My first long cloth

I can’t say I knew my Grandad as a person. I was thirteen when he died, after several years of debilitating illness and my memories are built around the sick room bed in the front room. Even now what I have learnt is very much filtered through my Grandma’s and I am only just beginning to understand how much that may have distorted what I think I know.

Which is why this photo is special, for written on the back are the words “my first long cloth.” Dapper, I think, the three-piece suit of dark cloth fits well. George has his hands in his pockets, shoes you can see a reflection in and a flower on his lapel. Even his hair shines in the light.

The contrast with the earlier photo on the left couldn’t be starker. Here George wears an ill-fitting dark grey jack, navy shorts, chocolate-coloured socks and are they clogs on his feet? It’s no wonder the “do I have to” glaze and semi clench fists of the boy have been transformed into the confident, nonchalant stance of the youth.  

They must be from a wedding, but who’s?

The photo on the right provides a clue for George has written on the back “new for Mary’s wedding 19/12/37.” (Here’s a man who liked his style, although not his dates as sister Mary married in 1936).

George was born in 1921 and his brother William married in 1935, his brother Thomas in 1938. His sister Hilda married in 1939, by which point the youth was almost a man. William’s it must be and the 28 November 1935 the date where George put on his first smart trousers.  

With much gratitude to Natalie Pithers and the Curious Descendents Club for sending us prompts for #NaNoWriMo.

The marriage of Hilda Houseman and Arthur Fawcett. George is stood on the right, his sister Annie the bridesmaind next to him. Colourised with myheritage. Own collection.

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