Thursday, 15 February 2018


Maurice Lait (centre) - listed as missing in WW1

This is a photograph which has been added to our family record only recently.

I had already written some of the story of my 2nd cousin (three times removed), Private Maurice LAIT, on another blog post on this site which you can find <here>

But one of the things which was missing from it was an actual photo of the man himself.

I received a message from a researcher who is looking into some of the deceased from 1916, to say that he had found this photo of my relative in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph newspaper.

At the time it was posted he had been listed as missing. It was a plea for information from his mother who was living in Buxton, Derbyshire.

Unfortunately, Maurice was found to have been killed in action on the 1st July 1916.

His name is listed on the Thiepval Memorial in France.

I am so grateful to the researcher who sent me this photograph. I had gathered a fair amount of information about my cousin, but what was missing was an actual image of him.

For this kind gesture, I am extremely grateful. 

Friday, 9 February 2018


Hannah, Martha & Elizabeth Englebretsen

Pictured in the back garden at the new house in Lordens Road, Huyton, the three Englebretsen sisters - Hannah, Martha and my grandmother, Elizabeth.

The photo is not dated, but we estimate that it was taken shortly after WW2 ended when Hannah, her husband Charles Irvine and their family were living in a property built in Huyton - in what were then the suburbs of Liverpool.

A couple of other photographs from this day exist in the family archive, and there is no doubt that the family were enjoying a party - there is a wind-up gramophone pictured on one, another shows some of the family dancing in the garden. Unfortunately, the reason for the 'do' hasn't been recorded. 

However, my mother fondly recalls visits up to the house with her parents when they lived in Toxteth. At the time, the young teenage girl used to feel that Huyton was 'out in the country', being situated on the edge of the main city conurbation at that time. The area was surrounded by greenery and visitors from Toxteth needed to catch two trams or buses to get up there. It was a house she remembers fondly and with love.

The house was home to succeeding generations of Hannah's and her daughter's family, until relatively recently when my aunt (also named Hannah) passed away.

The house was then sold to a local family, who will hopefully find as much love there as they all did. 

Friday, 2 February 2018


 Joan and the Boys

Mum Joan SEAMAN around 1959/1960, with Gary on her knee and Graham holding the lorry. Pictured in a rare colour photo of the time, sitting on the couch in her parents rented home in Hughson Street, Toxteth, Liverpool 8. The house was a small two-up, two-down terraced house in which we were all living at the time. 

My Gran and Grandad slept in the main bedroom at the front of the house, while Mum, Dad, Gary and myself slept in the smaller back bedroom. My brother and I would eventually sleep in bunk beds - Gary on the bottom, me on the top. My Aunt then slept downstairs in the front parlour room on a fold up sofa bed. 

As if all this was a bit basic, there was also no bathroom in the property. We had to get washed in the back kitchen, after it had been warmed up from the heat of the stove-- or had to take a stand-up bath in front of the fire in an old tin bath. When not in use the bath would usually hang up on the wall outside the kitchen in the backyard.

Finally, there were no indoor toilet facilities in the property. If we needed the loo we would have to go down to the bottom of the yard and do our business in the outside toilet. There was no heating or lighting in the cold brick-built shed. We would need to go down there during the snow in winter or with an umbrella when it was raining. 

Not good. Oh...and don't forget your torch whatever you do!     

Wednesday, 4 October 2017


One of two possible photos which could have been taken to record the wedding of my great-grandparents, Peder Ingebretsen (Englebretsen) and Elizabeth Douglas.

The couple were married in Liverpool, England on the 1st November 1890, at Holy Trinity Church in Toxteth.

Peder's actual Norwegian surname of Ingebretsen had been 'Anglo-fied' by this time to Englebretsen, the name which then carried on down to their three surviving daughters - Hannah, Elizabeth and Martha. 

Saturday, 30 September 2017


One Sunday morning, a few years back, I decided to go and take a look along Smithdown Road, Liverpool to try and see if I could locate the place where my Dad had been born.

On arriving and parking the car across the road, I found this sight before me.

95A, the flat where my grand-mother gave birth to him, is the one with the missing front wall. 

Not only had I found the property where he had been born, but I could actually see into the rooms themselves!

The location didn't last long after this, for the area was scheduled for redevelopment and the property was demolished. I think only a few weeks afterwards!

I can't help but think that someone was behind my decision to go out with the camera on that day.

It had been my last opportunity... and I'm so glad that I took it. 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017


This is an extract from the Wrexham Advertiser, dated 14 May 1881, which details the death of my great-grandfather (x3), Thomas SEAMAN.

Thomas was tragically killed in a mining accident at Hawarden Colliery in Flintshire, when he was caught in the lift mechanism at the base of the shaft, and his head was crushed.

Thomas' trade at the time was to work as a blacksmith and shoemaker, and he had been going down into the pit to tend to the shoes of the pit ponies which worked there.

I've included the wider segment of the article as well here, as it is interesting to read some of the other items which featured on the page at the time. The language used appears a bit strange in places, and it certainly highlights the fact that the paper was reporting on events in a different age.

Apart from the item on my great-grandfather, I think my favourite is the report of the annual dinner which took place at the Crown Hotel. The paper states that it was '...of a very hilarious nature', and '...the enjoyment was kept up till far on in the evening.' 

I would have liked to be a fly on the wall at that one!  

Wednesday, 20 September 2017


One for Wordless Wednesday.... my grandmother M.E.G. LAIT (left), having a break at the sweet factory with a friend while wearing her shiny shoes! 

How I wish I could see through them to read the full name on that cart!

Plus an early example of photo-bombing, which at that time, hadn't even been thought of!