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 Sepia photograph of unknown group at Emmanual College Cambridge



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Mystery Photographs of somewhere in Cambridgeshire

Photos shown here are believed to be from Cambridgeshire. Do you recognise the location or occasion? Any help in identifying these will help us to get them to an owner who will appreciate them and ensure their future safekeeping. Can you help us to rescue these strays?

If you recognise any of these images, please contact webmaster@fadingimages.uk.

1. Starr and Rignall, Cambridge and Ely. This postcard is typical of the seaside town commercial street photographer who snapped away at holiday makers offering them the chance to call later at the studio to pick up a print of their photograph. But, this has the name on the reverse of Cambridge and Ely photographers Starr and Rignall. Where was it taken? The little girl has a bucket and spade suggesting the seaside, but did Starr and Rignall go to the coast in the summer to take on this sort of work. Or could this be Starr and Rignall doing developing and printing work for customers, and this is a customer's photograph printed with a Starr and Rignall postcard back? The location doesn't look like either Cambridge or Ely. Can you help by identifying the location?

Couple with child by Starr and Rignall

2. The road to Cambridge 1951. These two little 3 in x 2in prints show a group of walkers resting on a roadside verge. An inscription on the reverse of one states "On road to Cambridge 1951". Do you recognise the location - especially the large building in the background with a cross above the gable end?

The road to Cambridge 1951 The road to Cambridge 1951

roadside building 1951

3. Do you recognise this cap? This cap is worn by a young man in his 20s photographed by John Bull of 41 City Road Peterborough some time around 1900. The cap has the appearance of a sporting cap one by someone who was a member of a prestigious team in a major sport such as football, rugby or cricket. Identifying the cap may help us to identify the young Peterborough man wearing it.

Sporting cap in portrait of unknown young man by J Bull, Peterborough

4. Where was this taken? This small photograph, 3.25 x 2.25 in, is allegedly from Cambridge showing activity connected with girls hockey in front of what looks like a school or college pavilion. On the reverse is written "Hockey Colours 1932" The small octagonal window high up on the wall on the left and the wooden posts with curved wooden braces are quite distinctive - can anyone recognise the location please?

girls, hockey players, pavilion, Cambridge

5. House with four gables. This cabinet photograph was taken by Farren Brothers, Cambridge and Chatteris, probably about 1870. Can anyone identify this beautiful and distinctive Victorian residence from Cambridge, Chatteris or somewhere else in Cambridgeshire?

House by Farren Brothers

6. Whose portrait and who was the photographer? This next photograph is a sensitive portrait 6in x 4.5in on a cream mount 13in x 10in. The mount shows the photographer's name as "Irene" and the date 1933. On the reverse of the mount is written "Ratcliffe, Storey's Way, Cambridge" in what appears to be the same writing as the photographer's signature on the face. No trace has been found of a Ratcliffe in Storey's Way Cambridge in local directories or voters registers and we have no idea who Irene might have been. The soft focus doesn't show much detail of the sitter's medal - but does anyone recognise it?

Portrait by Irene of Ratcliffe

Detail of mount by Irene

7. West View A dwelling house with small dog outside - "West View" is incised in the lintel over the door - the photograph is by WH Major from Peterborough, probably around 1920, so this is probably in Peterborough or one of the surrounding villages, but where?

West View

8. A Group - ten men in a posed group - 1860s-70s perhaps, albumen print 12 in x 8.5 in. Grouped round a table with a decanter, glasses and a box. One man seated on the right has a cloth draped across his knee - is this relating to some sort of cellar-man activity. Interestingly the pupils of the eyes of the sitters have been touched in with dye, which over the years has remained darker than the rest of the albumen print leaving a group with strangely staring expressions. This photograph turned up in the Cambridge area but could have come from anywhere. Does anyone have any idea what bought this group together, or where it might have been taken? What about the pattern of the table cloth - have you seen that amongst the props of any other photographer?

Unknown Group

9. Puzzling Ladies with wristlets. A group photograph from somewhere in the Cambridge Area, taken by ES Ball and Co Regent Studio, Cambridge. A group of eleven young women with one slightly more senior in their centre, taken outside the studio in a garden with either a hedge or ivy clad wall behind. The women are dressed in long dark coloured skirts with tight lacy blouses, making this circa 1905-10. Archivists at Girton and Newnham feel this is not a group from either institution. One intriguing detail is that it looks like all these women are wearing wrist watches, and some appear to be wearing identical wrist watches. What was this group and why was the picture taken?

Group of ladies ES Ball

10. Who was the photographer? The carte de visite below on a cream square cornered mount is a view of the Backs at Cambridge, the printed caption reads - "St John's from Trinity Bridge Cambridge". There is no photographer's name and the reverse of the carte is blank. Does anybody recognise the image and print style as relating to a particular Cambridge Photographer? Stearn's certainly did cartes de visite of St John's, but usually had their name on the face of the mount.

Unidentified carte de visite, St John's College Cambridge

Any suggestions about any of the above mysteries would be gratefully received. Please E-mail webmaster@fadingimages.uk

www.FadingImages.uk is a non-commercial web site for local and family historians, listing photographers in Cambridgeshire 1840-2000
This page was last modified: 29 May 2017, 19:09
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