Sunday, 6 January 2013


I thought you may be interested in these family photographs. The large group is of brother and sister, marrying brother and sister. The two married couples are in the centre row, starting with the lady with the flowers and thence to the right. I always get this wrong but I think the man who is just to the right of the tear in the photo is my Mum's great grandad or grandad, I'm not sure about that, I have it written down somewhere but my Mum is 92.  I can see family resemblances here and there with members of my Mum's family today. On the large group there is nobody who looks like me but on the smaller group, there is one, the one who is sitting down, lower than the rest.

My Grandad's father was a haulier with horses and carts and sent my Grandad away to boarding school as his wife had died in childbirth when the youngest girl was born. My Grandad was an engineer but with the first world war, he went away in the Army and when he came back he went down the pits. He ended up a pit instructor but that was after he lost a finger in the mines. (he couldn't find it, sorry for the pun).  Unfortunately, his father drank and lost most of his money!!! Grandad was a clever man and did wood and brass carving and painted pictures on wood and created gifts for the family. Every family had a tray, bowl, or  something he had made. He also was a very talented photographer and was a founder member of Atherton photographic club. He took photos down potholes too, going over to Ingleton on his motorbike. A man with quite a temper sometimes, but he actually never drank. My Gran (Nanny) used to be glad sometimes when he used to to away potholing for a couple of days. I remember him sitting in front of the fire on the peg rug, legs apart, playing Patience. He taught me to play it, although I do it on the computer nowadays!!

I don't really have any family photos of my Dad's family, other than some odd photos of my Gran, and her husband and my Dad on bikes. My Grandad on Dad's side died in his early 50s from heart problems. My Gran, who was a hairdresser, lived until her late 70s, colouring her hair and doing it up and her make up etc until she died.

I'll just give a brief outline after each photo.

My Mum, about 19 years old, she used to race on the track.

My Gran, my Dad's Mum, she does have two legs BTW!

A family group, the Smiths/the Fentons

My Grandad, Harry Barker, with my Dad, Alan Barker on the back of the tandem

This is the wedding mentioned above.

This was a stock photo from a site I found, planes being driven through Liverpool from the docks. I bet it was a frightening site, if awesome.

I couldn't move this, so it will have to be at the end. My Mum , Dad and me on the back of the bike. See the resemblance to the lady in the small group photo?


  1. Love this family history and its great to see how you were transported. Much like my own children . Even though Dad had a bike shop he always drove a car when I was small in the 50's
    Brenda in the Boro

  2. Great pictures CF.
    I am at present sorting out all my family pictures from the 1920's & 30's too.
    Look at your Mum with NO brakes! A fixed wheel I guess? And you trusting your Dad with only a front brake!!!! My, they lived dangerously in those days.
    I had a tandem way back in 1955 and it was a bu**er to stop. A great heavy thing. We had THREE brakes.
    I had a front hub brake, there was a rear foot-brake which went to a rear hub and the bloke on the bake had a normal caliper brake on the rear rim.
    My brother and I used to overtake cars on the old Bristol Road on that beast! It was a 40mph limit so we must have got up quite a speed. If I remember we had 10 gears - 5 and a double 'clanger'(chainwheel).

    1. Bernard, it was her track bike. You don't have brakes! That was customary in those days and even later, to only have one brake with fixed. I had a fixed with one brake! I have some exciting tales about being a stoker on a tandem when I was a kid, going down hill in South Wales, brake cable failed, Dad ran it into banking to stop. It took off the sole of his shoe. I refused to stay on board on one steep hill in Yorkshire Dales! I used to race on tandem in the 1970s too.

      And yes, Bernard - I am old enough to know the term 'double clanger' unfortunately.

    2. Hi Cf. I've never ridden a bike without brakes.
      I guess I'd need 'brown trousers' before I ever tried. :o
      There is one thing I want to ask - how did your Dad manage to get his leg over the crossbar without giving you (on't back) an almighty clout with his foot? :O
      ps If you want to see me (a link to my blog) in 'shorts' on the tandem - just say. :O

    3. Bernard, he would have cocked his leg over the handlebars. My Mum always did that, probably from years of doing it when she carted me around on the back. I don't remember ever being kicked, LOL.

      Yes, send me the link! Why not see you in shorts hey?

    4. Of course - I've have seen cyclists put their leg over the handle bars! I would never have been able to do that. I've never been that flexible. LOL
      And just a few of my blogs on bikes. :)

  3. "bake" should read "back" of course!
    I'm fingers and thumbs tonight.

  4. Great photos Cf :) I love old photos, even of people I don't know, I think that the colouring of/in them (or lack of it!) always gives them a rather otherwordly feel!

  5. Hi, thanks for your comment! I left you an answer on the pattern page. :)

  6. Oh, thanks, I actually bought the pattern, anyway, as I decided to buy some more needles.