Fab Feb Photo Festival -Day 4 – Baby books and birthdays

4 x 7UP collage

This is a photo from my 3rd birthday with my new doll, Ann.
This is a photo from my 3rd birthday with my new doll, Ann.

Birthdays and parties seem synonymous these days but were they when you were growing up? Certainly mine were pretty much always low-key affairs as I explained a while ago in another post.

While I had a few friends and family over for each birthday, with party hats and presents, there was none of the hoopla that seems almost compulsory for many children these days, with reciprocal gift bags for the guests, clowns, jumping castles and the like.
For the first few years of my life, Mum kept a baby book for me so I’m going to let that speak to this photo from the collage.

An extract from my baby book written in my mother’s immaculate handwriting.
I'm guessing this is the doll, Thelma, that I got for my 2nd birthday.
I’m guessing this is the doll, Thelma, that I got for my 2nd birthday.

It’s really lovely to read some of these notes because it tells me who gave me my little gold bangle. While it has little commercial value, what I now realise is this was my last present from my maternal grandmother who died suddenly a few months before my next birthday. It probably also explains why my baby book ceases with this birthday. Looking back what’s conspicuous from these notes is how my paternal grandparents appear to have been excluded from the celebrations even though they lived next door. Nor does my maternal grandfather feature although he would still have been at work full-time. The other thing I now notice is that my grandmother’s name drops the Mc…which is exactly how it was when the family lived in Ireland -funny how things stand out from the distance of time.P1190441

page 6 txt baby book - crop

Dolls were obviously a regular present option as I got one for my 2nd birthday as well and I know that some years later I also got a tall walky-talky bride doll which I named Mary.

Fab Feb imageFamily Hx writing challenge

This post is part of the February Photo Collage Festival and the Family History Writing Challenge.

6 thoughts on “Fab Feb Photo Festival -Day 4 – Baby books and birthdays

  1. How lucky you are to have such momentoes and photogrpahs from your early birthdays. Love the photographs. I vaguely remember my birthdays which would be regarded as low key by today’s standards – but were still special. For a start we used the “front” room and I wore my “party dress”. and there was different food such as sausage rolls, iced gem biscuits, jelly and fruit in little cases and an icecream cake which was bought at the last minute from the dairy up the road, as we did nto have a fridge. Entertainment was Pass the Parcel or Musical Chairs with my aunt playing away on the piano. Then my father bought some kind of projector which projected images onto the wall – our favourite scene was a diver in an old fashioned heavy diving costume and Dad could make him go up and down at break neck speed which delighted us.


    1. Too true that “yesterday’s” parties were much simpler affairs. I love hearing how you were in the “front room” and yes, a special “party dress” often new was part of it (if probably less formal here). The food seems very much as it would have been here too, reaffirming our British traditions in those days. Ditto pass the parcel, musical chairs, and how about pin the tail on the donkey -bet you played that too. Love the idea of the projector thingy -can’t say I ever saw one of those. I’ll bet you all loved it.


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