#PhotoFriday – November Digest

It’s time once again for our monthly round up of #PhotoFriday tweets, where we look at images from the local studies collections across the county, which you can find on www.picturethepast.org.uk .

For our first #PhotoFriday image in November we did something different and asked for some help. We sometimes get material to add to our collections which don’t come with as much information as we’d like, and so we thought we’d ask our Twitter followers for some help to identify this mystery photograph.

All we knew about it was that it was taken by Geoffrey B Platts, an industrial photographer of Sheffield. In the background we could make out the firms of F.P. Allen & Co. and Hawkins but exactly where was it taken? Could our Twitter followers help? Many people thought it was the bridge over the A38 in Derby by Markeaton Park and indeed that was our first thought – it does bear a striking resemblance. But we could discount this as both the pillars and the orientation of the bridge in the photograph are Bdifferent. Other suggestions were the A52 in Derby and Park Grange Road in Sheffield. But the mystery was finally solved by one of our followers who identified it as the bridge over the A127 at Progress Road, Southend-on-Sea. But what was the Derbyshire connection? This 1970s bridge was designed and built by Ripley’s own Butterley Engineering Company Ltd. A big thank you to everyone who took the trouble to comment – we wouldn’t have identified this without everyone’s help.

Our next #PhotoFriday fell on Remembrance Day so we chose this image of the wreath laying ceremony held at the war memorial on the High Street in Old Whittington in the 1950s. In the background you can see St Bartholomew’s Church Choir and alongside them Sheepbridge Works Brass Band. Scenes just like this are still to be found across the country on each Remembrance Sunday.

November marks the beginning of Disability History Month so for our next image we went to Duffield during the First World War. No.1 The Pastures, originally built as a church hall, was used in 1914 to house Belgian refugees. Later it was converted into a convalescent home for wounded soldiers. Here we see some of those soldiers in bath chairs and carrying walking sticks, alongside nursing staff. The hospital staff weren’t professional nurses but were instead local ladies who simply volunteered their help and were then given basic first aid training. Over 700 patients were looked after here before the hospital closed in April 1919.

Our next photograph was in tribute to Movember where during November, the men’s health charity famously raises funds by the sponsored growing of moustaches. We couldn’t resist showing everyone this wonderful example of a waxed moustache. Sadly we don’t know the name of this military gentlemen (the reverse of the photograph has the pencilled inscription ‘C J Read’, although it is not clear whether that refers to the identity of the sitter) but we have no doubt he was very proud of his facial hair!

So ends our selection of November’s #PhotoFriday. Of course December brings with it all things festive so have a look at Twitter and see what winter memories we share with you.

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