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Thursday, 25 July 2013

If I could turn back time ...

A couple of weeks ago, something very strange happened.  I was browsing through Facebook when a name came up on a local page, of someone I hadn't seen for a while, so I clicked to see what they were up to. At the top of their page (as far as I got, honestly) there was a message, from someone naming other people they had worked with years ago ... people that I knew my lovely Mam had also worked with.  I contacted the lady in question, wondering if she was my Mam's friend from years ago, saying who I was, who my Mam was, and apologising in case I was completely barking up the wrong tree.  The very next day the lady contacted me to say I had unleashed all these memories for her ... they were best friends from age 14 and 15, when Agnes (Mam) joined her firm as an apprentice upholstress, until my Mam died in 1974 ... she went on to say that she had lots of photographs of my Mam and herself on various holidays they spent together.

Best Friends ... Mam on right xx



The next day she sent me some gorgeously vintage photos of my beautiful, glamorous mother.  It's funny, but when you're a child I don't think you really think much about your parents and their life before ... as you get older, that's when it becomes interesting.  My Mam died when I was 12, so I knew very little of her life and now the rest of her family have died, I thought I would never find out anything more about her.



The first photographs were taken in London at the Festival of Britain, in 1951, held to raise morale after the Second World War.  Oh, the style! Beautiful floral dresses with figure enhancing nipped-in waists that would be the height of fashion nowadays, swagger coats with huge buttons on the front, all worn with red lipstick and sunny smiles.




The next batch of pictures were taken on holiday in Ireland, where rationing had ended, so the two friends made merry, eating all the sweets and ice cream that they had so long been deprived of, and making themselves sick in the process! There were pictures taken in Dublin, and also in my home town ... Photographs that had been tinted by hand, very painstakingly.


Roses round the door ... x

On a wall two minutes from my home!

with Grandma, Aunty and baby cousin
on 'my' beach! xx

On holiday at Margate x


I am so happy that I have been given this insight into my Mam's late teens and twenties and seen the beautiful woman who I was lucky enough to have as a mother.  I don't have many photos of my parents because of circumstances beyond my control, so to have been given these pictures means the world. Thank you so much Janet, this post is dedicated to you, Mam, and best friends everywhere ...

Have a lovely day ...

Love Claire xxxx



83 comments:

  1. claire your mum was a beauty, and has the looks of that era, just like I have photos of my mum too. I think your mum also reminds me in looks of nurse jenny from call the midwife... all about that same era too! what lovely memories!

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    1. I hadn't really thought of that before, but you're right, there is a resemblance! Thanks for dropping in, you're always welcome ...

      Love, Claire xx

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  2. Wow, Claire, what a story and such wonderful photos. I especially like the one with your mum in the yellow dress. xx

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    1. That's my favourite too, Loo!

      Love Claire xx

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  3. What a wonderful post! The photos, and indeed your mum, are beautiful but to think some were taken so near where you live now! An absolute gift x Jane

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    1. I know Jane, it's lovely that they are taken so near to where I live ... the island I live on is part of my hometown, although I grew up on the mainland part (haha, we are connected by a bridge, I'm making it sound like we have to catch ferries or planes!!), but in the summer, a day at the beach was a must xxx

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  4. How wonderful for you to have these very special photos of your mum and learn more about her.
    Anne xx

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    1. Thank you Anne, lovely to see you xxx

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  5. Claire, what a wonderful post this is and the photos are so beautiful. Facebook has its detractors, but when it works in such a positive way, that's really amazing.

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    1. Facebook can be so harmful in a lot of ways, but it keeps me connected to friends and family, and it makes me sad that had I not seen that comment, these pictures would perhaps one day have been lost forever. I'm so glad they're not!

      Love, Claire xxx

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  6. Amazing ... so lucky for you to have found this lovely lady ... your mother was beautiful ... Bee xx

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    1. Thank you Bee, I'm just so glad! xx

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  7. What a lovely post.
    Julie xxxxxxx

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    1. Thank you Julie, lovely of you to drop in! xxx

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  8. Ah that made me quite teary {in the good way}, how lovely to find someone who shared so many memories with your mam,
    Nicky
    x

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    1. Hello Nicky, I feel very privileged to have met this lovely lady! xx

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  9. This is such a lovely post, it was meant to be that you found her friend on Facebook! x

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    1. Hi Hannah, it was fate! Thank yo for dropping in, you're very welcome xxx

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  10. Oh how beautiful, the world is such a small place isn't it! You must feel so happy to have those photos ... thats probably an understatement!! x

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    1. Ooh I am very happy, I have one or two treasured pictures, but never dreamt I'd have these ... I didn't even know they existed!

