Thursday, 24 September 2009

Phil Moss and Photography

Apologies for the absence of a posting yesterday but I’ve been ill for most of the last week and my pre-scheduled posts ran out. I’m up and about again today. I’m determined to be better for the week-end because GB is coming to visit. And I’ve got a parcel to unpack – it arrived on Tuesday – a month early. It’s my birthday present from GB but at my age I think I’m allowed to open it early. And with GB being here for the weekend we can both have a play with it. It will be an approriate time to do so because one of our best family friends was a keen photographer and he died twenty two years ago tomorrow.

Tomorrow I have my scheduled post of the Friday My Town Shoot-out so I shall use today’s post to mention a great family friend who died on 25th September 1987 at the age of 76. His name was Clarence Albert Moss but he was known as Phil – a name he adopted when he entered the army for the Second World War. I think he decided that Phil was a more acceptable name to his army buddies than Clarence or Albert.

Phil’s wife was mentally ill and he cared for her unstintingly for many years but from the early 1960s onwards he managed to ‘get away’ for a fortnight each year, holidaying with our family. We went to the Lake District, Scotland, North Wales, Mid-Wales, Devon and Cornwall and on a tour of the South of England.

Like Dad, GB and I Phil loved photography and poor Mum had to pose for all of us! Here are Dad, Phil and Mum on the top of Blencathra in the Lake District (obviously after the mid-1960s when GB started to holiday with his partner).

Whenever Phil put on his boots and we headed up the fells he would display his wonderful red socks about which we kidded him on many an occasion.

Mum also got in on the act and photographed the menfolk a few times – first of all on her little Kodak Box Brownie and then on a slightly (but only slightly) more sophisticated camera. That is Dad, Phil and me on Haystacks - one of my favourite little fells in the Lake Distruct.

Here is Phil with Mum in Llanrwst. He is looking after Bryony and Helen while Mum is enjoying herself and I'm just taking photos!

This was Phil on a very wet holiday in Ambleside around 1964. It rained very day so by the end of the week we’d played quite a few games of darts.

This photo was taken by Phil around 1961 and shows GB, Mum, myself (not looking overly happy!) and Dad. (Note the square format of his 2¼ inch square film.) You can find out a little bit more about Phil on an earlier blog posting of mine.



  1. What a lovely tribute to Phil. I enjoyed seeing the old photos, especially the last one. I have one of the English Robin wearing a similar school uniform, when he lived in St. Albans. I think you both look very smart.

    CJ, you have inspired me to get back to sorting through the boxes and boxes of photos which need to be put into albums. I have literally hundreds and hundreds of pictures. In addition to my own, I now have my mum's, my aunts Sadie and Olga's collections and those which belonged to my dad's brother and his cousin who photographed everything that moved.

    I did make a start on the project a couple of years ago, but ran out of steam and stopped. I have one closet still filled with boxes so perhaps your inspiration will get me going again. Thanks for another wonderful post. The Canadian Chickadee

  2. Hope you are feeling better. How do you know that present is something to play with?

  3. Another wonderful trip down memory lane, CJ. Next UK summer I shall definitely make that start on the continuing program of sorting and scanning that I was definitely going to make a start on this summer! Hmmm.


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