Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Spring is nearly sprung

'Nellie Lemon holiday 1935', originally uploaded by Trevira.

There's been a spell of bright sunny weather recently, and the days suddenly seem to have grown that bit longer. Like most British people, I am obsessed with the weather and we tend to get unreasonably excited at any breaks in the cloud.

This sunshine immediately made me think of the picture above, which is easily one of my absolute favourites from my collection.

Meet Nellie Lemon enjoying her holiday at the South Devon Holiday Camp in Paignton, South Devon, sometime in 1935. Not only is she blessed with the most delightful name, but she is captured at the perfect point mid-swing, her face reflecting the simple bliss of simple pleasures. In the sunshine. On holiday.

Nellie's outfit - of a geometric diamond print dress worn with a scarf at the neck and a beret artfully angled to one side, and what might be white leather shoes punched with cooling holes on the vamp - is equally perfect.

I'd challenge any photographer to sum up the best of an English summertime any better than this, an amateur snapshot from 75 years ago. Even the backdrop, of neat little chalets backed by gently rolling hills and trees, is perfect.

Nellie's photograph is my image of what an ideal summer should be (I've overused 'perfect' so I can't possibly use it again!)

This picture comes from an album chock full of entertaining and arresting photographs. The star (and possibly the original owner/author) of it is a very handsome young man called Maurice, who definitely deserves a post of his own sometime.

I'm not sure that Nellie appears in any other photos apart from this one, but as far as I'm concerned she is the star today.


fuzzylizzie said...

I love the look of pure joy on Nellie's face!

Ah! The first day of spring...

TinTrunk said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the picture! Its really special to me.