1945 The Ingrams and the Balfours

The following film was taken by Alexander (Sandy) Ingram, Isabel Balfour’s older brother, and so features his children, John and Isla, as well as Ian and Bill Balfour. It includes two shots of the youngest Ingram sister, Muriel McKenzie, and her two older children, Anne and Moira. Muriel died in 1952 and this is the only known extant film footage of her. (There are photographs of her in ‘The Family Tree of Ian’s mother’, at numbers 21 and 23.)

The other Ingram sister, Libby, appears twice on the film.

Ian and Bill Balfour are shown three times  – hence the inclusions of this film here – but there is no film of their parents.

Dettie and Ali Ingram, maiden aunts, sisters of John Alexander Ingram; are, curiously, not named on the Family Tree of Ian’s mother.

Sandy was ‘train-mad’ and so the film ends with footage of the LMS service from Newtonmore to Edinburgh. See the ‘tablet’, needed for single-line working, being picked up on the film.

There is an amusing family story about the line-up of the children in the first frame on the film. At the celebrations for Aunt Libby’s 90th birthday, in 1992, a photo was produced of the line-up of her nephews and nieces as in the opening scene in the 1945 film. Sheila, the youngest of the McKenzie children, positioned herself at the front of the line. Aunt Libby said, ‘Sheila, no, you can’t join them, you weren’t in the 1945 picture!’ (Sheila was born in 1947)

There is no film for 1946. The Balfour family holiday was in North Uist, and while there is a photograph album of the holiday, the cine film camera was not available to the family until 1947 – it was then returned to Francis Balfour, who had bought it in the 1930’s for use by the Duncans at the Raxaul Medical Mission in North India. The Duncans brought it back, saying it was now obsolete, but it served the Balfour family until 1982.