Amy's Autograph Album -- Album cover and contents


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Amy's Autograph Album

This album (measuring approx 6¾ x 8¼ in (17 x 21 cm)) was donated to the IWFHS by Ainsley Alexander of Helsby, Cheshire, in 2014. It had been given to his mother by elderly sisters who lived in the flat opposite to the Alexander family's flat in Buckingham Villa, Ryde, in the 1970s.

The elderly sisters (believed to be Mabel Coombes and Nellie Mann) were from the COOMBES family, and Amy is Amy Adelaide COOMBES, born in 1888, who died on 15th March 1953, aged 64. She is buried in Ryde Borough Cemetery with her parents and her sister Daisy. Her sisters Nellie and Daisy gave the Album to Amy on her 16th birthday in 1904.

They were the daughters of Walter James and Ellen (née Wheeler) Coombes of Ryde.

Amy is possibly illustrated on this page :



Walter Coombes was an Estate Agent and Upholsterer according to the 1911 Census; they were at 4 Monkton Street, Ryde at the time.

The full names of the daughters were :

Mabel Florence; born 5 June 1881; in 1911 she was an Assistant Schoolmistress (Portsmouth Education Committee). She died in September 1976.
Nellie Maud; born 1 September 1883; in 1911 she was a Draper's Assistant. She married in 1922, Alexander John Mann, at All Saints' Church. Ryde. She died in 1972.
Daisy Emmeline; born 1884; in 1911 she was an Assistant Schoolmistress (Ryde Education Committee). She did not marry, and died 27 May 1935.
Amy Adelaide; born 1888; in 1911 she was 'Assisting in the Business' i.e. her father's business. She did not marry, and died 15 March 1953.


The majority of the other entries are from Ryde residents, although there are some from further afield.

We would be pleased to receive any further information about the COOMBES family or any of the other contributors to the Album.

Links to contents :

Album cover
To Amy with love from Nellie & Daisy on her 16th birthday
'As old Adam and Eve in the days gone by' : Alexr. Brown : 22nd Octr. 1908
'Glasgow' : A.H. : Nov 1908
'It Pays' : M. Stanley : Ryde : 19.1.05
'If what shone afar so grand' : Ella Hunt : Ryde : Feb 1908
From J.M. with happy recollections : Summer 1908
'Should acquaintance be forgot' : M.H. Davidson : 20-1-07 [photo missing]
'This world is a pretty good sort of place' : Ethel Harris (Toby) : Ryde : May 3rd 1906
A.J. Holbrook : Dec. 14th 1904
'The good sweet maid, and let who will be clever' : C. Wyles : July 28th 1905
'When this you see then think of me' : T.F. Palmer, East Cowes, I.O.W. : June 22 / 08
A.M. Holbrook : 16.12.04
'As half in shade & half in sun' : Alf Wyles : Jan 30th 1905
'Question not, but list & labour' : S. Raython [?] : 10/3/06
'A Friend' : 'Kitten' : Ryde : 1-11-05 [p.1]
'A Friend' : 'Kitten' : Ryde : 1-11-05 [p.2]
'Be useful where thou livest' : D. Evans : Southsea : 1906
'O many an arrow will reach the heart' : Florence M Smith "Julia" : Ryde : 21/10/05
'poppies' : Mollie Penwarden : Ryde : 9.11.05
'Didn't she marry a has-been' : William H. Quelch : 31/3/05
'Friendship' : Frances Spurway : Honiton, Devon
'Oh Amy ! You're not on the Botanical List' : F Cheesewright : Ryde : 20/06/07
'A Cure for Love' : Constance V Prior : Jan 18th 1908
'A merry heart is as good as a medecine' : A.W. Evans : 31/5/08
'If you've a loving message' : Florence Mabel Smith "Julia" : Ryde : March 9th 1906
'Good little children love their brothers' : Bessie Halford : Ryde : 27.1.07
Old friends are best : the Seasons wane' : Daisy Coombes : Jan 16th 1905
'We know nothing of tomorrow' : J. Quelch : March 31st 1905
'Things we never see' : Nellie Hann : Union St, Ryde : 14/1/08
'When in this book you look' : Vera Holmes : Ryde, IofW : 2.2.08
'A Postage Stamp' : W. Gladwin : Ryde : Jan 20 1908
'Voice from the bed' : J. Spencer : Ryde : Feb 1st 08
'Howe'er it be, it seems to me' : Winifred King : Ryde : 20.10.05
'The Cockney Yachtsman' : 'Fido' : 22.9.08
'Lest We Forget' card