More From The Past

A while ago I received a communiqué from a member of the ‘Soddenham diaspora’ who sent me a number of photographs of ‘the old country’ he had just inherited. Mr. Pickard, a regular visitor to our humble website, sent me an elegantly typed letter explaining his scant knowledge of the images and why they were sorted in such a way. He wrote;

“Hi Les,soddenham-pickard-6 About a week ago I was given a whole load of old boxes and tins that belonged to my uncle who for most of his life lived in Soddenham as did his father. I’ve been working my way through the contents of these boxes.  In an an old rusty biscuit tin labelled “Old Soddenham Pictures”  are a lot of images sorted into various envelopes with odd titles.”

The first image (at top) was loose in the tin and shows a group of people in a seated trailer being towed by a tractor. We cannot find any references to rides given anywhere  in our archives but can state confidently that the trailer  belonged to the Mulgrew family as it is crudely marked with the Mulgrew device on the back panel:


Amongst the many photographs were this curious pair in an envelope marked “Shame”. The members of SHSCC were most puzzled by these images:

Two benches. Two empty benches. Could these be the locations of some sort of furtive activity; a tryst between married lovers? a place where hearts and trusts were broken perhaps? Neither bench bears any identifying marks nor or these photographs marked on the reverse, as others are. This we may never know. One thing is for sure is that the bench above is the one on the village side of the Leam just above the mill pond. The bottom one is a mystery. We do not have dry stone walling around these parts, so its relevance is even more confusing.

The next two were also loose in the tin and a little more macabre:

The name or dates on the headstone are not visible and whilst there is an inscription on the reverse, it reveals little about the subject. The inscription reads:

Which is based upon something from Revelations 13:14 but not a direct quotation.

The next is the skeleton of a beast. Now none of us here are animal or bones experts, but all seem to agree that this is very likely to be a sloth, and we have no idea what it would be doing here.

A Message from The Soddenham Historical Society and Curry Club
Perhaps you can help? We are enthusiastic amateurs and try our best with the resources available to us but recognise that we may not be as accurate as we would like to be. Are our conclusions correct? Do you have another answer? Can you prove it? We would love to hear from you. Get in touch with Les Taret via the contact form here. In particular, we are looking for any clues about the images featured abouve.

Many thanks to Mr Pickard for granting us permission to share these images with the general public.

3 thoughts on “More From The Past

  1. Curiouser and curiouser. Mr Pickard’s cache of old photographs is clearly raising a lot more questions than giving answers. Being something of an amateur anthropologist I can confirm that the skeleton is indeed that of a sloth although which species I can’t be sure without a closer examination. Everything else pictured is a mystery to me but the stone bench in the second photograph seems oddly familiar in a dreamlike manner. I can only wish you luck identifying these past happenings Les, it seems like you have a real conundrum on your hands here. Very best wishes.

  2. Definitely curious. Mr. Pickard’s tin of photos has caused quite a stir here at the SHSCC as you will soon learn, as we are investigating a number of interesting images that concern our little community. There is plenty more to come!

    I do hope that someone stumbles across us on this grand internet and is able to shed some light on some of these images. Until then, we continue to fumble on as best we can.

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