The McClellands Belfast + Down

Relatively Speaking

Great Grandmother Elizabeth McClelland and a companion captured living their best lives at Bellevue Zoo Belfast. The hot and heady August of 1928. What are their thoughts? How were they feeling? Great Granny had a feather in her hat, as always. But who is her glamorous dark eyed sallow skinned high cheek boned wide brim hatted mysterious chum? They’ve both posies pinned to their lapels; clearly this was a big day out.

Who is the gentleman in the wheelchair, gazing right as if in anticipation of a motorcar pulling up shortly? Why else would anyone photograph a subject from the rear? Where is that Edwardian looking house with its catslide roofed return? It appears to face the sea. Somewhere on the Irish coast? Did the person behind the camera realise he or she was taking a beautifully lit and proportioned piece of photographic art? Or was it just a lucky snap?

Aunt Pam and a friend loving the pigeons of Trafalgar Square. Having the time of their lives. Bring the birds back! Note Aunt Pam’s perfectly pleated coat: she stood an impressive six feet tall. Pamela Glenday wasn’t an actual aunt. She was the best friend of Elizabeth Gribben whose mother was photographed at Bellevue Zoo. They met at country houses across the south of England in their late teens. Aunt Pam moved back to Dunfermline and never married. She was a great cook.

Ah, Uncle Sammy. A blood uncle or rather great uncle. Another child of Great Granny McClelland; Elizabeth Gribben’s younger brother. Ever debonair, Sammy was in a rush through life except when posing in fashion’s finest; he never had time to get married. After a high flying career in the Royal Air Force, Sammy lived in England and Wales before settling back in Ireland.