Sunday, 8 May 2011

Recent additions to the Scarratt postcard archive

In the last month or so I've added some new images of postcards by the Derbyshire photographer Frank Scarratt to the gallery. Several of these were not listed in Rod Jewell's excellent Yesterday's Derby and its Districts, so I thought I'd share these from shortly before and after the Great War, even though they are low resolution images found mainly on eBay. Their appearance in the short time since I started this project demonstrates that there are probably still many more of the "missing" numbers in the catalogue sequence yet to be "discovered."

799. Wirksworth Road, Duffield
Sepia postcard, F.W. Scarratt, 1913

Frank Scarratt's bicycle is parked at the kerb and he has managed to capture several residents attending to their daily business, as in so many of his shots from this period.

Wirksworth Road in Duffield hasn't changed much in the last century, apart from the removal of a couple of large trees. I guess there are far fewer bicycles and prams, and a few more motor vehicles (Click the image for Google Maps' Street View).

902. Barton-under-Needwood Church
Sepia postcard (narrow white border), F.W. Scarratt, 1914

Three girls happily pose for Frank in this pre-war view of Barton-under-Needwood, in adjacent Staffordshire. Perhaps they were even relatives, as his father was born in Barton and he still had a cousin living there in 1901.

The parish church of St James in Barton-under-Needwood is still surrounded by substantial trees, which makes for a pleasant environment but renders Google's Street View car a little hampered.

1241. Tank, Normanton Recreation Grounds, Derby
Sepia postcard (narrow white border), F.W. Scarratt, 1925

This must be a rare one, because it fetched a pretty good price. In the Bygones section of the Derby Evening Telegraph, republished here, a staff member of the Derby Museum and Art Gallery asked readers for information about a First World War British Mark IV tank presented to Derby in recognition of the town's "fund-raising efforts to help pay for the production of Britain’s new secret weapon." Leslie Simnett of Belper recalled its arrival at the Normanton Recreation Ground on a warm sunny day in 1919 or 1920:
I cannot recollect any ceremony taking place but I do clearly remember an invasion of little and not-so-little boys, all eager to fight mock battles, happy to bang their heads and graze their bare knees on this new-found plaything.
Reg Ward of Sinfin, a former resident of Normanton, had more information about its removal:
I watched the military cutting it up with acetylene welders for scrap metal just before or in the early years of the Second World War. I used to live in the Normanton area and spent a lot of time on the park.

1403. Tennis Courts, Osmaston Park Road, Derby
Sepia postcard (narrow white border), F.W. Scarratt, 1929

I couldn't locate this scene with any certainty. I'm not even sure whether it was in Derby or at Osmaston Park, but perhaps a Derby resident can help. No doubt the tennis courts are long gone.

1481. Shardlow Road, Derby
Sepia postcard (narrow white border), F.W. Scarratt, 1931

With all the development that has taken place to the south and south-east of Derby in recent years, it will probably be difficult to locate this image, but I suspect it was somewhere near Alvaston.

1730. 5x-multiview, Castle Donington
Sepia postcard (Multiview with palette, narrow white border), F.W. Scarratt, 1936

One of the popular multiviews, this contained five scenes at Castle Donington just across the county border in Leicestershire, several of which were also published as individual postcards (1537 - Hall with Deer; 1809 - Key House).

If you have any Scarratt postcards that you'd like to share, I'd be very happy to add medium to low resolution images to the gallery. (Email)

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