      Love Claire xxx

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  11. What a brilliant story...Facebook was calling out to you. EE xx

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    1. Hello EE, I have a lot to be thankful to Facey for!

      Love Claire xx

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  12. Oh Claire, I'm so happy for you! What a wonderful thing to have happened! Sometimes Facebook is a good thing isn't it; when it brings you lovely little surprises like this. Your mum looks fab and her style! That's obviously where you get it from lovely!
    Genuinely happy that you have been given this little insight into your lovely mum's early life x
    Love, Julie x

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    1. Hello Julie, thank you so much ... You sound as happy as I am, that's so lovely of you!

      Love Claire xxx

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  13. this is what I love about face book, finding people from your past, lovely to have these old photos of our mum they are beautiful x

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  14. Hello Claire, yes, Facebook does help a lot of people, it isn't always negative ...

    Love Claire xxx

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  15. Claire, what a lovely story and I am so pleased for you that you have been able to have these photos. You are right, she was a beautiful lady and it must have been fate that you found your mum's friend at this time. Wonderful X

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    1. Thank you Anne ... I'm getting very overwhelmed with all these lovely comments, making me quite emotional!

      Love Claire xx

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  16. Soooo happy for you, Claire! Thanks for sharing the treasure you have been given :)
    Gracie xx

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    1. Thank you Gracie! Lovely to see you xxx

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  17. Wonderful, just wonderful. So happy for you.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, they mean so much to me xxx

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  18. How wonderful to discover all these fabulous pictures of your Mum that you never knew existed and learn more about waht she used to do with her best friend. This must be so much to you. The internet is wonderful the way it has bought you back together.
    Sarah x

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    1. Hello Sarah, t does mean so much to me ... Isn't technology amazing?

      Love Claire xxx

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  19. oh my goodness claire , did it freak you out? i think i would of cried and had goose bumps and been a real wreck, how amazing!! oh my.... this is so wonderful, you must be thrilled to bits, am so happy for you.... and your mum was such a beauty what amazing photos xx

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    1. Hello Sophie, No It didn't freak me out at all, it was lovely and just happened really! I contacted Janet, she replied, sent some pictures and then invited me t her home to look through her albums, and told me lovely stories about my Mam. I did get a bit tearful, but she was so nice and had a lot of affection for my Mam. Her sister used to make mine and my sisters summer dresses every year! Thanks fr your lovely comments ... Love to hear from you

      Love Claire xx

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  20. Beautiful photo's and story, the fashionreminds me of my nan. Thank you for sharing your story and photo's. best wishes x

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    1. Thank you so much and lovely of you to drop in!

      Love Claire xx

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  21. Wow Claire, what a fantastic story. I've been a bit AWOL from blogging and this is a super story to come back to. Like you my mum died when I was young and I know how precious those photos and the stories that accompany them will be. How fantastic Janet had them in an age where I guess people didn't have many photos taken.
    Ellie x

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  22. Hello Ellie, so sorry that you lost your Mum when you were young too. I've had to live with only having one or two pictures so you can imagine how I feel now? Like I've won the lottery!

    Have a wonderful weekend, and I've been absent a lot lately, need to catch u with everyone soon!

    Love Claire xx

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  23. Oh Claire what a wonderful moving post...... isn't it amazing how fate works sometimes? such beautiful pictures and now you can cherish them too..... thank you for sharing this special story

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    1. Hello Miss Squirrel, thank you for dropping in and for your lovely comments, I will indeed cherish them, I'm preparing frames as we speak!

      Love Claire xx

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  24. What a beautiful story, Claire.
    It 's great that you've retrieved
    pictures of your mom, you now have a
    wonderful memory!
    Love Susy ♥

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    1. Hello Susy, thank you so much! Have a lovely weekend, won't you?

