Christmas Days : afternoon tea

Some of the ideas I had for short posts didn’t quite work out in practice so for this last one I asked myself the question: can I make a post out of a single picture?

To start with, here’s a nice family group.


Mother, eldest son on holiday from school, still in the tight stiff collar, youngest child a bit impatient for her ice cream, bored with waiting for the photographer to finish and absolutely not enjoying wearing that hat

Look behind them.


A couple of the waitresses, and the singers in their nearly matching dresses.  That woman whose face we can just see in front of them might be sitting at a piano. Two young ladies are glancing up at the photographer from under wide brimmed hats.


Look up at the many treats on offer such as the Parfaits at 1s/3d and the New Jersey Sundae, just a shilling. Order from your waitress who will bring it from the counter.


That may be the entrance to a lift behind the curtain. The photographer has the patrons’ attention but are they all quite willing to pose . This is an exclusive establishment after all, and being photographed in it is a sign of distinction. A couple of .gentlemen at the back, but on the whole this is a place for the ladies.


On the other side of the aisle more ladies enjoying afternoon tea, more waitresses in their black headbands and another selection of treats.

This is the whole picture.


The terrace garden at Barker’s department store, sometime on a long leisured afternoon in the 1930s. Make the most of it, ladies and gentlemen.



Bern, Chloe and Suze exploring the archives.


And finding a few spots to perch on in the manuscript stacks.

From them and me, a happy Christmas to you all.



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