make something every day – family history 001

“Family History” day kicked off with a memory shared from Facebook. Last year, I saw this photo shared on a South Birmingham Past/Present type group and was pretty sure I’d spotted my aunt, Saffron, so shared it with her and I was right. We think it was 1956. She and Sue gave me some more background.

West Heath May Queen and entourage c1956

“I remember the day so well, feeling nervous and embarrassed and scared, and my friend Christine Smith as the other ‘maid of honour’. Jeez 🙄”

“it was an annual event. It was the May Queen who then ‘reined’ over the West Heath carnival. I remember Saffron’s dress was green flock with velvet ribbon trim!”

“I’m sure Mom made Saffron’s [dress]”

“I wonder if mom made Christine’s dress as well. Yes, remember the green velvet ribbon especially 😉”


I moved on to looking for some reminiscence materials for my Uncle Lloyd. When I saw him a couple of weeks ago, we talked about when he lived on Main Street, just off the Stratford Road in the early 1960s.

I found him in the electoral roll for 1962 in Flat 2, 48 Main Street, the house isn’t there any more, but I did find a 1938 25-inch OS map that includes that area on the National Library of Scotland site (lots of old maps there, with Creative Commons licences).

He struggles with following online stuff, so I’m printing it all out and sending him a letter, but I’ll also share it by email with his remaining two sisters and one brother.

I also had a scout around for things to do with Eaton’s, the Canadian department store. He lived in Toronto and worked as a delivery driver for them in the mid-1950s (he went out there in 1955 and returned in 1958, I have shown him the passenger lists he was on).

Lloyd Davenport c.1955-58 delivering furniture for Eaton's in Toronto, Ontario

I really ought to have a dig for his military record (National Service) and Police Service record next.

With this stuff, it’s really hard to stay focused, because there are so many rabbit holes to go down. The best solution I’ve found is to give myself a fairly narrow goal, keep bringing myself back to take notes of what I have found and pointers to interesting things that need to be followed up, and forgiving myself for spending more time on it than I intended!