just an old-fashioned girl

Hello and welcome. I'm glad you dropped by. If you´re looking for something a little nostalgic of bygone eras with a timeless elegance and a little modern twist – in other words, something slightly “retro” – then you should feel right at home here in my shabby chic room. Month by month, there will always be something new to see so I hope you´ll enjoy your stay and come back again soon.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Making Assumptions

I´m sure that like me you sometimes come across old photos, turn them over and are disappointed to find little or no information about what I think of as the 3 Ws, namely who, where and when. Often we have to make informed guesses based on prior knowledge. For example if we know who the people are we can often guess when the photo was taken by their approximate age at the time or the style of their clothes. Where it was taken can be more difficult unless, for example, it´s on the beach and we know of a favourite family seaside resort. I recently found a photo on the back of which someone had simply written “Luss”. It may sound cryptic but it turned out to be the only clue I needed because from that place name I was able to fill in all of the gaps.

To begin at the beginning, my maternal grandfather started the first bus service in Glasgow driving day trippers from the city to Loch Lomond in the Trossachs, the region between the Scottish Lowlands and the Highlands.

As you can see by clicking on the map, the town of Luss is on the west bank of the loch. The fact that my grandpa is wearing a bus driver´s uniform in the photo tells me that this was obviously a business trip. Apart from that, the 5 people in the photo are split into 2 distinct groups with my grandparents and my mother on the right and an unknown lady and a girl on the left. I can assume from this that the 2 unknowns were passengers on the bus and the photo was very likely taken by the lady´s other companion, maybe her husband. Finally, from the approximate age of my mother, I can guess that the date was 1926.

I created this page using a background and some elements which may eventually morph into a kit. As you can see, the original photo, which I´ve tucked under the frame, is faded and rather blotchy. However, I did a little restoration work on the family group by removing the worst of the blots and scratches and I also heightened the contrast. I´m quite pleased with the way it looks now that I´ve cropped it...just as if it was meant to fit into that frame! I may also create a page sometime using the unknown lady and her daughter(?) She´s so stylishly dressed in the latest fashion - at a time when ladies thought nothing of hanging dead animals around their necks - and the girl is holding a doll which is also wearing a 1920s costume complete with a dropped waistline and a cloche hat. What a treasure this photo turned out to be!


  1. I must be having a senior moment! I could have sworn that I left a comment on this earlier today when I took a quick look at your page! Oh well, It's been one of those days. I think you did a fabulous job with the photo... what a treasure for you to have of your Mom as a little girl and of your grandparents. It's great that you know so much about the photo... I hope you are going to journal about it on your page. But I guess you have your blog which others can read. I have to go clean the kitchen before Jeff gets home with the pizza, but I wanted to leave you a quick note. Love the page! :)

  2. I'm remembering another bus-related forebear, but I think that was Nelleke. You must have heard all manner of stories about your grandfather's bus line. Sounds fascinating. The photo is such a treasure and you did indeed fix up the detail well and match it with such a lovely frame. Got a big laugh about the dead animals! And now it seems you're creating another delicious set of goodies.

  3. I do recall your grandfather's service and so glad that you were able to piece together the people and era of this wonderful photo. However, my interest is peaked on the doll the little girl is holding...maybe we will see a closeup some day though it looks as it will need some touch up as well. Great job with the restoration of your grandparents and mom's portion of this treasure of a photo. Interesting new paper and elements, too!

  4. Oh...forgot to mention how much you mother looks like a little Shirley Temple with her hair, outfit, and the adorable knees!