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Eighty Years Ago

My neighbours are renovating their cottage which is grade II listed. They are understandably keen to collect images and information about how it used to look, so have been looking through piles of old postcards and photos of the locality. They came across this lovely example from 1937 which is of my cottage.

Taken over eighty years ago, but still recognisable

The first thing that struck me was how quiet the road is! It’s a busy main road these days, and the only time I would dare to walk down the middle of it like that is when it’s been closed to traffic by the police or by heavy snow.

The Hills also look very different – there are many more trees on the lower slopes now, and a significant wood has grown up in the waste ground at the front right of the picture.

Despite those relatively cosmetic changes, the house is still very recognisable. In particular, you can make out the big bay window to the front room, and the troublesome porch. The house has been extended at both ends since 1937, so overall must be at least half as big again now as it was then.

It also looks as if there is another roofed structure in the front garden, just to the right of the big tree (that’s not there any more either). I think it must be a roof over the well, as I do have a disused well underneath a bird bath roughly at the same position. That seems a bit odd, as I’ve read elsewhere that from approx 1927 all the cottages in this little hamlet were supplied with drinking water pumped from a spring on the other side of British Camp, and there are still large water tanks in my loft from that date. Perhaps the well was a backup, or used to water the garden? Also, although it’s difficult to tell, the clothes the women are wearing look to me to pre-date the 1930s. I’m no expert, but perhaps Malvern was something of a fashion backwater? (My sister would say it still is!) Or maybe the photo was in fact taken earlier, and only labelled as 1937 subsequently?

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Ruth | 3 February 2018 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    In my experience, the number on the front of a postcard is often the postcard *number* rather than a date, especially on older “Real Photographic” cards. I assume that it has not been postally used, and so has no date on the back? From what I can see, I’d think that it is a pre-1918 photo from the dresses. Does it have a photographer’s name on the back?

  2. Gillian | 12 February 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    That’s an interesting suggestion. I don’t have the original card though so can’t check further – my neighbours sent me the picture by email and I don’t know whether it was a scan of a physical postcard, or an image they found online somewhere.

  3. pauld | 4 February 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    what a quaint little cottage on a nice old lane, i’d buy it, if it was 70 years ago 🙂

    Personally i think they should reforrest large chunks of the Malvern Hills