A Peaceful Day in Brighton and Hove

In my last post I showed you this photograph, and left you wondering where it was taken.

9 June 1935 Jack, annie, ron, Joseph, Gordon, Nancy (2)

I have some more photographs taken on the same day, which shows the Dinnis and Cleeve families having a lovely day out together.

9 June 1935 Left to right: Jack, Annie, Ron, Joseph, Gordon and Nancy

9 June 1935
Left to right: Jack, Annie, Ron, Joseph, Gordon and Nancy

In this photo the family are all lined up, looking very smart. In the background to the right of Nancy’s head we can see the Peace Statue, which is situated on the border of Brighton and Hove seafront. The plaque states:

“In the year 1912 the inhabitants of Brighton and Hove provided a home for the Queen’s nurses and erected this monument in memory of King Edward VII and as a testimony of their enduring loyalty.”

9 June 1935 Nancy and Jack (back) Ron and Gordon (front)

9 June 1935
Nancy and Jack (back) Ron and Gordon (front)

Here we can see the Dinnis children, looking really smart, and enjoying the Brighton seafront and summer day. I thought how well dressed they were, almost as if they were in their Sunday best clothes. And upon investigation – the 9th June 1935 was indeed a Sunday!

It’s nice to see the two younger brothers, Ron and Gordon looking immaculate. I wonder how long they managed to stay looking like that before the inevitable game of football started up and the socks fell down and the shirt collars wrinkled!


9 June 1935 Brighton and Hove Back row, left to right, Gordon, Ron, Jack and Nancy. Front row, left to right,  Joseph, Ernest, Dora, Annie and Edith.

9 June 1935
Brighton and Hove
Back row, left to right, Gordon, Ron, Jack and Nancy.
Front row, left to right,
Joseph, Ernest, Annie, Dora and Edith.

In this photo from the same day we can see it had been an extended family day out. Annie and Joseph Dinnis and their four children spent the day with Annie’s sister, Edith Doswell, her husband Ernest and their daughter, Dora. What a lovely time they must have had, although I would guess the Dinnis children had to be on their best behaviour.

This photo was taken at the foot of the Peace Statue, which still looks the same now as we can see here. The railing they are sitting on is the same today.

The Peace Statue

The Peace Statue

Holiday with Emma 018I am so glad to be able to see these lovely old photographs of my father, Gordon and his family and to know they spent time enjoying a Sunday in Brighton and Hove with the extended family.


Posted in Annie Cleeve, Edith Maud W Cleeve, Gordon Charles Dinnis, Jack Douglas Dinnis, Joseph Taylor Dinnis, Nancy Dora Dinnis, Ronald Stanley Dinnis | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Blogging 101 Day Two

Featured Image -- 2695

The assignment for day two is to take control of your title and tagline. There are many useful hints and advice given regarding the naming of your blog. These include keeping it short and sweet and being original.

My blogs title (Meeting my family) and tagline (Researching my family tree) were given a lot of thought when I began blogging. Since then I haven’t changed them, because I wanted people to be able to find me again if they weren’t ‘following’ me. I kept it short, and hopefully the blog does what it says, by introducing my family members.

I think the title and tagline pretty much fit the blog and give people a good idea of what it’s about it they stumble across it. I’m researching my family tree, meeting my family one by one, getting to know them. Sometimes I think my posts go off topic, when I begin looking at places. I know I have written so much about Brighton I’m not sure if I should include that in my title.

I have enjoyed looking again at why I called my blog ‘Meeting my family’ and I have revisited the Settings page, where I found how to change the title and tagline if I want to.

5 August 1931 Brighton Grace Cleeve, my grand-aunt

5 August 1931
Grace Cleeve, my grand-aunt

Posted in jackiedinnis | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The Fashion for Hats in 1931

I find I have suddenly become quite obsessed by hats as I look through some photographs of my grandmother and her sisters. I only knew Nannie (Annie Cleeve) in her later years, so ‘fashion’ wasn’t a word I associated with her. Sorry Nannie!

But as I look back, it seems the Cleeve girls were very fashion conscious and kept up with the latest trends. There were two older sisters, Edith and Rose, but it is the youngest three sisters I have been focussing on. These are the photographs that I have been looking at.

27 Sept 1931 Brighton Annie and Olive Cleeve

27 Sept 1931
Annie and Olive Cleeve

27 Sept 1931 Brighton Olive and Grace Cleeve

27 Sept 1931
Olive and Grace Cleeve

5 August 1931 Brighton Grace Cleeve

5 August 1931
Grace Cleeve

I then zoomed in on the hats!

