Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Treasures from Grandma's Attic: Breathtaking Color Photographs of a Peaceful England, Taken by a Couple While on Their Honeymoon Just Weeks Before WWII

Newly-wedded British couple Denys and Margaret Gardiner spent their honeymoon driving 900 miles up and down the east coast of England in August 1939, just weeks before the Second World War broke out. But the best thing (that is, the best thing for us) was that they took color pictures of the countryside they drove their convertible through.

After the death of his grandmother in February 2014, Barney Britton found an unexpected treasure while cleaning out her attic: a wooden box filled with dozens of 35mm slides documenting his grandparents' honeymoon trip in 1939. Although Britton's mother remembered seeing the photos as a child, they were long presumed to be lost after several decades and multiple house moves. To Britton's delight, most of the slides were remarkably well-preserved even after nearly 75 years of storage. Many of the photos were shot using Agfacolor film—a novelty at the time—providing a rare and exceptional look at England in color in the month preceding the outbreak of World War II.

Church of All Saints, Upper Sheringham, Norfolk, 1939

The road between Morston and Blakeney, Norfolk, 1939

Common Lane, towards Brancaster, Norfolk, 1939

Unknown location, August 1939

A Ford, in Thetford Norfolk, 1939

Unknown location, August 1939

Boston, Lincolnshire, 1939

Lincolnshire, 1939

Hull - New Holland Ferry, 1939

Hull - New Holland Ferry, 1939

Nelson Street, Kings Lynn Norfolk, 1939

Burham Market, Norfolk, August 1939

Unknown location, August 1939

Sheringham, Norfolk, August 1939

Stiffkey, Norfolk, August 1939

Unknown location, August 1939

Bridge over River Glaven (between Wiveton and Cley), Norfolk, 1939

Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk, August 1939

Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk, August 1939

Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk, August 1939

Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk, August 1939

Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk, August 1939

Flamborough Head, Yorkshire, 1939

Flamborough Head, Yorkshire, 1939

Yorkshire Moors, August 1939

Yorkshire Moors, August 1939

Lincoln, Lincolnshire 1939

High Bridge, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, 1939

Lincoln Cathedral, from Sincil Dyke, Lincoln, 1939

Brayford Pool, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, 1939

Lincolnshire Wolds, 1939

Lincolnshire Wolds, 1939

Beverley Minster, Yorkshire, 1939

Yorkshire Moors, August 1939

Yorkshire, August 1939

Norfolk, August 1939

York, August 1939

Yorkshire, August 1939

Hampstead Heath looking over 'Vale of Heath', London, 1939

Embankment, Londo,n 1939

Unknown location, August 1939

Cavendish, Suffolk, 1939

Prentice Street, Lavenham, Suffolk, 1939

Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk, August 1939

Near Wethersfield, Suffolk, 1939

Unknown location, August 1939

Unknown location, August 1939

Add captionUnknown location, August 1939

Walsingham, Norfolk, August 1939

Lavenham, Suffolk, August 1939

Unknown location, August 1939

Unknown location, August 1939

Embankment, London, August 1939

Embankment, London, August 1939

Thames, London, 1939

Thames, London, 1939

Archway, London, 1939

Above the Wash, Lincs/Norfolk, August 1939

(Images © Barnaby Britton/ 1939: England in Color)

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