Islay, born December 1883

Taken 22nd May 1900 in San Francisco

Islay Campbell was born in Shanghai, the middle of three daughters.  Her father, Rhoderick, was a prosperous bill broker who made his fortune in China but was always proud of his Scottish heritage.  He married Kathleen Pickwoad at the Shanghai Anglican Cathedral in December 1881.

A Visit to Oban 1906

For those unfamiliar with this part of Scotland I attach links to maps of the area at that time – Map 1 / Map 2

11th August 1906

What a day it was when we left London. So sticky and muggy and yet on the trot the whole time – a mad ending moving. We finally got the things ready packed and left for the station at 6.15. As usual, with the whole staff on the door steps to send us off. A regular St Ermin’s send off. As Constance says, when we go to a new place the people begin by staring at us and go on to laugh but finally we are “seen off” most intimately by the “staff”! It’s our way, particular our own.

That was on the evening of the 9th. We got to the station, Euston, to hear that the single sleepers we had reserved were not to be had. Mother kicked up the devil of a row and eventually the station master (who saw he was in the wrong) said he would put a whole section at our disposal – six sleepers, a drawing room at one end and a smoking compartment at the other. We were in luck. We dined at the station of mock turtle soup and cheese and at 8 p.m. started our journey. Continue reading

Rose, Campbell Wedding

Lahore – Lucknow

21st January 1907

I bought some other photos of The Residency [sieged in the Indian Mutiny 1857] yesterday, some views I hadn’t taken.  My films are running short.I don’t like to encroach on my last dz [dozen?] – in case the ones I have ordered do not arrive.I want to keep some to take the wedding group.  The wedding is fixed now for January 31st at Dholi from the Studd’s house, friends of Jocks.

                                                                                                           The Studd’s House
It is awfully nice of them to take us all in.  And the “Australians” turn out to be the ones we met at the De Saumarez last winter in Shanghai.  In fact, the amount of people we have come across who know friends and relations is astonishing.

Day and Short Trips

Here are a selection of pictures describing some of the trips I have done this year, both short and long and some 1960s ski-bindings!

17th March—Stowe Race, Old Boys against the Boys

For many years now I have been representing the Old Boys at the annual race against the current pupils. Here is the team before the race and then me finishing it. This year Lou and I combined it with a picnic and tour of the grounds for Alison and Martin Trowell. The Old Boys won this year which was a nice ending to my racing career because I have decided that this is my last year.

4th April—Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing, Oldham

The Curriers is affiliated with the Wing and provides modest contributions to its all-ranks’ welfare and social facilities. They invited a few of us down to Oldham and see one of their training operations. We boarded this Chinook and flew over to a forward field station they had set up.

We had lunch at the field station, that’s Chistopher Rome gesticulating with our hosts. And finally, me with a big smile on the way back.

7th April—Will and Melanie Brown’s Wedding

Lou and I went up to Folkton in Yorkshire to celebrate Will and Mel’s wedding. Will’s parents, Phil and Janet, hosted the reception at their home. I sat next to the vicar, Ken Holding who turned out to have been in the same reginent as my uncle David Henderson back in the late 1940s


14th April—My 60th Birthday Party

I will make this a topic on its own but for now because so many of my friends and relatives joined me for lunch St Celoni in Spain. But for now just a handful of photos to mark the event. The next day a smaller group of us went for a walk organised by Louise.

26th July—Westgate-on-Sea

I revisted the site of the first holiday I can remember. It was about 1952 and I recall building a sand barrier up against the harbour wall and sitting behind it as the tide came in. Eventually the sea won but I lasted longer than King Canute!

3rd September—Zermatt

I promised you a picture of a ski-boot fitting and here it is……..Why?, I hear you ask. Well, in the Zermatt museum, I came across a display of the history of ski-bindings and poles. Yes,…we really did have bamboo poles in those days but did you know that the first skiers only had one pole. These are the Marker safty bindings from the late 1950s that I used. It was because the bindings did not release my boot on a fall that I broke my left leg in 1960 and my right leg in 1961. It was 44 years before I was to get on skis again and that was only for cross-country ski-ing. My thanks to you, Pierre, for encouraging me to get back onto skis.

14th September—Globe Theatre

My birthday present from Richard Weston and Anita was a trip to the Globe followed by dinner. This was particularly appreciated because I had not been to the Globe before. We say a production of the Merchant of Venice with John McEnery and I thought it worked very well in the intimate setting of the Globe. Thank you Richard and Anita.


30th September—Gliding

Another first for me. Lou Gave me an introductory flying lession for Christmas and it was a beautiful late September day as we headed up to Northhamptonshire. I had selected the Aquila Gliding Club (website here) because we could combine the the day with a little shopping at Bicester Village factory outlet. The club members were very friendly and not at all stuffy about visitors just coming for the day. I was towed up to about 2,000 feet and the flight lasted just over 20 mins. I was allowed to dive, climb, turn left and turn right which I did with varying degrees of success. I found it exhilarating; the speed is so much slower than one is used to, even in a car (about 45 m.p.h.) and it is so silent….just the whoosh of the air. However, I shall not be taking it up as a new hobby.

29th October—Prague for five days

Lou and I have wanted to go to Prague for a couple of years now and this was the second week of her half term holiday. It was cold but before the first snows and we only had an hour or so of drizzle. One doesn’t go for the food, too many dumplings and cabbage for my taste but we did have an excellent suckling pig at Liv Dvur. Its near the castle; telephone 224 372 361 for a reservation, website here

For me it was a city of outstanding architecture and natural beauty. What surprised me is that so much of it was preserved through a fifty year period of Nazi occupation and Communism. So that now you can have Baroque Churches and Art Nouveau Mayoral Reception Rooms.


A radiator grill c.1907 ………………………………. St Michael’s c 1775