5 Aug 1931 Brighton, Grace Cleeve - Copy

27 Sept 1931 Brighton Annie and Olive - CopyOlive, Grace, 27 Sept 1931, Brighton - CopyI looked online, consulted experts (thanks to   Genealogylady.net) and was directed towards Sears catalogues for 1931. I had a great time searching the catalogues trying to find the hats. I found they were actually called ‘The French Beret’ and the Cleeve sisters were bang on trend with them in that year. On retrochick.co.uk it explains that “from the early 1920s the beret became popular as sportswear and were worn pulled down over the ears – echoing the cloche hat style. From the 1930s it became more popular to wear them perched on the side of the head.”

Here is the page I found from the Spring 1931 Sears catalogue.

32101_B017979-00077 - CopyThe other thing that puzzles me and I guess I’ll never know, is what colour were the berets they are wearing? In the catalogue, the choice of colours is from; French Beige, Admiralty (navy) Blue, Copenhagen Blue, Pistachio (light green), Sea Sand, Rose Romantique (pink) or Maize (yellow).

The only other reference to the beret in the Cleeve family comes from Dora (Edith Dora Doswell) Edith’s daughter. This is another thing that hadn’t really occurred to me before – Dora was born in 1908, when Grace would have been 8 years old, Olive 10 and Annie 16. So Dora would have been closer to her aunts age, and I have some photos of her.

August 1930 Brighton Dora Doswell

August 1930
Dora Doswell



Dora is more fashionable, wearing her beret perched on the side of her head (slightly) pulled down over one ear.







I also have another photograph of Olive Cleeve taken in a studio. Still wearing the fashionable French beret. Still not wearing it perched on one side!

29 August 1933 Olive Cleeve

29 August 1933
Olive Cleeve

Olive - Copy










I then found a photograph from 1935, which shows Nancy (Annie’s daughter) who would have been about fifteen years of age wearing one of the fashionable French berets. And what do you know? She has it perched on one side of her head, pulled down over her ear!

9 June 1935 Jack, annie, ron, Joseph, Gordon, Nancy (2)

This is the photo, I have zoomed in and you can see Nancy with her brother Gordon (my father) and their father, Joseph Taylor Dinnis.

Anyone familiar with Brighton and Hove will know where this photo was taken, and I will reveal more in my next post.

Posted in Annie Cleeve, Grace Cleeve, Olive Cleeve | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Blogging 101 Day One

Featured Image -- 2695


So, here we go, day one! Today’s assignment is ‘Who am I and Why I’m Here’. Now at first reading this was a little alarming, very philosophical and deep, I thought. But it isn’t about the meaning of life at all – it’s merely about my blog!

It actually resonated with me, because one of the things I have been meaning to do is to update my ‘About’ page. It’s one of the pages people click onto when they arrive at my blog, and I haven’t actually looked at mine for a while.

I was almost afraid to revisit it, thinking it would be so irrelevant and very amateurish. When I began, two and a half years ago, I knew absolutely nothing about blogging. I wasn’t even sure what it was. But I thought it would be a good place to base my family history search. It seemed to be somewhere I could put things, and be able to find them again at a later date. Somewhere I could write bite size pieces of information as I found it.

Looking at my ‘About’ page, at it’s most simple, I wanted to go through what I had regarding my family history and put it in some sort of order.

I’ve left it as it is, so you can take a look if you want to.

Basically it’s just your average family history blog, but as I have an interest in creative writing I was hoping to fill it with good writing!

Who am I, and Why Am I Here? I am Jackie Dinnis, and I am here to find my grandfather.

That’s it in a nutshell. It was why I began looking. And no, I still haven’t found my grandfather. But, as I’ve searched, the journey has given me many cousins and other relatives I had no idea existed. So, I am ‘About’ learning how to be a genealogist!  Learning how to do all sorts of things I didn’t even know were out there.

I blog publicly, I also keep a private journal. Through my blog may of my family have found me, which has been an absolute delight and never fails to excite me. Beginning my search, I thought I had one auntie and one cousin (and her two children). Now I have found many, many relations. My family has grown. I’m not so alone as I thought I was. Even the one cousin I have has become so, so much closer to me as we’ve shared photo’s and memories.

