Florence May was my maternal grandmother, the bright young girl who eventually metamorphosed into the dreaded Mrs Kipper. Around the turn of the 19th century, her older brother, my great-uncle Charlie, worked in service at 62 Montague [sic] Square , London (number 34 was once leased by Ringo Starr). From the days when a postcard was the equivalent of an SMS text message, these are some of May’s words written around the time of the Longparish school photograph:
Dear Charlie – I thought you would like a postcard instead of a letter because you can put it in your album. Barton played against Wherwell. Wherwell got two goals and Barton never got one. Mr Atkins and two more chaps that played for Wherwell nearly got up to fighting. Longparish played against Laverstock. Longparish got one and Laverstoke got five.
With love from your loving sister May xxxxxxxx
Another card sent around the same time:
My Dear Brother Charlie thank you ever so much for the chocolates and bannas [sic] you sent me they are so nice and beautiful. I got them quite safe and sound the other morning. I am so pleased with them that I do not know how to thank you for them. I will write a letter on Sunday so you must expect one on Monday morning. I think I must close now hoping you are quite well with love from your ever loving sister May. I have got a lot of news to tell you on Sunday.
Florence May is stood to the far left of this raggedy bunch and highlighted top right and bottom left. ‘Look stern for the camera’ seems to be the order of the day for most of them – maybe it was consequence of long exposure times but I can’t see why a smile would be so difficult to hold – at least one of them proves me right 🙂
(click on the image to enlarge)