Hey … I Think There’s Something Familiar About This Photograph

Remember when I promised you a surprise in yesterday’s post … what do you think about this one? Recognize anyone in the old pub photo above? I think you may have seen this couple in other posts scattered around my blog. While John and I appear thanks to my sister Margaret and her amazing Photoshop skills, the photo below is our village pub as it looked before being destroyed by fire in the mid-nineteenth century.

I copied the old photo in our pub a few days ago and thought you might enjoy seeing the pub as it looked back then so you might compare it with how it looks now in the image below. It’s a good bit different and certainly more modern, but you might be surprised to know that our pub still burns coal in the fireplaces in both the pub side and the restaurant. I’m sure there are places in the US where this still happens, but I never saw or smelled it until moving to the UK.

I hope you enjoyed the pub photos as much as I did. Thanks again to Margaret for obliging my last minute request to add us to the old image.

10 thoughts on “Hey … I Think There’s Something Familiar About This Photograph

  1. Never mind pubs, coal was commonplace in the UK in homes all over (including my parents’) when I moved to the UK for the 2nd time 30 years ago. Many pubs still have fires, but they are often fake and powered by gas.

    I think I am getting weird on architecture. I looked at your pub now pic and thought “mid Victorian upgrade” and I bet the roof (maybe not this one, which looks very new) transition from thatch to slate may have been as late as the early 1900’s had not the fire taken it before. On the other hand I may be alllll wrong! In any case it’s very grand, with its two stories and all.

    I think you have a side career looming as the local historian/ documentarian, or is that post already taken?

    • Mariellen ~ There are still a good many homes in our village that heat their home completely with coal. The smell is interesting on a cold winter night when walking back from the pub after dinner on quiz night. The old pub actually had a smaller building attached to it that burned down as well and it was left off when they built the new one. Did you get a laugh from the first photo?

  2. I can’t imagine that burning coal would be good for one’s lungs over time, but the English seem to be a hardy bunch. What a charming photo. I love seeing the before and after. It’s a lovely pub.

  3. Well, it’s not just the English who breathe coal fumes. Fifty percent of electricity is produced in the USA, for example, by coal burning power stations. This is true of most industrialised countries. Same pollution, just spread more widely.

  4. I had a little thought on seeing the photo and that was thinking, “Oh, that’s John, clear to see ..but is that *Elizabeth*?? She’s not smiling …so I didn’t recognise her at first” ….!!!

    Please, be clear on this. You are under no obligation to smile for anyone, and certainly for not me. You should be yourself, even if that meant no smiles and much seriousness. However, inspite of the the growls and grrs we all have in our lives including those that are deep and painful, what’s noticeable these days – these years in fact – is that far from being serious, in most pictures I see you, you are grinning from ear to ear …and I think that’s a good thing. Or at least I interpret it as reflecting good things in your life.

    You and your husband may both take an individually and severally liable bow.

    • Mariellen ~ No worries about my lack of smile. We felt we needed one that looked more grim looking to go with the life of women back then. Also,my face in that photo is a younger me. Don’t let my lack of facial lines fool you for when we finally meet in person. I think that is my 2006 or early 2007 face.

      John didn’t see the picture or post until I hit publish and at a glance thought that it looked like a relative of mine rather than me, only later did he realize that he was the man sitting down.

  5. Did your sister have the photo of you and John in costume to start with? Either way, she did a GREAT job in Photoshop. If she didn’t have that, then she did an amazing job.

    It is fun to compare then and now. What’s wonderful is how little has actually changed. I guess some New England towns would have comparable continuity in terms of where the green and the major buildings are, but most cities in the US wouldn’t have such overlap.

    • OTRgirl ~ She did have the costume/chair combo to work with and had to work on John’s head more than mine. She always does such a job when I ask her for PS work. I’m rubbish at it!
      I do love being able to get my hands on old photographs especially here where some things change very little outwardly. Speaking of change, I just LOVE the photos of your new house. I can’t wait to see it after you move in.

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