Monday, 3 January 2011

Who was Amy? A signature from 60 years ago.


idle women inscription033

For those of you without specs or a magnifier, the dedication reads…’To Amy Alder . In memory of many very ‘un-idle moments. Susan Woolfitt’

The dedication is in my first edition copy of ‘Idle Women’  published in 1947 by wartime’ Idle Woman’ Susan Woolfitt.

idle women cover032


So who was Amy?

As the dedication says …’to many un-idle moments’ , the most obvious answer is that she was one of Susan Woolfitts wartime boating companions. Yet no  Amy Alder is recorded as having been on the training scheme as far as we know. It has been suggested that she  might have been the landlady of the Blue Lias pub at Long Itchington. A favourite wartime ‘tie up’ for the boats on their way to Birmingham evidently.

The more visually agile amongst you and those who have perused an earlier blog of mine (See ‘Wartime Ephemera’ in my Nov Blogs) will have noted that the photo on the cover of War Illustrated and that on the dust cover of Idle Women are the same ! - this is because it was an official war time government photograph.

Any ideas anyone? Please let me have your comments.

While we are at it. I thought you might like to see the signature of one of the  other ‘Idle Woman’ who published an account of her experiences i e Emma Smith who kindly signed my first edition copy of her book ‘Maidens Trip’  recently.

Emma Sith Signature


For those interested Idle Women and Maidens Trip are still in print and well worth reading. Another account is by Margaret Cornish whose ‘Troubled Waters’  was published in 1987.

Emma Smith M Trip

First Edition copy of Maidens Trip (P’bd 1948) & its nostalgic ‘period ‘ dust wrapper.

I cant resist also showing the rare 1st edition Paperback edition of 1950 again with a nostalgic but very different (period)front cover illustration.  Mikes Book Covers                                           

Remember…… more wonderfully nostalgic blogs to come.!!!! Let me know if you have any ideas about  ‘Amy’ or my blogs or anything to do with old waterway books.


Unknown said...

Hi, fascinated by your blog! The wartime poster picture is of Audrey one of a team that worked together for about two years. There is a wonderful pathe film of them entitled 'Beauty and the Barge'- you can find it at

Unknown said...

Thanks Kate.I hadn't seen this. Also thanks for being the first to comment about any of my blogs.I had wondered whether I was wasting my time.If talking to yourself is a sign of old age then blogging to yourself must be even worse!!!

Unknown said...

Delighted to be of use. I am now promoting your blog to all my other boating friends!