Can you tell me more about these photographs of two of my female Victorian ancestors?
QI was delighted to receive these two photos from an uncle recently as I had never seen either of these female ancestors before. The lady sitting alone is my maternal great great grandmother, Esther Jane Colclough, born 1869 in Atherstone, Warwickshire. In the second photo, she is standing with her sister, Mary Ann (who raised my grandmother), born 1876. Esther Jane was a loving mother to her 11 children, lost two husbands, and died at the grand old age of 90 in 1959, having survived two World Wars and the influenza epidemic that killed her first born (my great grandmother). Can you tell me where and when these photos may have been taken? Melanie Fisher, by email
AThe conservative dress of these two women, as is the case with the dress of many middle-aged or older women during this period, makes the photographs difficult to date precisely. The photograph of the two women perhaps offers most clues, placing it during the 1930s, probably tending towards the first half of the decade.
The other photograph is a similar date, although it may be slightly earlier. The backdrop of this photograph is painted, as was common for photographers’ studios. However, it does appear to represent Blackpool Tower, Blackpool being a popular holiday destination and could conceivably have been taken by one of the many photographers working in the town as a souvenir or postcard to send to a relative or friend. Alison Toplis