MY GREAT-GRANDPARENTS - THE EPITOME OF STYLE & ELEGANCE
As some of you know I'm very interested in tracing my family tree and it's definitely something I'm hoping to do in the future. I'd like to share with you a rare and treasured photograph of my great-grandparents. It's hard to believe but this particular photo is over a hundred years old! It's actually a tin photo and extremely rare. I’ve used my scanner and some photo software to bring it up a little bit. The photo was given to me by my mother and shows her maternal grandparents, Mary (who liked to be known as Polly to her friends and family) and John. I was always told that Mary was a stunning and beautiful woman and she and John certainly make quite a striking couple. As you can see from this photo, John cuts quite a dash in his smart suit and bowler hat, whilst Mary is the epitome of style, beauty and elegance in her lovely dress and hat. This photo was actually taken at a wedding. However in those days, unlike today it was quite fashionable for both men and women to wear hats whether it was a special occasion or not. In years gone by hats were a lot more popular than they are today. Women of my great-grandmother’s generation would always wear a hat to church or synagogue, as well as wearing one on many other occasions too. Whilst men would regularly be seen wearing their bowler hats.
The bowler hat is a traditional symbol of Britishness. In years gone by, in the old movies, British men were always seen wearing bowler hats. They gained their name because of their shape (like a bowl) and also because they were made by a hatmaker called William Bowler. Not a lot of people know that. Many famous Britons wore them, including Patrick McNee (better known as the archetypical English spy John Steed from the New Avengers), Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (the Brit born half of the Laurel and Hardy comedy duo). Even today bowler hats are frequently seen being worn on the streets of London, part of the city gent’s unofficial uniform, often teamed with a black rolled umbrella.
My great-grandparents Polly and John had 12 children. Big families were the norm in those days. Polly whose maiden name was Mulvee, lived to the ripe old age of 94. Her father was Irish and brought his family over to England during the potato famine. This is where I trace my Irish ancestry from.
For this particular carnival our hostess has requested that you should submit a photo, perhaps of a relative, ancestor or even yourself that epitomises the words, “Crowning Glory”. I personally believe that this photo of my great-grandparents in their smart hats perfectly sums up that expression. I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting some members of my family.
You can find out more details of this carnival by following the link shown below:-