This is a very nice late 1940’s real photo postcard showing downtown Fort MacLeod in Alberta. The postcard credits the photograph to “Kingston” but the card was published by Rumsey & Co. Ltd in Toronto.
It’s been over 60 years since this photograph was taken but as you’ll see by the Streetview image on Historypin the street-scape is remarkably intact. The Queen’s Hotel still stands on one corner and the Rexall Pharmacy across the street is still there too, although it has moved a few doors down. The Canadian Bank of Commerce that dominated the other corner is close by too. Just spin the Streetview image around and you’ll see the bank is now housed in a smaller building just across the street. Perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that the Empress Theatre, despite all the changes to cinemas over the years, can still be found down the street on the left. Check out this century old theatre’s website (complete with soundtrack)!
This amazing piece of ephemera is a survivor of the First World War. The First Brigade Canadian Mounted Rifles landed in France on September 22, 1915 and was made up of the 1st CMR raised in Brandon Manitoba and the 2nd CMR raised in Victoria, BC.
The Brigade entered the front lines in early October and again in late November. The war diary entry for Dec. 22, 1915 includes the line “Brigade Concert at Bailleul“. The concert programme featured here measures 8″ x 10” when opened and includes the words “Caisse D’Epargne” on the cover. This translates to Savings Bank and so I assume the concert was held in this building in Bailleul just behind the front lines. The programme includes a long list of performances by the men and officiers of the First Brigade and the back lists the organizing committee.
Nine days after this concert the Brigade was reorganized into infantry battalions of the 8th Infantry Brigade. Both the 1st and 2nd CMR saw action in most of the major battles of the First World War. The 1st CMR lost 80% of their men (killed, wounded or captured) when the Germans overran their lines at the Battle of Mount Sorrel between June 2 – 13, 1916. Three of the individuals listed on this programme lost their lives in that battle: Walter Chaplin Scarr, Norman Froud Weston and Ivor V. Withers. Many others who took part in that Christmas concert also lost their lives in subsequent battles. These included Ewart Martin Hallsmith, Norman Halliday Moncreiff, James McNeill and likely others who could not be positively identified from the initials in the programme.
I’ve linked to many different websites in order to show the many resources available to those who would like to research soldiers of the First World War. I feature many more links on my tribute website: On Active Service.
Trans-Canada Airlines took to the air on September 1, 1937 with a flight from Vancouver to Seattle. Canadian National Railways (CNR) was behind the venture and it was Canada’s only national airline until their competitor, Canadian Pacific Railways (CPR) launched Canadian Pacific Airlines. In 1965 Trans-Canada Airlines changed their name to Air Canada.
TCA began flying out of Victoria in 1943 and the ticket featured in this post was for a flight to Seattle on May 2, 1953. It cost $8.40 that year, at a time when a labourer on the west coast earned about $12 per day. That same job might pull in $12-15 per hour now but a one-way flight to Seattle will set you back over $250!
This little card, a souvenir from the Tilly Whim Inn in Dorset, made me laugh out loud when I found it in a local bookstore. I do enjoy a pint of Real Ale and so how could I resist the sage financial advice printed on the back? And there are more lessons to be learned on the inside too. The Tilly Whim must have been a fun place to while away a few hours.
The cliff-top pub near Swanage, whose regulars included author Enid Blyton and actor Wilfrid Brambell, sadly burned down in 1972. Far sadder was the news that its owner of 22 years, Mrs. Burridge, lost her life savings in an Icelandic offshore trap. It seems unusually cruel that someone whose motto was Laugh and be Happy should be swindled in this way.
An unhappy ending but a fine example of how a little piece of ephemera can tell a much bigger story.
Today I’m featuring a 1928 4-panel Triangle Tours brochure. The Victoria tourism market was — and still is — highly competitive and so companies fought tooth and nail for business. All potential punters arrived by steamer and Triangle Tours took advantage of the famous Triangle route between Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle. Many visitors only had a brief layover and so all companies offered a city tour that guaranteed to have you back in time for your outgoing journey.
Similar to Veteran’s Tours, Triangle Tours offered several itineraries including a deluxe city, mountain and sea tour that included a drive over the Malahat, a ferry ride across Saanich Inlet and a visit to both Butchart Gardens and the Dominon Observatory.
By 1928 Triangle Tours was operated by C&C Taxi Service. In the mid-1940’s C&C launched White Line Tours although I’m not clear if this was a new venture or a rebranding of Triangle Tours. When the Victoria airport opened in the early 1940’s C&C won the bus contract and expanded their fleet. C&C Taxi is still in business today as Bluebird Cabs.
For more scans of this brochure check out my 1928 Triangle Tours set on Flickr.
