Mystery Monday – where was this photo taken?

The photograph below has intrigued me ever since I found it in my mother’s things after her death.  The girl standing on the left is my mum, Doris Brittain (née Sheepwash) and I think the boy is her brother, my uncle Fred. Behind the planted  stone urn is my grandfather, Frederick George Neville (Sheepwash) , and his wife, my grandmother Esther (née Saunders) is on the left of the doorway, I think.

Is the little girl in the doorway my aunt? And who is the lady bending down helping her with her shoe?

I reckon that my mother is about 11 or 12 here. If so, this means that the photo would have been taken in 1939 or 1940.  She was evacuated to Earls Barton in Northamptonshire – could the photo have been taken there?  Or is it somewhere near their home in Walthamstow?  To me, though, the cottage doesn’t really look local to London or Essex.

Mum seems to be the only person focusing on the photographer, no one else is taking any notice! Was this  photo taken to mark a special occasion for her?   She seems to have outgrown her clothes a little, especially the cardigan.  Whenever I look at this photo I am amazed at how like mum I looked at a similar age.

To try to find out more I’m going to “walk through” Earls Barton on google streetview – just in case that’s where the location is.

About familyhistoryfootsteps

I have been researching my family history for several years. I'm particularly interested in social history and enjoy learning about, and trying to understand the context of our ancestors' lives. From the mid 1800s onwards most of my direct ancestors lived and worked in London.
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7 Responses to Mystery Monday – where was this photo taken?

  1. laila robinson says:

    Hi my names Laila, I have been doing some research into my mothers family history. I recently bought her parents marriage certificate (of whom she never knew) and her fathers name was Frederick John Neville, and his fathers name was Frederick George Neville (your grandfather?), on the marriage certificate it said he was a managing director in a furniture store. In the picture above you describe an Uncle Fred? Am I looking in the right place and could your Uncle Fred be my grandfather? I have very brief information on him, so perhaps if this is correct we can share what we know, Thanks, Laila.

    • Hi Laila

      Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately I don’t think we are connected, but if you let me have a little brief detail – places and dates – then I’ll check my records and get back to you. Good luck with your search.

      • laila robinson says:

        Well, apprently he married an ethel beryl connor on the 3rd of october in 1955, and he was 31 at this point so it works out he was borin in 1924/1925 i believe, and it also says that he was a supervisor of a cinema, also, they married in islington. As i havent got the certificate on me right now im unable to let you know where they lived, but i know it was north london. Then in 1958 they had my mother, denise neville, whom they gave up to the hertfordshire national childrens home. On her birth certificate it states Frederick j. worked in a furniture store and lived in kensington ladbroke grove. Considering the nature of this situation, i dont expect to find much as its probable that alot of things were kept swept under the carpet. Hope to hear from you soon, thanks, laila.

  2. laila robinson says:

    Hi just wandering if you have come up with anything from your records relating to Frederick Neville? Thanks, Laila.

    • Hi Laila
      Having checked my files etc I am fairly sure that there isn’t any connection between the families. My Nevilles were originally “Sheepwash” and changed the surname in the 1930s. I think my uncle was born in 1927 and married in 1954 – the record gives his surname as “Neville or Sheepwash”. Sorry I can’t be of more help but I will keep an eye out for relevant records for you.

  3. Janice Myers says:

    I found this site by accident. Coincidently Im trying to trace my mums footsteps as she too was evacuated to Earls Barton from her home in walthamstow.
    She was 9 when war broke out, her name was Doris Myers

    • Thanks for looking at my blog. It’s interesting that your mum went to Earls Barton too – I wonder if they went to the same school or whether Earls Barton was a destination for the children from the whole of Walthamstow. I don’t know much about mum’s time there although she always spoke fondly of it. I’d love to find out more.

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