      Love Claire xx

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  25. OH wow that is the most fabulous story - and what a glamorous lady your mum was! It makes me feel a little hopeful too as I know very little about my mother or her family and only have a handful of pictures. Betty

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  26. Oh Betty, I feel s sad for you, because I know just what it's like ... I hope you too have a happy ending ...

    Love Claire xxx

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  27. Oh Claire, this is the most beautiful post - I have to admit to shedding a wee tear. How truly fab to connect with your mum's best friend after all these years and to now have these beautiful pics of your lovely mum to pore over and treasure for always. Simply a blessing and such a heartwarming story!
    Hugs,
    Xx

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  28. Thank you Gilly, it's been a lovely experience, and I'll forever be thankful to Facebook!

    Hopoe you weekend's fabulous!

    Love Claire xxx

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  29. Claire what a wonderful story, how amazing to finally connect with this lady and have all these lovely pictures of your very glamorous Mam. I have some very similar shots of my Mom in the 50's wearing the most amazing dresses that she made herself, I'm so lucky to still have her and my Dad and count my blessings every day ~ Sarah x

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    1. Thank you Sarah, you are very lucky, and what wonderful blessings to count, make sure you find everything out about your parents ... I love old stories!

      Love Claire xxx

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  30. Beautiful, glamorous, emotional, heartlifting, uplifting, warm, touching and lovely
    Best wishes
    Jenny

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    1. Aw thank you Jenny, that's lovely! Claire xx

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  31. Hello Claire
    I'm thrilled for you that you've found some treasured memories of your Mam. The photos you've shared are lovely. It's very true we don't think about our parents having a life before we come along. I hope you get to hear lots more of her life. Hope tomorrows sale goes really well.
    Ali x

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    1. Hello Ali, thank you for your lovely comments! The sale went really well, lots of people came, and I sold a lot of things, so it was a very good day, and I'll definitely do it again next year. Hope you've had a lovely weekend too

      Claire xxx

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  32. Hello Mrs Thriftwood...I am back just ABOUT! HEHE...SO very happy for you ,Claire..I have looked through the pictures five times and read the post three times! I LOVE the picture of your lovely Mum on Bigger bank! with pals... Dressed so beautifully and so very pretty! Sending big hugs and I truly am so happy for you! Maria x

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    1. Hi Maria, welcome home! Have watched Dean's race now and he did brilliant ...

      That's my Grandma and Aunty with my Mam on Biggar Bank ... I love the pram, don't you?

      See you soon

      Love Claire xxx

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  33. I am so happy for you Claire. What a lovely and special thing to have happened. Your mum looks beautiful on the photo's!!!

    Happy weekend,

    Madelief x

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    1. Thank you Madelief, and I have had a very happy weekend, and hope you have too?

      Love Claire xx

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  34. Such a lovely story, isn't life strange and wonderful,
    to have discovered this connection to you Mum out of the blue it must make her feel close to you.

    Cheryl

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    1. Hello Cheryl, it has been a lovely experience and I've framed the one with my Mam in the yellow dress, I love the vivid colouring.

      Love Claire xx

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  35. I am so sorry you lost your mom so early in life.
    Nothing happens by chance and I believe you were truly blessed by God to get those photos... they are lovely and your mom was gorgeous!
    Have a great week, Tammy x

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  36. Aw, thank you so much Tammy, what lovely words!

    Hope you've had a wonderful weekend

    Love Claire xxx

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  37. How wonderful that these photos have found there way to you after all this time, and brought you a little more knowledge of your beautiful mother. I can imagine how much you must cherish them x

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    1. Than, you Annie, lovely of you t drop in! Yes, they are very precious and I am very lucky to have them, and keep thinking I would not have even known that they existed if I hadn't been on Facebook ...

      Love Claire xx

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  38. Hi Claire, I just landed on your blog from another one and this is such a wonderful post! Wow, I have chills and shivers reading this. Your mother was beautiful! I'm following you now and looking forward to reading more. :)

    Jennifer

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    1. Hello Jennifer and a very big welcome to Thriftwood to you! I've just popped over to your lovely blog too ...

