Rosemary & Time (tick – tock)

One of the many privileges I have experienced through chasing my great aunts story was meeting 88 year old, Dr Rosemary Hill. It was a few weeks ago now but with "time" being the elusive creature it is, it has taken me until now to write about her. As a friend and mews of Elva, Rosemary delighted me with some of her stories and Elva anecdotes and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with her. What intrigued me most however is that with my father having been resting peacefully for some years now, Rosemary has unwittingly provided me with a much needed bridge...

0 Comments
Share Post

My New Favourite

Until recently, my favourite Elva painting was 'Japanese Monument' which has hung in my home for many years now. Happily however, having learned of my chase, I was contacted by a gentleman called Nicholas, who for thirty-four years has been the custodian of a painting previously unknown to me of Sitges, in Spain.   In his younger days, Nicholas ran a Fine Art & Antiques Transport business and secured himself a contract to deliver items for auction into and out of Lots Road Galleries in London.  So it was that in 1984, he arrived at 107 Brighton Road to meet my father to...

0 Comments
Share Post
Oct 04 2018

NATIONAL SCARF DAY

Well I certainly never expected to be printing a scarf in my Elva chase but it is mini projects like this that make the overall chase such fun; I never know quite what I’ll be doing or investigating next.  All it takes is a flick through Elva’s paperwork and something I might have previously dismissed as irrelevant suddenly leaps out as an opportunity. This week it happened the other way around.  Knowing that Elva’s birthday is at the end of the month, I began researching the date for a birthday inspired post.  Nothing grabbed my attention, but I did happen to...

0 Comments
Share Post

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELVA

29TH September 1908; the weather was unusually warm for the time of year and I can’t help but imagine my great grandmother, Clara Blacker, hot, bothered and exhausted by her contractions, probably sick from chloroform, desperately willing Elva’s birth to be over. Happily, its Elva’s adventures I’m chasing not Clara’s, so there’s no need for me to reflect on my own experiences of labour, but as tempting as it might be, I also couldn’t mark what would have been Elva’s 110th birthday, by sleeping, staring and crying – which is undoubtedly all she would have been capable of at the time. I...

0 Comments
Share Post
Jun 19 2018

A Model Child

Owing to the chosen profession of my Great Grandfather, William Blacker, I am fortunate to own a substantial collection of photographs of Elva during her childhood. As the only girl, and second of three children born to professional photographers, William and Clara, many of Elva’s girlhood hours were spent dressing up and posing for photographs which were then reproduced and sold as postcards. I am not qualified to comment on the integrity or merit of Williams photographic techniques but there are clues in the albums that suggest a talented and successful achiever of substantial means, who provided comfortably for his young wife...

0 Comments
Share Post