17 June 2012

Winnie Tuke and Fred Tate - Family and Holidays in the 1920s

Winnie Tuke
Fred Tate?
A few weeks ago a lovely lady at a car boot fair who shares a common interest in mountaineering history sold me two photograph albums that appear linked. One was made by Winnie Tuke and the other family photo album includes a famous cricketer called Fred Tate. Both albums are lovely records of family life in the early twentieth century. I have selected some photographs from these albums to accompany some historical snapshots of the period.

1914-1918 The Great War
WW1 affected a great many people in the UK in many different ways. Unquestionably, the most traumatic aspect of this war was that it completely removed a generation of young men and left survivors horrifically injured both physically and mentally. Everyone knew someone who had died or been horribly injured. As for the survivors, their experiences were boxed away and family, friends and good times were a great distraction from the horrors etched in their memories. For the women who were left as war broke out, their lives changed dramatically. Some were plunged into poverty as their line of income stopped, and many were thrust into work for the duration of the war. For many women, the war brought nothing but suffering, but for many, it was liberating and almost certainly an catalyst to the suffrage and equal rights movements that followed.

Seaside Holidays
Paid vacations in the 1920s were almost unheard of, and the concept of a long break or annual leave was something that had to be saved for. This can be seen by the number of marriage ceremonies  conducted on Christmas Day - the one day in the year which was a holiday for everyone! Turning to the seaside as a holiday destination, with the development of trams and the railways, families were able to get away to the seaside more easily than before. Middle class families often preferred quieter beaches and would avoid Sunday seaside shenanigans when everyone and anyone swamped to the coast to get the most out of their day off (Horn, 1995).

Horn, P (1995). Women in the 1920s. 


  1. A warm welcome to Sepia Saturday, and what a good start you’ve made with these charming pictures. We look forward to many more.

    You may or may not be aware that you have word verification switched on. Most of us on SS have switched it off with no ill effects as it is making commenting difficult.

  2. What a great find. Those photos are fantastic and I love how you related them to history.
    That was Interesting about Christmas weddings. How sad to think that people only got one holiday from work in a whole year.

    1. I have a very charming marriage certificate dated 25th Dec 1902.I will blog about it at some point.
      Thanks for popping by my blog!

  3. The Tates were famous Sussex cricketers. Fred's son Maurice was probably the most famous. If you have more photos of Fred they are worth hanging on to. A cricket memorabilia collector would be delighted to have them.

  4. What a lovely group of pictures - thanks for sharing them with us. Interesting to read about vacations (or lack of) during the 1920s. By the way, I like the look of your webpage and I learned the definition of a new word today - deltiologist. :)

  5. What a find! And Tuke and Tate sound like an old vaudeville team.