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!