ukuleles) and girls on beds and pictures on the walls in other pictures in the collection.


I spent a happy hour or two scrolling through the Knowles Collection, donated in the mid-1960s by antiques dealer J C Knowles who saved them for us by accepting an offer from a Mr Leavister (himself in the business of salvaging from demolished homes) of a box of old glass negatives. Very few of the subjects are identified, but the girls (and their ukuleles) also appear in the year book of the Peace College. If you decide to follow my example and click the link to this collection, be prepared for some unexpected and somewhat shocking images suddenly appearing amongst the jolly college groups and ethereal brides. The wonder of Flickr and of Sepia Saturday.  Why not jump aboard and discover the delights that other Sepians have shared, room for one more; "There were ten in the bed and the little one said......"



19 comments:

  1. As ever, Nell, a very nicely composed post. Love that first photograph. I wonder if any of the 'girls' are on Facebook?

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    1. I’m almost afraid to go and look.

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  2. Now I'm wondering about those shocking images hidden among the others...

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  3. Okay, you suckered me into looking over the Knowles Collection to find those somewhat shocking photos, but except for what appears to be a baby laid out in a see-through casket (?), I didn't see anything even remotely shocking??? Maybe I wasn't looking in the right place? Be that as it may, I liked your first picture of the gals on the bed in your room & had to laugh. I had blouses very much like the two on the right - in fact I recognized the plaid right away all these years later! :))

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    1. I must admit that the baby laid out in the middle of other fairly innocuous images, was the one that caught me out. But with that ‘spoiler’ will others now go and see for themselves ;)

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  4. Just for the record, I chose my title for this week before I read your post!
    Love the first photo - I was in high school in the 70s but the clothes and rooms were the same!

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  5. I hope Joan was rolling her eyes because of the way she had her head and not because she was having her photo taken. There's a pair of flared jeans as well.

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  6. I guess I should go look at the other photos too...

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  7. You caught my attention with your title! It would be fun to see if they were on Facebook, surely a riot! A fine collection for us, thank you!

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  8. For me the coffee mugs gave it away, this is a 70s photo! The 'Knowles Collection' sounds like a new album from Beyoncé.

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  9. Love that coffee mug. Every now and then you can find similar ones at Value Village and I'm almost tempted - for nostalgia sake!

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  10. Full marks for a perfect match to the theme. Meredith College is a short walk from NC State University where my son went for an art degree. It is still an all women's college (under graduate). Now I'm hooked on the Knowles Collection too.

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  11. Your first photograph and the detail you picked out of it took me back to my 60's and 70's, especially the brown curtains and bed cover, and the orange and brown mug. I remember those type of bags, too. A very nostalgic post!

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  12. A fine post. It must have been some kind of tradition to congregate in the corner of a dorm room for a photograph. The background details always get the attention; the cup, the purse, the curtains.

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  13. Great photograph to match the prompt - you're only missing a pennant and a doll or two, and maybe the odd uke, but I don't mean to quibble, especially as you've explained why the latter appear in the 1917 photo collection.

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  14. Fascinating archive - and it is somehow delightful that girls of this age always behave in the same ways, even though the details are different! It made me think of myself at about 14.

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  15. Once I started looking at the photos I couldn't stop!

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  16. Now that you've posted a picture of college friends that you can barely remember, they'll probably suddenly find you on Facebook.

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