I’m coming to the end of my investigations into the people who signed my grandmother’s autograph album, the album which was then taken over by my mum and her sisters when they were teenagers. Some of the signatures are indecipherable, some of the names not uncommon enough to trace, but with others I have managed to trace my grandma and mum’s friends.
I’m looking at a page with a simple, what you might call naive painting, looking across a field, and maybe an orchard with a church in the background. There’s a woman with a pink dress, a black sleeveless jacket and white hat who is under a large tree on the right, but she’s too small to make out. Nellie painted the picture in 1912 so a friend of my grandma’s. She lived in London at the time, so although the church might be identifiable if I knew where the area was, it’s impossible. It might even be an imaginary church! Nellie is probably for another name, Eleanor maybe, or Helen, but those names don’t occur in grandma’s family at the time, so again, I shall never know who Nelly was!
On the opposite page are signatures written a quarter of a century later by friends of my mum, and i can’t find any of these people… here they are:
Kenneth Allen (Captain Church Army) C.A. Crusaders, July 8th 1936
E. Hope Mc Callam (cadet) – ‘Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life and have it abundantly.”
C.M. Griffiths – July 1936
I’ve searched for these people in different ways, but there are just not enough clues! I know my mum and sisters went on Girl Guide camps, maybe they went on Church Army camps too – none of them were very religious, but they all went to church each Sunday – it was what people did in the village where they lived.