Friday, 21 June 2013

Sepia Saturday 182 -

As I looked at this week's prompt I had thoughts of my family. My Grandfather and his love of having a flutter and being quite a grump if his horse didn't win!

I pondered this morning why it was that it was fashionable almost to have a flutter and then as I watched the news and saw the press coverage of Ascot yesterday including the delight from the Queen as her horse won a race. The race that she usually presents the cup to the winner no less. At the turn of the 20th Century the Royal household owned horses and raced them, in much the same way as they do now. That fact would have been reported in the newspapers, these were days before television. So it would have been fashionable to have raced horses, after all they were not subjected to the real need of farm work and we would been working towards a time when they were used less for transport purposes.

This photograph came to me from my Grandfather's first Cousin James Butcher. The description he gave me was it was
"One of the Crook Grandmothers" 

As Jim's mother was Sarah Crook before she married Walter Butcher I can surmise that this is one of Sarah's Grandmother's but which one? I have not done too much on this particular line as yet. The Crook's originated from London and came south to Worplesdon just outside of Guildford. There they marry into or are connected to the Butcher, Langford and Gunner families that were in the Worplesdon, Normandy and Wanborough area including Passengers Farm. The horse looks a bit on the slim side!

This postcard is of Manor Farm at Wanborough in 1915, so my family would have seen this actual view, which I think is just wonderful!

The pathway on the left leads to the church and where the grass verge is on the left is a row of cottages, one which is where my Grandfather lived with his parents and another that is where Walter Butcher lived with his family. There were other families there too. The house on the corner was lived in by the Spicer family.

This next photograph is of my Grandfather's brother Percy. He lived with his family at Manor Farm Wanborough up until about 1930 then the family moved across to Onslow Village. This was taken in 1953 by my Aunt, Percy's sister for the Coronation Procession.

My Mum recalls that my Grandfather's other brother, Arthur had two horses like this one called Dolly and Jack. When I asked if this was either of them Mum said no. Although how she could tell I do not know!

So there seems to be a love and affection for the horses in addition to the enjoyment backing them race.

Personally I have never ridden a horse, nor do I have a burning ambition to do so! They are rather large and should be in fields enjoying the grass and an apple or two!

As to a flutter on the horses, well it has been known. The odd Grand National. I have been to the races twice, once with some former colleagues and we went to Epsom and also in Australia I saw the Melbourne Cup.

This has been a great prompt and has inspired me to do a little work on establishing what happened to my Great Uncle, as he moved away from this part of Surrey. He did marry and had at least one son, but nothing further is known which is a great shame.

Taking part in Sepia Saturday


  1. I really like the photo of the Crook lady's grandmother. I can see her going down the lane right now. It seems to be a good size little horse for the cart.

  2. A well-matched response Julie. I do love that policman picture- every time it appears here it makes me smile.

    1. I really should not roll out my Uncle so often, but it is such a great photo, I can not resist!

  3. I enjoy seeing them too, and those horses, they are just so lovely and stately! Great reading from your post.

  4. We seem to have very similar experience of going to the races or betting, almost zero but not quite, the odd naive venture. I have to say that whilst I have more respect than you could expect from any British citizen for the Queen, I have never been able to reconcile her liking for horseracing and the gambling that follows it with my disdain for the entire cross section of society that seem to think it can be a sensible way of spending their money.

  5. Fantastic photos. Particularly that last one.

  6. I have to agree with Nigel. I have only ever been to the races once, didn't place a bet, and have no real desire to go to another. I can understand the excitement of seeing your horse win a race, but the gambling ... well, the only people who really benefit from it are those who make money from it, and that's the bookies, racehorse owners, trainers, etc. Certainly the punters don't.

  7. I thought I had seen that final photo previously :)

    I had to laugh as when I first read "one of the crook grandmothers" - I was thinking she must have been unwell until I kept reading! (crook is Australian slang for unwell.

    Any stories about a love of dogs? There are at least 4 dogs in that cart.

    It is a wonderful photo.

  8. What a grand looking horse. Those big horses are so beautiful. But I'm with you. Horses are fun to see in a field or in a parade, but I'll stay on the ground, thank you very much! An explanation of why is in my own Sepia Sat. post. :))

  9. What fantastic photos, great to read the stories connected with them. I also took great delight in seeing the Queen's happiness at her win...and having her son, Prince Edward, present her with the cup.

  10. Fun shots -- especially the "Crook grandmother." I can't imagine running about town in that thing...

  11. I forgot to ask: what is a "flutter?"

    1. Deb a flutter is a bet.

    2. Now THAT makes sense! Thank you -- a new word!

  12. Both Brett and Nigel have made comments about the gambling aspect of horse racing.

    From memory my Grandfather was not a serious horse betting man. It was a bit of light entertainment and years later, after he passed away my Grandmother and I were talking about this whole thing.

    My Grandfather had always wanted to go the races, just for the whole experience. He never managed to achieve that. So when I had the opportunity I went. The first race I went to was to see the Melbourne cup.

    My Grandmother always said that the way to succeed at betting, and she didn't like it either, was to only bet what you could afford to lose.

    So, according to my journal for 1991, I bet one Australian Dollar, each way. I chose two horses, simply because they sounded nice. I won $25. Beginners luck perhaps.

    When I returned to England in 1992 I started working for part of the civil service. I worked with a group of colleagues and we went to an afternoon race at Epsom, because this was close to where we worked. I put £5 into the syndicate as simply taking part. All my colleagues put the same in. The person who had the most knowledge explained how we would organise the horse picking and how the money would be split per horse and then by any winnings. According to my journal we each walked away with £8 and had a lovely afternoon.

    Then last year we were in Australia and there was a race on. My cousin who I had gone to Melbourne with 20 years earlier asked if I was going to place a bet. For old times sake I picked a horse with a nice name, bet $1 each way and watched the race. My horse didn't come in; I had picked the donkey it would seem!

    For me and my family it is a bit of light hearted fun, nothing more or less.

    However, I have seen first hand the effects of this kind of gambling and the devastation it caused two of my former colleagues. We now live in such a online world where you can bet from any mobile device about anything. The papers and televisions are full of advertisements advocating gambling. From what I can see this section of advertising is getting out of control in much the same way the smoking advertising did before it was stopped.

  13. We have had a flutter on the Grand National from time to time but not since I got into a spot of bother on the golf course among some silver birch trees. It was the day of the National and the next week my playing partner arrived in a great mood. He had looked at the list of runners and saw one called Silver Birch. He backed it and it won, but wouldn't share his three figure winnings with me!
    You cannot show that second picture too many times for me.

  14. It is so cute the way the dogs are in the buggy (that's probably not the right name).

  15. Great photos and enjoyed the post AND the comments. Too bad I dinna read the comments before I looked up Flutter and got all sidetracked on the internet -- such is the way with those of us who are easily diverteed.

  16. Love the first pick and the little 'cart'.
    I grew up with the races - my grandfather had a race horse transport business (I've blogged about it a few times - search on Garrett if interested). My Nanna never let my Pa take money to the track although I'm sure some of the owners paid cash! Pa was so good at picking horses especially for the Melbourne Cup. I taught me some tricks and I only bet at Cup time and almost always win - my friends can't believe it - I don't feel the need to 'have a flutter' any other time strangely. Thanks for the memories.

  17. I didn't notice all the dogs in the cart with the Crook Grandmother until I enlarged it. That is one full cart!


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