A skeleton and knee-grappling (again) – Sepia Saturday 108

Alan found an interesting photo of a levitating hat for this week’s Sepia Saturday and, as Granny always seemed to be wearing a hat in the 1920’s, I had a look in Great Granny’s album to see if I could find a particularly flamboyant or interesting hat.  Sadly, the fashion was for cloche hats, so I didn’t find anything over the top.  Apart from her behaviour at times…

Granny resting on a bench at Alva Glen May 1928

Butter wouldn’t melt….

“Alvi Glen May 1928″ is written on the back of the photo, but I think it should say Alva Glen, which is to the north of the town of Alva, at the foot of the Ochil Hills about 7 miles from Stirling.  It’s now a very popular peaceful  place for outdoor activities but not long ago it was the centre of the Clackmannanshire textile industry.

Alva Glen looking towards the Forth valley

Granny certainly wasn’t wearing the right gear for going walking, but she always seems to have been smartly dressed no matter what she was up to – climbing trees with her cousins, having a picnic or sitting on the roof of a car.

Alva Glen May 1928

Don’t they look as though they’re having fun?  I don’t know who her friend is, but Granny’s indulging in her knee-grappling habit again :-)

An interesting story about Alva Glen Quarry which was used as a source of rock and gravel for centuries until the 1920s:  On Christmas Eve in 1913, James Murdoch was working in the quarry when he noticed an area of rock that didn’t look like a natural rock face. Mr Murdoch started removing the stones and, lying there with its knees drawn up, was a human skeleton.

The skeleton was examined by experts who concluded that it was prehistoric – an unusually short person who was not the victim of some prehistoric mining accident, but had been placed in the cavity after death.  The story had a sting in its tail.  At the same spot a few days later, a slab of rock fell on James Murdoch, and killed him. Some saw this as coincidence, but others saw it as retribution for disturbing the dead…

To the best of my knowledge, Granny wasn’t into rock climbing, but if she had been, she’d probably still have dressed up for it.

Now off you go to Sepia Saturday to see what the other Sepians have posted.

Jo

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About Jo

Professional Scottish genealogist - this blog is for my own family history and photos
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14 Responses to A skeleton and knee-grappling (again) – Sepia Saturday 108

  1. Carol says:

    OOO, OKK, that Murdock story is a bit creepy. Fascinating, but creepy! :-)

  2. postcardy says:

    Granny certainly looks happy and fun-loving in those photos.

  3. Judy Webster says:

    Very interesting – and Mr Murdoch was certainly unlucky!

  4. Granny indeed looks like a fun person! I feel sorry for James Murdoch, that’s a sad story.

  5. Nancy says:

    I think it looks like Granny just has her arm relaxed along the lap of her friend; or perhaps she’s tickling her friend’s knee, teasing her. Awful about he skeleton and him being killed.

  6. kristin says:

    Granny does look like she’s having more fun then poor James Murdoch had. First he finds a skeleton and then a rock falls on him! Poor man.

  7. Wendy says:

    Granny has a beautiful smile. She seems like a good ol’ gal.

  8. That is a fascinating story!

  9. Bob Scotney says:

    Clackmannanshire brought back some cricketing memories for me form my days at St Andrews in the 1950s. Mr Murdock must have been surprised by his skeleton find, less so when the rock fell on him. Knee-grappling – there’s an action for a story. Granny must have been a hoot!

  10. Little Nell says:

    I do enjoy your Granny stories Jo. I have to agree with Nancy that, on this occasion at least, Granny was merely resting her arm. Mind you we’ve no idea what this fun-loving lady got up to after the photo was taken :) Poor old Mr Murdoch though.

  11. Alan Burnett says:

    Great post Jo. Seeing some of the photographs of your family is almost like seeing old friends again. Such a joy to read – and to look at.

  12. tyrogers6200 says:

    Love your photos – my husband and I spent two weeks driving around Scotland – mainly the Highlands in Sep 2009 and it was the trip of a lifetime. We talk constantly about going back!

  13. What a change comes to a photo when the subject responds to “Say Cheese”! Great post.

  14. Your Granny had such a zest for life..marvelous!! I enjoyed the photos:)

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