Photographer: A. T. Spencer, Hull, 1931


My mother fell 31 years short of receiving a birthday card from the Queen. She would have been 100 today. She is thirteen years old in the photograph above, masquerading as a French peasant girl. This seems rather faux as the theme of the gathering appears to be the promotion of British Empire produce.

My mother went to Lime Street School in Hull. A Board School built in 1879, it was blitzed in 1941 and subsequently demolished. The numbers and age range of the children suggest they may have all come from that one school for an end of academic year treat.

They are in the Oddfellows Hall, Charlotte Street. The names on the Honours Board at the back made place identification easy – if I’m correct in my deduction, that is.The framed portrait collection to the right celebrates Workers of the Centenary Year. (The Friendly Society was formed in 1810.)

My Pavlovian response to the names was, obviously, to see who I could find on FamilySearch Tree. James William WINDAS was hiding in plain sight. He was a yeast manufacturer.

1931_OddfellowsMum2_4mDoris Lockett left school at fifteen and worked in a grocer’s shop. My dad was a shop assistant too, but I can’t remember if their eyes met across a crowded stock room. In their late teens, they went on holiday to Blackpool, chaperoned by my grandmother, Ruth Anna. I think the photo below may have been taken there in 1937. I miss her but we meet occasionally in dreams and talk nonsense.



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