Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Amateur photo of a wedding group, 1926

The popularisation of photography after the turn of the century was brought about largely by the introduction of cheap cameras and roll film which could be loaded without the need of a dark room. This enabled the taking of portraits on special occasions without the need to visit a studio.

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

One such example from my own family collection is a small and unfortunately rather grainy print, of the wedding party at the marriage of my grandparents, Charles Leslie Lionel Payne (1892-1975) and Ethel Brown (1894-1978), measuring 102 x 61 mm - much the same size as a carte de visite, which had gone out of fashion some two decades earlier, superseded by the postcard. It was presumably taken by a family member or friend with their own camera. The wedding took place on 22 September 1826 at St. Augustine's Church, Normanton, and the photograph was taken, according to my father, in the garden of the Brown family home at 121 Crewe Street, Normanton, Derby.

The group are, from left to right, Charles Vincent Payne (1868-1941) and Amy Payne née Robinson (1867-1932), the groom's parents, Leslie and Ethel Payne, bride and groom, Edith Newman Brown née Miller (1872-1956) and Frederick Montague Brown (1870-1960), parents of the bride. The dog's name is unknown!

Image © & courtesy of Margaret Pugh

For many years, this was the only photograph that we knew of from that day. However, during an exchange of email correspondence in 2001 with a niece of my grandfather's war time friend Canadian Pete MacLaggan, she discovered some Payne photos in an a couple of albums inherited decades earlier from her uncle. Among these was another photo, shown above, of the "happy couple," obviously taken within minutes of the group photo. Of the dozens of photos that I have seen of my grandfather, this is one of the few in which he is smiling.


  1. He was a happy groom looking forward to his life with his beautiful bride! I love that these two pictures were made outside in the garden.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Judith, and for the many others that you've left on this blog. I have since "discovered" a lot more photographs of my grandfather in his earlier years, and will no doubt feature some of them in forthcoming posts. Many are amateur shots, and reveal much about his life as a young man in the pre- and post-First World War years.

    Regards, Brett


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