Recently, I’ve been clearing out my mother’s house. Inside a cupboard made in a roof space, I found something I vaguely recognised seeing in Mamgu’s house in Cardigan, West Wales. I’m pretty sure it was a relic of my grandfather’s youth.
I didn’t ever know my grandfather. He died when I was a year old having married my father’s mother in late middle age. She was his second wife. He was a widower with an adult daughter, so somewhere I had a half-aunt. I never knew her too. She was scarcely ever mentioned. Sometimes I wonder if she, or one of her progeny, is one of the distant relatives that come up in Ancestry from time to time.
The object was this: a “perfecscope” with a selection of photographs. They are clearly from the 19th century, when my grandfather would have been a young man.
There’s action scenes from The Boer War, Edwardian women in long skirts and big hats, sporting events, landscapes, famous buildings but there are local scenes too – like this one of Newcastle Emlyn a scene I knew well.
The scene works well in the viewer
the bridge popping out from plane. Although difficult to photograph with one hand.
Something to keep, I think, because looking at these scenes take me back to another time. Not just the Edwardian period of my grandfather’s youth, but the cottage where my grandfather practised his trade as stone mason, and my childhood spent looking through his abandoned workshops filled with treasure like this.