Coming of age in 1913

John P. Turner, the recipient of the 'Letters from Lowestoft' (see WW2), was a native of Lowestoft but he was an undergraduate at Selwyn College in Cambridge for his 21st birthday on 28th October 1913. He and a group of friends celebrated the event with a dinner. From the family archives some interesting memorabilia of the occasion has come to light which are shown below for your interest / entertainment.


The group photograph is a liitle worse for wear with a few creases. It is taken before the dinner with the host, J. P. Turner, sitting at the head with his guests around him and the table ready laid with menus (see next image) arranged around it. The apparent ripples in the wallpaper are actually ripples in the photograph.

The menu is a little fragile and the silk binding ribbon in Selwyn colours is very fragile but overall it has not discoloured too much and the pencil signatures of the guests are still plainly visible. Linking the names to the images in the photograph is sadly beyond me. If anyone thinks they know any of the guests do please contact me via the mailform (left) and I'll let you have a close-up image for confirmation or otherwise.

Above the receipted account for the specially printed menus....

....and finally the receipted account for the dinner.

It is not clear if the venue for the dinner was in one of the caterer's own premises or elsewhere.

For those with no knowledge of the our former divisions of our currency, the dinner cost 20p per head, each half bottle of Hock was just under 7p, the bottle of Port 30p, ginger ale 2.5p, fruit 25p and the hire of the piano 50p. The total was just under £3.21.

If anyone is unfamilar with stamp duty on receipts this practise existed until, I believe, the early 1960's where to validate a receipt for any amount over £2.00 a duty of 1p (later 2p) had to be paid.