This striking collection of photographs, presumed to be lost for the last 75 years, was finally found last month by the couple’s grandson himself. Find out the lovely story behind them after the jump!
The couple in the photographs was Denys and Margaret Gardiner, and their grandson is Barney Britton, editor of Digital Photography Review. In early April this year, Britton discovered boxes of 35mm Agfacolor slides in his grandmother’s attic – apparently photos taken by his grandfather’s cousin Eldred Garratt during the camping trip the couple had around England onboard their Morris 8 convertible for their honeymoon. With them was their cat Edgar. In 1939, when these photos were taken, color photography for the masses was still something new and thus considered a “novelty.” The couple went to places in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire. The whole trip lasted for a few weeks in August that year, and in early September, the Second World War finally began.
I don’t know about you, but I find it fascinating and at the same time surreal to discover that these photographs were taken just weeks before the war was declared. That despite the inevitable chaos that would eventually change everything looming in the horizon, regular people went on with their personal lives. During the war, Margaret was said to have served as a nurse in aid stations and hospitals, while Denys, who suffered severe tuberculosis when he was young, became part of England’s Home Guard. The couple went on to live a full life together: Denys passed on in 1995 at 79, while Margaret died only in February this year at 100.