By 1892, a trend had formed of giving a Calendar as a Christmas gift, something that still exists today. Artistic calendars showing fine art were considered quite the perfect present and something that could be used all the following year.
On Friday 23rd December 1892, Mr McCaffrie, the wine and spirit merchant of Springwell had TWO different fine calendars available for anybody looking for a last minute Christmas gift. They were available to buy from his public house (more recently known as Miller’s Fireplaces).
The Calendars featured “pretty girls”, socialites and actresses. One was a life like picture of Mrs Langtry and the other was Miss Ellen Terry. (Both pictured). Both pictures were considered to have artistic merit and Mr McCaffrie considered them suitable for framing and worthy of adorning any home.
Lillie Langtry (b1853-d1929) was a British born American actress and socialite. Her ‘fine’ looks attracted interest from many male admirers including noblemen. She was considered charming and the actual calendar colour picture used by Mr McCaffrie is shown opposite.
The actress, Dame Ellen Terry GBE (b1847-d1928), was one of the first stars of the modern British stage. She was particularly known for her performances at the Lyceum Theatre London, UK, opposite Sir Henry Irving.
She was married to the artist G. F. Watts, Charles Kelly and James Carew and had a long relationship with Edward Godwin. Godwin was the father of her two children, Edward Gordon Craig the theatre designer and Edith Craig the lesbian theatre director, costumier and activist in the women’s suffrage movement.