I love connecting with anyone via my blog. The ‘Comments’ section always excites me, and I also hope I have made my email and Facebook presence obvious, so that people can contact me in many ways.

More than anything, I would love to get a message from someone saying ‘I know who your grandfather was, and can put you in touch with his family’. He must be long dead now, but I would love to get to know what sort of man he was and what he was ‘like’, to see if I am like him in any way.

That will continue to be my goal, no matter how long it takes.

To get to know my grandmother (Queenie Cockett) go to my blog and look under the Search button.


Posted in jackiedinnis | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Summer 1931

84 years ago, and the summer of 1931 saw three of the Cleeve sisters in Brighton.

5 August 1931 Brighton Grace Cleeve

5 August 1931
Grace Cleeve

27 Sept 1931 Brighton Olive and Grace Cleeve

27 Sept 1931
Olive and Grace Cleeve

27 Sept 1931 Brighton Annie and Olive Cleeve

27 Sept 1931
Annie and Olive Cleeve

It’s so nice seeing them in the place I have lived all my life.

Brighton looks so … empty!  I’ve never seen it so quiet, these days the streets are full of traffic, buses, people.

I enjoy seeing the sisters together too, there were another two older sisters Edith and Rose, and another named Kate who had died young.

I think the relationship between the sisters intrigues me because I am an only child and I wonder what it would have been like to have had four or five sisters?

Were they a great support to one another? I know they were, particularly in later life. Of the five surviving sisters only my grandmother had surviving children. She had four; Jack, Nancy, Gordon (my father) and Ron.

Edith married and had a daughter, Dora Doswell, who died in her thirties, Rose and Grace married but didn’t have children and Olive never married.

It is so nice to see them in their best dresses and hats, in Brighton! I have noted that they all wear the same style of hat, and I will be looking into the fashion for berets in the 1930s in my next post.



Posted in Annie Cleeve, Grace Cleeve, Kate Cleeve, Olive Cleeve, Rose Cleeve | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nannie and her Mini Me

Looking back at photographs of long ago summers spent on Brighton beach I suddenly noticed something. I have been trying to catalogue the photos into date order, and have noticed some were taken around the same time. Thank goodness for whoever wrote the dates on the reverse of the photos, I would guess it to be my grandmother, Annie Cleeve.

Here are a couple of photographs taken on Brighton beach on the 5th August 1931 of Annie Cleeve and her daughter, Nancy Dora Dinnis.

5 August 1931  Brighton beach Annie and her daughter Nancy

5 August 1931
Brighton beach
Annie and her daughter Nancy

Nancy, Ron, Annie, Jack and Gordon 5 August 1931 Brighton beach

Nancy, Ron, Annie, Jack and Gordon
5 August 1931
Brighton beach










By zooming in I noticed Annie and Nancy were wearing dresses made from the same material.

Same dress material, same hairstyle, same hairclip ....

Same dress material, same hairstyle, same hairclip ….

Then I looked back at photos taken the previous year and noticed

Ron, Nancy, Dora, Annie, Jack & Gordon Brighton August 1930

Ron, Nancy, Dora, Annie, Jack & Gordon
August 1930

Brighton August 1930

Brighton August 1930










Nancy is wearing the same dress. I am now wondering if Annie was good with a needle and thread and made the dresses from some material, or if she knew someone who was a dressmaker?





Posted in Nancy Dora Dinnis, Annie Cleeve | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Young Love in Queens Road Brighton

I’ve been going through lots of old family photographs I haven’t seen before, and I’ve found it so interesting because something new always turns up when you least expect it. Seeing with fresh eyes means you see things that haven’t been noticed before.

The photographs have been loaned to me by my cousin, Sue and I recognised one of the photographs immediately – I own a copy of it.

9 April 1947 Queens Road, Brighton Gordon Dinnis and Enid May Howells

9 April 1947
Queens Road, Brighton
Gordon Dinnis and Enid May Howells

Then I turned it over and found more information had been written on the back of my cousins print. On my photo there is a stamp from the photographer; Express Service Photographers, 2 Lincoln Court, South Street, Lancing. I had assumed this to mean the photo had been taken while they were out walking in Lancing, which would not have been unusual as Mum lived in Shoreham which is beside Lancing.

However, written on the back of my cousins print is ‘April 9th 1947; Queens Road, Brighton’. And when you look closely you can see Brighton Station at the top of the road, on the right, while they’re walking down towards the sea.

