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Note the feather in the cap.

Note the detailing on the jacket, especially on the cuff.

On my last visit to “Grannies Parlour“, an antique shop on Hull’s Anlady Road, I found quite a few photographs worth adding to my collection, including three studio portraits of young ladies in Highland dress of varying degrees of authenticity. The largest is on thick card and show a girl with a feather in her glengarry cap. Sadly the photograph doesn’t have the name of the photographic studio on it anywhere.


Is this the same girl from the first photograph, do you think? But a couple of years older.

In the second photograph the costume is more fancy dress than highland dress, but the pose more than makes up for it; a young highland dancer perhaps? This photograph is post card size, but, like the first, it doesn’t bear the photographers name. I’m assuming it was taken in a photographic studio, because the wall in the background is suspiciously bear for somebody’s house!

The kilt is a little short!

The kilt is a little short!

The third photograph does have a name and address on it, “J. J. Payne, 106, Anlady Road, hull“, printed on the back. Sussex Postcards. info informs me that Mr. Payne is listed in the trade directories of Bexhill-on-Sea as a photographer in 1903 and 1904. He then appears in the Withernsea census of 1911. The studio backdrop is very elaborate; the young lady looks like she is having her photograph taken on the battlements of a castle!

I find these interesting because, I think, they are about cultural identity. As an Englishman, whose late-Grandfather was a very proud Scotsman, I never went as far as dressing in a kilt, but I inherited a lot of his likes and dislikes (in fact the last vinyl album I added to my record collection was by the Pipes & Drums of the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) and a feeling that I need to keep my Scottish heritage alive, even if it sometimes seems that no one is interested! Perhaps these photographs were a way for families in Hull to maintain that Scottish heritage; a heritage that has now sadly been forgotten.