Family photograph 1905

The Skating Party

The skating party is getting ready to leave. They’ve gathered outside the cottage before heading off, wrapped up against the morning cold. Some of them are wearing furs while others have on thick woollen coats and hats. Some of them are carrying their skates in readiness for the walk to the local pond. It’s a […]

The Derwent Garden

Making amends

A recent trip to Tasmania finally gave me the opportunity to find the grave of Meryl Travers-Smith, my mother’s cousin. She was perhaps the last direct link in my family’s connection with China, having lived there up until the start of WWII and then being interned by the Japanese at Weihsien Camp in Shantung Province. […]

Leaving London...

Leaving London

It is 103 years to the day since Sarah Talent, the matriarch in The Skating Party, left England to travel via the Trans-Siberian railway to China. She was 64 years old and this was to be her first trip outside Europe. According to her hand-written diary, Sarah left Victoria station in London at 8.30pm on […]

PA Travers-Smith, view of Beverley, Yorkshire

Painting a picture of the past

These two paintings are by Peter (Pierre) Travers-Smith, my mother’s uncle and the father of Meryl Travers-Smith whose grave I visited in Hobart last year. After I posted a previous blog about that visit, I was contacted by Chris from Melbourne who was trying to trace Meryl’s family. His mother had been given these two […]