I picked up some wonderful photographs of British trams this weekend, two of which I’m featuring in this post. The photos were captured by tram and bus enthusiasts in the 1930’s, 40’s and early 50’s. Most are of excellent quality and include handwritten details on the back.
The first photograph is of Aberdeen Corporation car #129 at the Castle Street terminus. This picture was taken on September 5, 1935 by E.C. Haywood from Carlton, Nottingham. On the back he noted that the car had air brakes and S.K.F. roller bearings, and that route #4 ran from Castle Street to Hazlehead via Queen’s Road. This Streetview image shows how the turning circle is today a pedestrian area.
The second photo is of Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Electric Railway car #12 picking up a passenger along Penrhyn Bay. Shot by E.C. Haywood on May 31, 1946 he wrote the following details on the back:
“Showing the eastbound track out of use for about 1/3 of a mile, as it had been since the storm (which affected the whole of the N. Wales coast) the previous autumn. Rocks and stones cover this track lower down. Compare with photograph (A) and note how much nearer the bank-edge is now, and also the rearrangement of the overhead lines.”
This Streetview image reveals that the home in the background with the unique arch detail is not only still standing but remains unobstructed.
This time around I’ve added a slightly grubby but very appealing real photo postcard of 59 York Place in Dunedin, NZ. I can just make out the name “Muir & Moodie“, embossed in the lower right corner. A quick search of the internet reveals that this studio began publishing postcards as early as 1898.
I don’t know anything about the home in the background but I was pleased to discover on Google Streetview that it is still standing today.
This photograph, mounted on card, is inscribed Mrs Peter & Family, Kirkland, Sep 6 1899 and includes the intriguing footnote “a little scorched by the fire“. Although I was unable to uncover anything about the fire I was able to learn quite a bit about the family and home featured in the photo.
This is one of two photos I have from the Peter estate, a family who emigrated from Scotland to North America in the late 19th century. My knowledge was limited until Google, yet again, unearthed a wealth of information, this time on a website created by David Morris in South Africa. From information written on the back of the second photo I was able to confirm that this was the same family referenced on this website.
Henry Thomas (Tom) Peter was born in Wemyss, Fife in 1825 and into a prominent family of mill owners. He and his brothers were said to be exceptional golfers and curlers (his father founded the Innerlevan Golf Club). Tom married Marianne Anderson in 1854, raised a family of 6 children, emigrated to the US in 1880 and then to Victoria, BC in 1890. Marianne died in 1892 and Henry Thomas in 1899. Both are buried in the St. Luke’s Anglican churchyard in Victoria (note: the obituaries are courtesy of: The British Colonist Online 1858-1910).
I have no way of knowing which members of the Peter family are in this photograph although I suspect the older lady may be the matriarch Elizabeth Peter (nee Souter) who died in 1912 at Kirkland House and was referred to in the papers as “Mrs Peter”.
Kirkland House was built in the early 19th century and according to the article written by David Morris it was occupied by the family until 1931. It was demolished in 1940 however I was able to find its location using the National Library of Scotland‘s excellent historical Ordnance Survey Maps. Using this map in conjunction with Google Maps I was able to pinpoint the former location of Kirkland House and pin it to Historypin.
This pair of items combines my interest in military ephemera with my affection for London, and particularly, London Underground maps. Both items were provided to Canadian soldiers, sailors and Airmen who were on Leave in London during the Second World War.
The first item is a pocket-sized 2.75″ x 4.25″ Leave Guide for London that contains tips and suggestions on where to stay, where to eat and what to see. It also includes a fold-out map in the back. The booklet ends with an article entitled Enjoy Your Leave – But which includes the warning: Be wary of ‘free’ admission to dubious night haunts from which its hard to escape with any money left on you. London folk are friendly to soldiers from overseas, but don’t mistake for pure friendship the very affectionate greeting of women who stroll idly about the street corners.
The second item is 4″ x 6″ London Leave Clubs booklet that includes a listing of clubs, suggestions on places of interest to the visitor, an H.C. Beck London Underground map and a fold-out map in the back. I’m dating this item to 1943 based on a reference made to 1942 visitor figures in the text.
For more scans of both items check out my Leave Guides for London set on Flickr.
This home first appeared in the 1909 Vancouver Island Directory and I suspect this photo was taken sometime before the First World War. The first owner was George Lister, a plumber, who lived at the residence until 1915 when Ross Todd moved in. A Thomas Beattie and Charles Cummings subsequently occupied the house in 1918 and 1920, but by 1921 the Francis family moved in and made it their home for the next 10 years.
The 1930’s saw several other owners until a Mr. Gosse arrived in 1938. I’ve been unable to take my directory search past 1940 but I suspect the home was demolished in the 1950’s when a large medical building was constructed at the corner of Cook and Pandora.