      Love Claire xxx

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  39. Wonderful photos to treasure and a beautiful post x

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    1. Thank you Louise! Lovely of you to drop in

      Love Claire xxx

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  40. Fate is a wonderful thing and you certainly came across it when looking on Facebook! After my Grandparents died I was contacted by people on Ancestry while I was putting together the painstaking information that my Grandad had written over the years. Long lost relatives were found and a wonderful get together was planned and successfully carried out. Along with lots of photos and stories of things we didn't have a clue about. One thing that struck a chord with me was that you were able to see photos of your Mum from years ago. One of my Grandad's folders had loads of photos of a beautiful lady who I was sure was a member of the family. When I showed one of my Grandad's cousins she cried and said it was her Mum - all the photos that she had of her were destroyed in the Blitz (my Grandad's sister died at an earlier date). They are now in their right home with personal messages on the back with the person they were intended for. Wonderful post and lovely to see the glamorous fashions. xx

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  41. Hello Chel, yours is a lovely story too ... I wish though that the people the stories are about were here to tell them themselves, I'd have loved to hear these tales from my Mam herself! Am so glad your photos found their rightful home, with a daughter as happy as I am to have found them ...

    Thank you very much for sharing your story too.

    Love Claire

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  42. Such a lovely post Claire and what wonderful photos of your beautiful mother !
    Gail x

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  43. Thank you so much Gail, just going to nip ove to "where the moon sleeps" now!

    Love Claire xxx

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  44. Just found your blog via Maggie's, what a lovely story, and a lovely ending for all.

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  45. A very big welcome to you Lilac in May,and ths you for drop g in and for your lovely comments. Am just popping over to see what you get up to, too!

    Love Claire xxx

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  46. What a sweet and touching post, Claire. The photos of your mother are beautiful, and I'm so glad you discovered her old friend and found some fascinating information......such a treasure trove for you.
    Wishing you a wonderful week.
    Helen x

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  47. Thank you Helen xx I've just dropped in n you too! Lovely post xx

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  48. What a moving and touching post. What wonderful serendipity brought this woman and these photos to you! xx

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  49. Hello Gillian, thanks for dropping in, and yes I feel so grateful that this has happened, because it could so easily have not!

    Love your blog, always a breath of fresh air!

    Love Claire xx

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  50. This is a wonderful story on it's own Claire ... one that your own children will share over time. It's funny how life works its magic and brings these little miracles to us in such unexpected ways. I'm so happy for you to have collected these photos and stories from your mother's best friend after so many years. I thought I had heard all of my mom's stories before she died. But then I found a book in her house about the area where she grew up, and it brought forth more questions that I was going to ask her during my next visit. She died the day before I got in to see her. My questions weren't earth shattering, but like you, you just want to piece that puzzle together a bit more. Your mother looks beautiful and looks very much like you. I love the way people would dress up just to go to the beach! My parents' old photos were the same, ladies in dress suits and high heels, and men in three-piece suits walking in the woods and carefully balancing over logs over streams. I'm glad these photos were there for you before they were lost completely. Now you can wander along that stone wall and it will speak to you of past times that your mother knew. I'm so glad you shared this wonderful story Claire, it really warms the heart ;) Wendy xox

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  51. Thank you so much Wendy! I'm sorry that you didn't have the chance to ask your Mum those questions ... a lot of family history remains a mystery.

    I love how people dressed u for everything too ... Men were always in shirts and ties. I remember my uncle, who worked in the shipbuilding business, coming home in a boiler suit. Underneath was a shirt and tie and trousers, never jeans and t shirt!

    Hope your holiday was fab, and looking forward to hearing all about it

    Claire xxx

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  52. I'm only just catching up with posts Claire so sorry I'm late to comment. Isn't this wonderful, to have been able to make contact and hear of someone else's memories of your dear Mum. You wrote the post beautifully too. x

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  53. Thank you so much Jay, for your lovely, kind comments!

    This time of year we are all busy doing other things, I'm trailing behind with my blogs too!

    Love Claire xxx

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  54. There is little I can say that hasn't already been said! I have loved sharing in your precious story this evening, with tears in my eyes. Every link to a special person becomes so much more poignant once you no longer have them. I can only imagine your feelings at this discovery. Your mam was truly beautiful x

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I love to hear what you think of my ramblings and value all your comments ... I will try and get back to you, but am sorry if I don't always manage this ... sometimes real life just gets in the way! Claire xxx