Who are these nameless people of Great Dunmow who stare into the middle-distance of their 1860s photographs? Only a few bare facts are known about them – their photos all purchased from that well-known internet auction-house. The first five photos came from a single house-clearance in Sussex, so were all related to each other; whilst the sixth photo came from Ireland.
The ladies from Sussex are all wearing the same head-dress. Are they grandmother, two daughters, and grand-daughter? The small child (boy or girl?) has been photographed against the same background as the two younger women. The lady from Ireland is sitting on the same chair with the same table as the two older ladies from Sussex. Their clothing dates all of them to the first half of the 1860s.
Who are these ladies and child? All frozen for a moment in time through the lens of the photographer and nurseryman, William Stacey* of Great Dunmow. Nameless people to add to the local history of Great Dunmow.
*Even today, there is still a flower/plant shop in Great Dunmow’s High Street called ‘Stacey’s Flowers of Great Dunmow’.
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– The Cole family of Spitalfields Market