Tom and Ethel (Tom Bladon and Ethel Lockyer Morris)


Uncle Harry was one of the strongest influences in my childhood. He was actually my great uncle (Tom’s brother and Mum’s uncle). He was born on 24 October 1905 and died onĀ  16 November 1991. Harry was quietly spoken and rather serious but had a sense of humor.


As I had hoped, posting old family photos on the blog has yielded some fruit. I was contacted by a distant relative who has a lot of information about the Lockyers. Ethel’s mother Emma was born a Lockyer (in 1861), the eldest of 13 children. William Lockyer (b. 1875) was one of her younger brothers and Mum remembers him and his wife Alice (Ling) well. She used to visit their house in Kennington. William was subsequently elected Mayor of Lambeth (to see old photos of him kept in the Council’s archive, go here and search under Lockyer, William).

In 1943, William was interviewed by the Brixton Free Press and recounted some of his family’s history. His said his mother Maria’s maiden name was Mayell and that her family had resided on Snow Hill (City of London) since just after the Great Fire of London. A branch of the family settled in Bath and one member was elected mayor of that city.

William’s father “was a skilled mechanic and employed by the East India Company. He did 15 years of Army service in India and was in action at the time of the Mutiny.”

I shall post any more information I receive about the Lockyers and update earlier posts with any relevant details. I already updated the post containing Will Lockyer’s wedding photo with new information.


Tom brought back several items he acquired on his travels during WWI. One was a small book containing illustrations and pressed flowers from places in Palestine. Presumably it was a gift for Ethel. The book, with back and front covers made of wood, is called “Flowers of the Holy Land.” More interesting than simply a collection of picture postcards.

Tom was probably in Palestine at the time of the Balfour Declaration, a crucial contribution of the efforts of the Zionist movement to establish a Jewish state.

This is a photo of the front cover of the book.


This is the first page



When I was small, Tom used to take me on quite a few outings. One place that was always exciting to visit was Petticoat Lane market, across the river in the East End.


“More than a thousand stalls spread over two streets make up Petticoat Lane Market. This East End market which has been operating since the 1750’s or earlier, is named after the petticoats and lace once sold there by the Huguenots who came to London from France. The street was renamed Middlesex Street in 1830 by the Victorians who wanted to avoid references to women’s underwear, but the name had stuck. The market specialises in new goods ranging from running shoes to kitchen utensils.” (quoted from here)


Ethel kept these portraits in a separate album. We have only identified a few of the people. Hopefully, in the future we will be able to discover which ones belonged to other branches of the family besides Morris and Lockyer. Surnames we have come across so far include Vernon, Coxhead, Wickingdon, Spooner and Nicholls, with addresses in all parts of London and the Home Counties (the counties around London), Liverpool and Cambridge.

This is Ethel’s Uncle Harry Lockyer (Emma’s brother) and his family – wife Lizzie and daughter Edie.



Mum thinks this photo was taken after Ethel’s sister died and the baby is Ethel’s niece, Joan. It would be around 1920.

Ethel is definitely in mourning in this one but not sure for whom. She looks younger and the clothes more Edwardian.

This photo is of poor quality but of sentimental value. It is me as a baby with Tom and Ethel on the beach at Brighton. Must be 1951. We had plenty of outings. Tom was very much a live-for-the-day person. Any money he earned seemed to burn a whole in his pocket. Very gregarious and generous. At the time the photo was taken, he was younger than I am now. Incredible!

I spent another day in London on Saturday with another old schoolfriend, Mike, who also fitted into the “barrow boy” category. We went to see the old school building and took some photos.

This is the corner of Tooley St and Tower Bridge Rd. At some point, what we referred to as the Art Building has been demolished. It was a small, separate structure where the foundations are now being laid for the next stage of the development.

This is the back of the building. When I was here last time, the playground (later a car park) still extended toward the river, nearly all the way. The school “bogs” (toilets) used to be along the back. Closer to where I am standing were the Eton Fives courts, where we could mimic our betters. By the way, old friend Alan pointed out that Wiki has quite a good entry on the school. There are links explaining how it operates financially; it now has quite large assets.

Looking 90 degrees or so to the right, toward the river, this is the new City Hall. This is where the wharf used to be that Tom worked on a lot, right next to Tower Bridge.


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