Joseph Burgess & Ethel Brooke's

August 1900

This is an account of a holiday taken by a young couple in Winsham at the turn of the last century, discovered in an old diary. Ethel & Joseph had just become engaged to be married, and stayed with Aunt Stowie, who lived at 16 Church Street and now identified as Louisa Stowers, aged 42,who lived on her own means.

The diary does not explain exactly the relationship between Aunt Stowie and the happy couple, but it seems likely that she is the aunt of Ethel (the betrothed) and the sister of ‘mums’-Ethel’s mother, Elizabeth Brooks, who accompanied the couple on their holiday.

The account, which is an interesting insight into the way of life of a young middle class couple of the time also provides interesting information and photographs of the area around Winsham, and the means of travel. It  does not tell us very much about Winsham itself. The couple did not own a camera, so they relied on printed postcards, for illustrations of the places they visited, popular since 1894,when they were approved by the General Post Office,  The ‘box brownie’ although introduced in February,1900 in the USA was still some years away for an ordinary family in England.

The family seem to be comfortably off, evidenced by the formal family group picture below, and the fact that they could afford a two-week holiday. 

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The diary was strongly bound, with an embossed leather cover

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