The image was in remarkably good condition in general, requiring relatively little clean-up. But it is a halftone, composed of quite visible dots of ink. This was the standard way of reproducing monochrome photographs in newspapers right up until fairly recent times. With some Photoshop magic, I’ve managed to make it look a little more like a conventional photograph.
The picture comes from a scrapbook kept by Jeremy’s brother Tim (our cousin too, I suppose). The scrapbook apparently includes mostly clippings about our theatrical great great Lillies uncles. (I wrote about them here.) But Jeremy also found the picture of the little girls and pages from the program for an invitation-only Pupils’ Concert by students of a piano teacher named Miss Frances Osborne. Here they are.
While on the subject of grandma Vera, and jumping ahead several decades, I will also pass on a few brief reminiscences of her from Australian relatives. In an email to Jeremy, our cousin Andrew Lillies (b.1949) who lives near Melbourne, wrote, “She was our Aunt (or Auntie) Vee whom I met when I was very small. All I remember is that she was very deaf, and used a hearing trumpet which we all used to have to shout in to. But she only picked up a few words so profound was her deafness.” Rob Blackwell also mainly remembers the ear trumpet.
Strange and sad to think of that beautiful little piano player, a half a century later, as an old woman with an ear trumpet! She wasn't the only musician who went deaf, though.