Old photographs from 1930s England: Grandparents packing the car in Lincolnshire

All photos: Barney Britton

While rummaging through his grandmother's attic one day, Seattle-based editor and photographer Barney Britton happened upon a truly wonderful discovery: A small wooden box filled with nearly 80 color slides dating back to his grandparents' honeymoon in August 1939.

Shortly before the start of World War II, Britton's grandparents, Margaret and Denys,  decided to celebrate their marriage by embarking on a camping trip across England in their Morris 8 Convertible (seen in the photo above). Joining the two love birds was their cat, Edgar (seen in the photo below), and Denys' cousin, Eldred, who just so happened to be a great photographer.

Even though Eldred passed away in 1940, Britton has always felt a special connection with the photographic prints he left behind: "I love his informal documentary style," Britton says. "Not only was he an important documentarian of our family history, but he was a damned good photographer."

Old photographs from 1930s England: Camping in Yorkshire
An old slide of Barney Britton's grandparents held up to the lightThe touching collection includes priceless color shots of the trio exploring the gorgeous countryside and cities of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk in eastern England. In the photo above, the couple sets up their campsite in Yorkshire as Edgar the cat looks on.

Despite sitting in an attic for at least 20 years, these precious heirloom slides, most of which are glass-mounted, have held up quite well aside from a bit of fading.

For Britton, these slides were the stuff of family legend: "My mother could remember seeing them, so we knew that they had existed at some point. [...] We genuinely believed that they had been accidentally thrown out, so it was great to discover that they were just in a forgotten box, in the attic."

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Grandma in car
Margaret (pictured above smiling in the Morris 8 convertible) recently passed away at the age of 100 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for almost 20 years, so it was doubly special for Britton's family to be able to see her again as a vibrant, 26-year-old newlywed.
Aside from the obvious value to the family, this exquisite collection is also an historically significant treasure trove for photo history buffs. After all, color photography wasn't common among non-professionals in the 1930s.

Continue below for more photos, or check out Britton's original posts on DPReview.

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Picnic in Lincolnshire

Margaret and Denys picnicking in Lincolnshire Wolds.

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Flameborough Head

Denys at Flameborough Head, Yorkshire

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Flameborough cliffs

Cliffs and boats at Flameborough Head, Yorkshire

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Lavenham, Suffolk

Street scene in Lavenham, Suffolk

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Bicyclist and horse on Norfolk Bridge

A bicyclist and a man on horseback pass over bridge in Norfolk.

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Boston, Lincolnshire

The port in Boston, Lincolnshire

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Granddad walking

Denys walks down a path flanked by lupins

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Lupins and trees

Lupins and trees in the English countryside

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Bend in the road in Norfolk

Convertible parked in the English countryside.

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Roadblock in Yorkshire

Rural roadblock in Yorkshire

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Water can in Norfolk

Drawing up a water can in Norfolk

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Walking under a clothesline

Walking under a clothesline

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Wading in the water under Stiffkey Bridge

Wading in the water under Stiffkey Bridge in Norfolk

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Granddad juggling ice cream cones

Denys juggles ice cream cones in Norfolk.

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Lincoln

Bridge and ditch in Lincoln, England

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Watching the sunset in a car

The newlyweds watch the sunset from the convertible.

 
Old photographs from 1930s England: Cyclists

The trio spots cyclists in the English countryside.

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.