Redcliffe Pier

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A FASHIONABLE HAT

This beautiful young lady with the fashionable hat is my paternal grandmother. I never knew her very well. I was 6 when we left England to migrate to Australia in 1949 and left all my grandparents behind. When I returned to England for the first time in 1970  this grandmother was the only surviving grandparent that I had. Unfortunately, she had dementia and wasn't sure who I was. I tried to explain that I was her son Len's daughter but she seemed to think I was his wife. My dad was an only child and my brother and I were their only grandchildren. Now that my grandchildren live overseas, I know how sad it must have been for my grandparents. However, I am lucky in that I can manage to visit mine once a year.
My grandparents  never saw us again after 1949 when we were 6 and 11. We could never afford to return to England as a family, but my parents went in 1965 they tried to get my granny to come to Australia but she wouldn't move from her home. My grandfather and maternal grandparents were no longer living.

I think she looks a beautiful young lady and I wished that I had known her then. My dad often remarked that his mum was very reticent about discussing her family. He always felt there was some sort of secret involved. I wonder what it was? My mum used to show me this photo and say, "This is your granny when she was young and her waist was only 18 inches." I love her hat and dress. I think the photo was taken about 1912.

This post is linked to Sepia Saturday where the prompt photo was of a group of young women having a picnic. They are wearing fashionable hats.


44 comments:

  1. Lovely photograph. It was so sad back in those days when people emigrated and never saw their families again. thank goodness for e-mails and Skype and the like.

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  2. My Goodness. That's an excellent photograph. I am ever impressed by the quality those ancient cameras could produce.

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  3. It is a stunning picture, love the hat and her waist indeed is so thin, incredible. It must have been hard never be able to see your child and grandchildren again. No internet and Skype too. I heard the same stories in the Netherlands about the dutch who emigrated to Australia.

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  4. A beautiful photograph of a lovely lady. In my case it was us (the grandparents) who emigrated but I do see the family a couple of times a year and use Skype etc. My great uncle emigrated to Australia as a young man and his family never saw him again, although in the 70s we were able to send him tapes with family greetings.

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  5. Oh she is truly beautiful in her fashionable hat. Sad that you did not get to know her better. B

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  6. You need the best posture to wear a hat like that. Wonderful!

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  7. such a big hat for a tiny lady! :)

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  8. Your grandmother looked stunning, and what a penetrating stare she has here. We have a daughter married to an Englishman and living in London, so we are lucky to be able to make regular trips over there, and of course when grandchildren come along we'll have all the more reason to visit.

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  9. a beautiful photo of a beautiful girl.. wow on that waist size... she would think we are giants now..
    i have a photo somewhere of daddy's mother with a big hat similar to this one... i was lucky to see my grandparents often. we came here 2 or 3 times a year on the train for mothers mother, and my dad's mother lived next door with daddy's sister.

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  10. Why were women in those days so thin and cute and have such small feet. Something has happened. The earth is off a kilter or something. Especially with shoe sizes. I think that corsets helped with the waist sizes. And I want one right now. :)

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  11. I agree with all the above, what a beautiful woman, and what a waist...or I should say lack thereof!! (And I'm pretty sure there was no Photoshop back then to create that!) You are making me so guilty. When my mom died about 7 years ago, I inherited a big box of beautiful old photographs. I have had the goal of sorting thru them all, digitizing them and creating books for all her grandchildren to remember their heritage. I still haven't begun!

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  12. Absolutely riveting, the hat, the stare, the beauty, and of course the small, small waist! We must be eating differently (a lot of processed foods I guess), very rare to see such a small stature for a woman her age now!!! Great Post!

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  13. What a treasure this photo is, Diane. Do you see any resemblance to her in your own face? Did you ever have an 18-inch waist? I can't imagine having that. LOL
    So sad for her that she never got to know her only grandchildren.
    K

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  14. She is very lovely. 18-inch waists were a big deal back then. I heard a similar story about my own paternal grandmother's 18-inch waist and size four shoes. I could wear her shoes when I was a kid even though I think they were size six by then in her old age. I wonder if you could find out more about your grandmother now on the family history websites out there?

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  15. This is such a beautiful photo, I also love the dress and hat, but the 18" waist, I can't even begin to imagine this... not even in today's standards where a 24" waist is considered tiny.

    Have a wonderful weekend Diane!

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  16. Wow! an 18" waist ..... she looks so fashionably dressed. I guess it must have been hard for Families being seperated by migration .... no Skype and computers to catch up and chat on a regular basis. Love her elegant hat!

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  17. Wasp waisted, didn't they say? She's gorgeous....such eyes and of course, the spectacular hat.

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  18. Hi Dianne, your grandmother was a real beauty and her outfit was lovely. Loved the hat! I always tried to get my mom and dad to come and live with us but they wouldn't leave either.

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  19. Diane, your grandmother was beautiful. She must have been sad to see her family leave England. The hat is cool, BTW! Have a happy day!

