Family Photos

This is a photo I took of a badly-deteriorating print. It is a photo of my mother, nee Violet Anne Pallen. It was originally taken in a photographic studio, in London. The year was 1939, and my mum was just fifteen years old. She had already been at work for a year by then. Can you imagine your children holding down a full-time job aged 14 today? I can’t.

Two months after she was handed this print, Britain was at war with Germany. By the time peace arrived in the summer of 1945, Violet was twenty-one. Her late teens and formative years had been spent with the reality of bombing, destruction all around, and the terrors of war that she never forgot.

She was smiling hopefully into the camera, that summer of 1939. She had no idea what awaited her in the future.

I have a case full of old family photos, and I have decided to spend time documenting them. The prints are degrading, and they might soon be lost. I have no negatives, so will have to photograph each one, and save the images digitally. I will eventually pass them on to younger relatives, in the hope and trust that people like my Mum will not be forgotten over time.

The newest addition to our family has been named Violet, after my mum. To be honest, that moved me immensely, and almost broke my heart, at the same time. I loved my mum unreservedly, and still do. She was my best friend, until the day she died. I will make it the business of my later life to ensure that baby Violet remembers the woman she was named after.

If any of the other photos are of general interest, I will post them in a series on this blog.

59 thoughts on “Family Photos

  1. Great photo Pete ๐Ÿ™‚ That is a beautiful picture of your mother ๐Ÿ™‚ As to whether you want to post more old family photos, be our guest ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, keep up the great work as always ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Violet is a beautiful name. In Greece the tradition is to pass names on to grandchildren, and a lot of people follow that. Make sure you label the photos properly, and maybe a little explanation of who each person is. I found an old album of my motherโ€™s, and I wish I knew who a lot of the people on them are. Itโ€™s very frustrating.

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    1. Thanks, Marina. Unfortunately, most of the photos are undated, and have no names on them. I will have to search my memory banks to provide the names of those I still remember. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  3. Your mother was a beautiful girl, Pete. My mom’s oldest sister also when to work as a maid in a big house when she was fourteen. The next sister down went to train to become a nurse when she was fifteen. It was really hard work in those days and nurses and to clean and prepare meals as well as other jobs. My mom only started working when she was 18, times had changed a bit by then as she was one of the youngest children.

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    1. Thanks, Robbie. My Mum was working in an office of a warehouse company at the London Docks. She started doing general office work, then trained to be a book-keeper, doing accounts. She was expected to hand over most of her weekly wage to her parents, as times were still quite hard indeed.
      I went to work when I was 17. Those extra three years spent at school were so valuable, I couldn’t imagine leaving at 14 and having to adjust to life as an adult.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Maggie. I confess that this post made me cry too.
      I have no doubt you will be remembered with just as much love.
      And thanks to technology, there will be more photos and videos too.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers, Terry. I don’t have scans, and this is the first one so far. But I will send you this photo, and see what you can do with it.
      Love to all, Pete. x
      (Let me know how things are with the family mate)

      Like

  4. Lovely tribute to your mum – who was clearly a very beautiful young woman. I’m gradually sorting and scanning old family photos, too. Dad was very keen on taking slides and I certainly want to save the ones he took when we lived on Islay. I need a different scanner, though, and a lot of patience. The younger generation may not think they are interested in old family photos but one day they will be so we have to act now before it’s too late.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Now we have a new baby in the family named after my Mum, it has prompted me to sort out these photos. I don’t have a scanner, so will just take digital photos of them with my camera.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Pete. Beautiful lady! When I did my photo posts for Toritto’s Life I scanned each photo into my computer on an HP wireless printer/scanner and then with Windows 10 was able to make them look as good and in some cases better than the originals. They are all now forever preserved in the ether of the internet. Good luck and have fun. Besties.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. You could probably find someone to restore these images, so that they look like new. A lot can be done on a computer these days! Very nice photo, by the way. And you’re to be commended for your love and devotion to your mom.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. She would have been overwhelmed, Maddy. I can imagine her tears.
      It’s a great regret for me, that she will never know. But I adore my cousin for doing that, and she now has my undying devotion. Luckily, she deserves it! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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