Picturing people

Aileen Stace and Fluffy in Stace's electric car, Atalanta (click for image credit)

Aileen Stace and Fluffy in Stace's electric car, Atalanta (click for image credit)

It is always a pleasure to announce the addition of images to the biographies section of our site. Recently 13 more were uploaded, some generously donated by descendants and others obtained by our researchers. I find it fascinating to put a face to a name – in the case of Minnie Dean, a notorious name (though she looks harmless enough here).

We’ve included some pictures of less well-known subjects, as well as the famous. It is so exciting to obtain photographs from family collections. Market gardener and winemaker Joe Ah Chan beams out from this candid photo, while midwife Inger Jacobsen and her husband sit proudly surrounded by their many children in a formal portrait.

We’ve also added to our gallery of artists and craftspeople. Clas Edvard Friström poses with his paint palette, while Margaret Butler is shown at work on a sculpture, ‘The shepherdess’. Pat Perrin sits for the photographer surrounded by examples of her innovative pottery.

Objects in the photographs often tell a story. The microscope to the side of the desk in this portrait of Charles Hercus proclaims his status as a scientist and medical researcher. Fashions and facial hair trends also send subtle messages. John O’Donovan looks every inch the gentleman with his neatly trimmed goatee, while Gilbert Mair was a swashbuckling figure in his day and would surely qualify as a hipster now with his luxuriant beard.

Finally, with the assistance of a descendant we have been able to include a lovely series of photographs of Aileen Stace throughout her life. Stace helped revive the craft of spinning, and also coped with disability in the days before much community assistance existed. These images from the family album show her as a teenager, with her supportive father and sisters, cuddling beloved pet dogs, and in her specially made electric car, which she named Atalanta. Her determination, courage and warmth shine out from these delightful photographs.

One comment added so far

  1. Comment made by John || December 11th, 2014

    The photo at the top of the blog takes me back! I recall, as a child in Eastbourne, regularly seeing that elderly woman in her invalid carriage. Though I didn’t know her personally (my mother might have), she was a well-known personality in the village.

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