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  20. She is beautiful, but an 18-inch waist looks kind of freakish now.

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  21. What a lovely looking Lady :) my grandmother, my late mums mum had 18" waist when married...seems a lot of women did back then.

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  22. My parents both emigrated to Africa separately, and that's where we were born, and grew up a continent away from grandparents, as you did. It makes for a limited extended family, and a fascinating journey trying to piece together their lives through old photos. I've used photos, like the beautiful portrait of your grandmother, rather then mere birth/marriage/death dates, to form the skeleton of the stories that I'm slowly fleshing out.

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  23. Yes she is a beautiful young woman, and yes I like the hat I think it is a shame that hats are no longer worn. When in fact they are really needed to protect us from the sun. I don't know how I would feel if my grandkids lived so far from me

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  24. I love this photo. She is beautiful, elegant and stylish.

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  25. What a wonderful picture of your grandmother. It's a shame you didn't get to know her better since you lived on the other side of the world, but I'm glad you have this photo and the memories it brings.

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  26. What a fantastic photo of your grandmother. It is similar to one I have of my grandmother... They really dressed up for photos back then...And they seldom smiled --although your grandmother has a pleasing look on her face....She was quite beautiful... Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  27. Oh my, what an utterly wonderful photo!
    So sad to not have been able to grow up knowing her. I know you have as much pleasure with your grandkids as I do with mine and I can't imagine not seeing them. I'll be babysitting our Grandson next week as a matter of fact.
    Your Grandmother was a lovely women!
    Thanks for your lovely comments on my flowers. Yes, for you, you may use them in your class. I'd be honored.

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  28. All of the women look so elegant in the old photos ... more elegant than I look in any photo even dressed in my Sunday best.

    It must have been sad for your grandmother and so different from my own situation. My paternal grandmother had 39 grandchildren -- I was her 25th -- and she didn't even seem to like children all that much.

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  29. Reminds me again how lucky my family is. All my great grandparents were born in Australia, and all ended up living in the same state. Some of their parents were born here but some had left their families behind in the UK - but that far back in the family had all died by the time I was born, so even my Mum and Dad don't remember the 'long-lost' overseas relatives stories.

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  30. Beautiful photo!
    Greetings from, RW & SK

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  31. It's a sad story, the loss of family for immigrants and the loss for those left behind. Great photo and what an effort was involved in getting dressed back then.

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  32. Not to be repetitious, but . . . What a hat! And those riveting eyes. You have such interesting old photos, or more probably, your family lived interesting lives to photograph. Mine are all dour old Norwegians (I say that fondly because obviously I am Norwegian) standing stiffly and looking as if they had a headache!

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  33. Yes that is a beautiful photo and she is gorgeous. Her waist is so tiny.

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  34. an excellent photo! a beautiful lady!
    great quality picture. that's why i love ancient cameras.

    have a blessed sunday!

    xx

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  35. A very beautiful photo of your grandmother, as a young lady. Her waist is so slim, incredible. Very elegant with her hat, she was a beauty. I have never known any of my grandmothers, just photos. I knew my step grandmother from my mother's side, but she never took much notice of me.

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  36. If one was limited to only one hat in a lifetime --- that would be the hat. Of course it helps that a lovely lady is wearing it.

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  37. It really does make you stop to think about what immigrating meant back then! Your parents were very brave to give your family a new start -- and yes, like you, I can well imagine how your grandparents felt (and join you in being grateful for what we are able to do today).

    Your grandmother was a beautiful young woman (18 inch waist -- that I almost cannot imagine!)

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  38. Your grandmother was a beautiful woman, Diane! I agree it must have been sad for her to not see you and your brother grow up, except in letters and photos. We are so lucky these days that we can SKYPE or travel easily.

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  39. A lovely photo and sad story! This just underscores the personal conflicts families must have experienced in deciding to pick up stakes and start over 1000s of miles away.

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  40. What a shot, Diane! She's absolutely beautiful; the photo is so clear, penetrating. I could do without the 18" waist, though -- can't imagine that...

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  41. What a poignant story. I think I might die if my daughter emigrated and I never saw her or my grandie again. I might die if I had an 18" waist too!

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  42. My daughter lives in America so we have had to get used to separation. At least she knew her maternal grandmother in the UK before she died. (Grandmother) Amy was my very first Sepia post.
    What a beautiful photo you have shown us. Such a small waist.

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  43. She is lovely. But her waist was only 18 inches because women wore those awful, rib deforming, corsets. (Terrible what we do in the name of fashion.) It is so hard when part of the family lives far away. When our family lived overseas, we had to rely completely on mail. (and often times things didn't make it.) Imagine the excitement on those rare occasions when we had an opportunity to talk to our grandparents via ham radio!!

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  44. Gorgeous shot, and I do LOVE that hat! What a treasure to have this photo.

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