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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Aunty Pat's Postcards: Episodes of What?

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt shows a film maker and camera crew filming part of a documentary on Bondi Beach, Sydney, in 1951. 

Below are four  postcards from my late Aunty Pat's collection. They show episodes 2, 4, 5 and 6 of what looks like some medieval drama series, but the cards don't reveal anything further.The cast are all elaborately costumed and seem to be involved in some kind of formal ceremony that includes dancing. Many male cast members are wearing tunics, fancy headdresses and collars, and a group of monks can be seen in Episode 2. Although some of the boys holding heraldic scrolls are quite young, this appears to have been quite a professional production.  It must have been important enough to be filmed, photographed and recorded on postcards and must also have been of some particular significance to Aunty Pat, for her to have saved the cards in her collection. It's a shame I don't have cards for episodes 1 and 3, but I'm not sure they would be of much assistance in solving the mystery. 

All I can discover from the information on the reverse of each card is that they are English Series postcards and were photographed, printed and published by Photo-Precison Ltd, St Albans. No clues as to a date or location for the scenes,  According to this web site on Publishers and Postcards of the Past, Photo-Precison Ltd was founded by two RAF photo reconnaissance officers, and in 1963 the company bought fellow postcard publishers J B White of Dundee. Photo-Precision was itself taken over by Colourmaster Ltd in 1969. 

  •  Does anyone have any suggestions as to what the title of this series might have been and/or  the film location?  That church in the distance could be located almost anywhere in England. It looks like there is a  long hessian screen hiding some structures in the background that probably weren't considered appropriate to the time period of the series, and there may be some onlookers in the background of Episodes 4 and 6. Most of the cards in Aunty Pat's postcard collection date from the 1940s and 1950s.
  •  I wrote a tribute to Aunty Pat here in 2013. If only I could ask her to solve this mystery, although of course, if she were still with us, I wouldn't yet have her postcards to peruse and wonder about!
For more blogs this week on cameras and camera crew, or on films, filming and film locations of subjects known and unknown, just roll cameras over to Sepia Saturday #316.

  • Postscript 5.02.2016: Fellow Sepian Barbara Fisher was able to identify the event and location very quickly, and directed me to the web site called The Redress of the Past which features Historical pageants of England, and explains all about the post-war historical pageant that took place in St Albans in 1948, commemorating 1000 years since the town was founded.  You can read all about it there, and my Aunty Pat would very likely have attended a performance, as she was studying at Oxford at that time. Thank you so much, Barbara!  
Here is an online photograph of the Cathedral of St Albans. The tower and rear wing  appears in the background of the Episode 2 postcard.