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52 Ancestors: Week 4 – Favourite Photo

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week the prompt is Favourite Photo.

How is it the 4th week of 2021 already? Time seems to be flying by. The Society of Genealogists Stage 2 Skills evening course begins this week, I’m really excited to learn more.

I do not have a specific favourite photo, much depends on my mood, and what I’ve been looking at recently. However, scrolling through I found this wonderful picture of my great-grandparents Charles and Clara Hunt with their children and children-in-law.

I have no idea who took the picture, but I think it was taken for Charles and Clara’s Golden wedding celebrations in 1952. They are wearing the same clothes as in the picture in the paper.

The family are standing outside the home they had built 34 Sandbed Lane, Openwoodgate. Charles’ mother and sister lived next door, in the other half of the semi-detached house, for many years and it was then let out until my grandfather moved in.

Charles Hunt was a “thrower” for Denby pottery, working there for 54 years until his retirement aged 67. Although I knew from Mum that he had worked at Denby this was confirmed by another newspaper extract about the Golden Wedding.

His wife Clara was born in West Bromwich but moved to the Belper area with her family before she was a year old. They married in 1902 but apparently could not have children. They adopted Alice and Eric.

Eric was my grandfather, I think it is him peering over his father’s shoulder. I’ve written about him before. His mother, Martha, Clara’s younger sister died in 1922 when he was five. He lived just down the road from his aunt and uncle and regularly visited. I understand that his father asked Charles and Clara to bring him up on the condition that they did so as their own son.

Clara and Martha’s sister Annie had married Sam Wass and moved away to Wickersley, near Rotherham. Annie’s daughter Marjorie went to stay with her auntie Clara one summer, and took her best friend Bessie with her. Bessie eventually married Eric in 1943, and that is her, holding her mother-in-law’s arm and smiling at the right hand side. Grandma didn’t often smile in photos and that is one of the main reasons I chose this as one of my favourites. It also makes me smile to see her arm-in-arm with her mother-in-law, a relationship that can be awkward.

Next to Charles Hunt in the picture is his adopted daughter Alice. I’m not sure exactly when she was adopted, it was too early for official legal adoption paperwork. She was born in 1907, and in 1911 was living with her two older sisters, three uncles, mum and grandfather. By this time her father was working in New Zealand, I’ve yet to find out why. Her mother died in the early part of 1912 and it seems that Alice was then separated from her sisters and brought up by the Hunt family. I am hoping that the 1921 census released next January will shed some more light on her birth family. Alice married in 1935 and that is her husband Albert peeping between Clara and Grandma. Alice and Albert lived further along Sandbed Lane for the remainder of their lives.

Here are a few more pictures of the family.

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