Dame Nellie Melba, OBE


Two weeks ago, while sorting through an old box of my grandmothers’s bits and pieces, my mother found a signed photograph of the famous Australian opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, OBE. It was taken in a Parisian photographic studio and she is dressed in full Edwardian finery.  Dated 1898, it is signed ‘To Mrs. Duff, from her sincere friend, Nellie Melba”.

The Marwood sisters of Pleasington Lodge, near Blackburn , Lancashire, Freda, Muriel (my grandmother) and Angela, together with their first cousins Constance, Dorothy and Monica Marwood of Beech Cottage, Liverpool, were all devoted followers of the theatre and opera, collecting and exchanging  photographs of the stars of the day.

Most of these mementos have disappeared over the years, so my mother was delighted to find this one, and rather hopes to find one or two more as her sorting continues. The name ‘Mrs Duff’ is puzzling her though; she’s never heard of her before.


The digital portrait collection

The Wedding of Giles Simon Kirby and Angela Mary Julie Birtwistle 1952

This post is a version of my Genealogical dead ends revisted post, but it’s about the photograps and illustrations I’ve found of my ancestors rather than just their names. I’ll do one about places sometime, and also about biographies, etc. I have set up a photostream on FlickR so you can see all the images in a slideshow, and I will link to the individual photos from the names of ancestors I have identified below.  Continue reading “The digital portrait collection”

Sir Douglas and Mary Fox Golden Wedding Anniversary

Trying to work out who is in the photo above and below is a part detective, but guess work based on the announcement below and picture below from Agnes Fox’s scrapbook. It’s definitely Sir Douglas and his wife Mary (Wright) sitting in the front row. The man in the middle behind them is my great grandfather Ernest Beresford Fitzherbert Wright. He’s not with his wife Lucy Adeline (née Fox) who is probably sitting in front row. At a guess I would say it’s her on the left and her sister Agnes Selina on the right. After that it gets more difficult. The Reverand and his wife could either be Rev. Edward H. Askwith and his wife Mary Douglas (née Fox) or  Rev. James S. Wimbush and his wife Judith Isabel (née Fox). The other male on the left I’m guessing is the son Francis Douglas Fox and his wife. If I was a better man I’d say it back row left to right was Mildred Fox (née Harris) and her husband Francis Douglas Fox, Judith Isabel Askwith (née Fox), Ernest Beresford Fitzherbert Wright, and Mary Douglas Wimbush (née Fox) and  Rev. James S. Wimbush. I say this because Mary was older than Judith. Continue reading “Sir Douglas and Mary Fox Golden Wedding Anniversary”