Gordon and Enid with the railway station in the background

Gordon and Enid with the railway station in the background

They can’t have known one another long at this time, Dad had been in Italy until September 1946. We know this because of the last letter he wrote home to his mother. letter15front

They bought their engagement ring on 24 September 1947, at Saqui and Lawrence Ltd in North Street, Brighton. This street leads off from Queens Road. Maybe they were on their way to look at rings in this photo? I have the receipt for the ring, my father kept all his important papers.

I also love my mother’s huge mittens, I guess it was a pretty cool spring day and there was no chance of her getting her hands chilly!


The other odd coincidence is the photographer being from South Street, Lancing. My father died in South Street, Lancing in 2001.


Posted in Enid May Howells, Gordon Charles Dinnis, World War 2 | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Learning to Ride My Bicycle

It took me a long time and many tumbles before I mastered the art of riding my bicycle. Once I got the hang of it I really enjoyed cycling round the local streets in Woodingdean and going further afield with my friend over the South Downs. Back in the 1960s we had a lot more freedom than children seem to have today, and we would disappear for hours on end.

The long school summer holidays flew by, with the lovely weather and being with friends. Here I am learning to ride the bike.

Outside our home in Woodingdean

Outside our home in Woodingdean

It would seem my Uncle Jack wasn’t the only one in the family with a sense of style. Look at me in my smart blazer with the shiny buttons! Just the thing to wear for a cycle ride. I remember the blazer being a very nice red colour. The blazer looks like it fits, which is more than it did in a previous photograph.

Me and my father, Gordon Dinnis

Me and my father, Gordon Dinnis

This photo was taken outside our first home, Lower Market Street in Hove. I was about five years old when we moved out and went to the outskirts of Brighton and to Woodingdean. I couldn’t have ridden a bicycle where we lived in Hove, it was too built up, but it would seem I got the bike almost as soon as we moved!

Happy Days!

Posted in Gordon Charles Dinnis, jackiedinnis | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Registration is open for August in Blogging U.

Jackie Dinnis:

Just thought I would reblog this in case anyone is keen to learn more! I have signed up, so wish me luck!

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

Note: this is the same Blogging 101 course previously offered by Blogging U. Feel free to take it again, but be aware that we’ll cover the same topics.

Have you just started blogging (welcome!), or are you looking to breathe new life into a blogging habit that’s fallen by the wayside? Blogging U. is a great way to get on track, with bite-size assignments, a supportive community, and staff to support you. This August, we’re offering Blogging 101— and registration is now open!

Blogging 101: Zero to Hero — August 3 – 21

Blogging 101 is three weeks of bite-size blogging assignments that take you from “Blog?” to “Blog!” Every weekday, you’ll get a new assignment to help you publish a post, customize your blog, or engage with the community.

You’ll walk away with a stronger focus for your blog, several published posts and a handful of drafts, a theme that reflects your personality, a small (but growing!) audience…

View original 201 more words

Posted in Beginning life in Hove | Leave a comment

Social Media and the More Mature User

Today I added a Facebook Page to my online presence, which should show up on the right hand side of this current homepage. In all honesty, I’m not really sure what a ‘facebook page’ is or what it’s meant to be used for. But I noticed it was there, so I thought I’d give it a go. It may disappear, it may not even be there at all – who knows?

I like to try these new things, I’ve always found when learning something new that I expect to be able to get it right straight away. But of course, that isn’t ever going to happen! Sometimes it’s good to sit back with a cup of tea and actually read the tutorials, and practice before ‘going live’.

My original intention today was to open an Instagram account to put some photos on. But if I understand it correctly I need a smart phone rather than a laptop? I have a mobile phone, but it definitely isn’t smart! It just sends texts and I can use it to talk to people! Twitter also seems meant for the smart phone. Maybe I should just get a smart phone? But the screens are so small, so I’d need to budget for reading glasses as well as the phone.

Which is why I ended up making a Facebook page. I didn’t really mean to do that, but we’ll see how it goes and hopefully it’ll add something to my ‘online presence’!

Me at school, where I enjoyed such things as writing with a pen and reading a book.

Me at school, where I enjoyed such things as writing with a pen and reading a book.

On the plus side I think I should give myself a pat on the back for even being able to switch a computer on. When you were born before computers were invented it’s been a very steep learning curve for us!

If you agree, please click ‘Like’ :)


Posted in Beginning life in Hove | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments