Friday, 3 May 2013

A smoking break: Sepia Saturday 175

We were brought up in a non-smoking household and warned against the dangers of smoking. My father smoked as a young man, as did everyone when he was younger. In fact it used to be part of the treatment for Tuberculosis as it made you cough! He stopped as soon as it became clear that smoking was bad for you.

My grandfather smoked a pipe (and the occasional cigar, and maybe even  smoked cigarettes in his youth.) My mother never smoked and as far as I knew neither did my grandmother; until I saw this photo!


It's not a brilliant photo but clearly shows my grandfather drinking a cup of tea and my grandmother lighting up a fag. They were on their way to the South Coast from London and taking a break. It was taken around 1952, and my mother was most likely the photographer. The car was their Ford Popular, which I remember. My grandfather treated it like a treasure; taking it out weekly to polish it, and never driving it more than 28 mph. It must have taken them a long time to get to Sussex!

The other thing I noticed is how smartly dressed they are. Nowadays it would be comfortable casual clothes for a journey!

13 comments:

Wendy said...

Busted! Isn't it funny the secrets we find in old photos?

tilly said...

what a lovely photo.......and I noticed how smart they were before I go to the end of your description! lol
Tilly

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Smoking was considered a treatment! Wow...that must have been some tobacco company geniuses brain child. Remember those smoking doctors endorsing Lucky Strikes?

Postcardy said...

I don't think tea ever really became popular in the U.S., so the idea of people stopping to drink tea seems quaint to me.

barbara and nancy said...

What? Cigarettes as a treatment for tuberculosis? That's a new one to me. Can hardly believe it. It sure makes you wonder about doctors, doesn't it?
Nancy

Kathy Hart said...

Ha- ha! I love that the photo revealed a little secret! Sent me running to find a picture I could have used this week: My grandmother as a young woman with a pipe in her mouth. I always wonder what possessed my straight-laced grandmother to do such a thing and why she allowed the photo to be saved!

Brett Payne said...

I've driven with people like that, insisting on travelling substantially slower than everyone else on the road, and often sticking to the fast lane. Great photo.

Bob Scotney said...

Caught in the act in a great photo. I even recognised the car.

Nigel Aspdin (Derby, UK) said...

Thats an interesting comment about the thought that they encouraged smoking as a 'treatment' for tuberculosis. As an observant child, long before I tried my first cigarette, I remember two adjacent enameled Craven A signs in a street in Derby. One said "For your throats sake smoke Craven A" and the other said "Craven A will not affect your throat" I used to point out to my Dad that if you were going to smoke for the sake of your throat,(like a blackcurrant pastille as I imagined) surely you needed it to affect your throat !
See the old signs as I remember them:
http://goo.gl/fwfzK

Karen S. said...

Yep, pictures can tell the whole story can't they!

Kathy Morales said...

Like Postcardy, I'm always struck by the photos of people stopping to have a cup of tea by the side of the road. I lived with my grandparents when I was little and both of my grandmother's parents were born in England so we were definitely tea drinkers, but not once did this ever happen in our family.

Lovely's Blot said...

Ahh..making tea by the side of the road! My parents did it as well.. the little primus stove, the tin kettle..plastic cups, tea bags, milk in a tupperware bottle! I think when the photo was taken it would probably have been tea fom a flask, as I don't think tea bags would have been readily available and tea leaves and a tea pot would have been too much effort.

It probably tasted terrible... tea from a flask is pretty disgusting!

Thanks for your comments.

Sharon said...

I can't imagine my grandmother smoking and she is no longer with us to ask if she ever did.

The car looks brand new and immaculate.