Family history is a fascinating thing, and I seem to be in the grip of it. To learn more about my Great Uncle James Brazill I will need to travel to France and go Mouquet Farm where he died in battle in WW1, but alas that will not happen in the near future. Today my interest has been captured by a lost family history, not mine but another family who at this stage is unknown to me but I am on the hunt to see what I discover.
Have you ever gone into a junk shop and found very old family photos, sometimes beautifully framed, up for sale? I feel much sadness wondering why no family member has taken it upon themselves to keep these treasures. I have often thought there should be a ‘Photoshelter’ where these unwanted photos can be dropped off in the hope that someone will come looking for them one day.
Tonight I am going to an auction house in Adelaide to carry out my own rescue mission. It seems that a once wealthy family has come to the end of the line, there appears to be no relatives who exist or are interested in saving any of this very old family memorabilia. As a result it is all going up for auction and I suspect the proceeds will be going to some worthwhile charity. I may even hazard a guess that the charity might be the RSPCA as there is a huge amount of horse memorabilia, even original Phar Lap books etc.
The lady who had lived in the home was 88 (born 1922) an only child and a spinster (love that word so harsh, such a put down for women who were never ‘lucky’ enough to marry) and had lived there from birth. There is much memorabilia from a posh boys school in Adelaide so I suspect the father came from a moneyed family where more got spent than was made and eventually there was none. The money certainly was enjoyed as there are photo albums showing grand tours of Europe , and many once beautiful toys and clothing up for sale. She must have had a fabulous and indulged childhood, but sadly what remains is a faded, decaying and crumbling collection of a nursery that once reflected the family’s position in Adelaide’s society.
I have already been to inspect the booty and could not bring myself to even touch the objects as they are being presented as found in the old home, rotting, dusty and falling to pieces, luckily they don’t smell! I have decided that I want to learn more about this woman and what her life was, I don’t even know her name. I managed to get bits of information from the auction house but they were not very forthcoming- probably due to privacy laws (not always useful!), so clearly to find out more I need to purchase as many boxes of family photos as I can and some of the old toys and other bits and pieces. I figure there can’t be too many people out there as interested as me in a history of a family that I don’t know, so I should manage to purchase most items for very little. Of course, I will say a prayer to give me the edge, and I will keep you informed of my random hunt to rescue the history of a sadly lost family.
I am really excited about this little rescue mission and it is a pleasant diversion from what I should really be doing at the moment, and that is writing my back labels and organizing my bottling of my 2010 Teresa and my 2008 The James Brazill, but as I have stated before I am easily distracted!
God keep you safe!