The People of Gibraltar
1882 - Kate E. Gough - Which one is Which?

According to the Victoria and Albert Museum:
Kate Edith Gough (neé Hoare) was one of fourteen children and was born in Surbiton, Surrey, in 1856. Her father Thomas had a successful paint and varnish business which enabled the Hoares a comfortable middle-class status. 
When Kate was 23 she married Hugh Gough, a Royal Navy officer who served in the late 1870s. Her husband was often away and she had no children, so Gough spent much of her time with her sisters. They visited art exhibitions and theatres in London, and regularly travelled abroad. 
Gough’s sister, Ethel, kept detailed diaries which are a rich source of information about Gough’s life. Together, they participated in various activities such as sketching, lawn tennis and horse riding. These experiences in her daily life inspired the painted stages and narratives of the photo-collages in this album. 

Photo-collage depicting two women who are possibly Kate Edith Gough and her twin sister Grace Gough  - but as the caption says - which one is which?
Like her fellow upper-class women of the late 1800s, Gough pasted images of her family and surroundings onto the album’s pages, whilst referencing popular thought and literature. . . .
As in the example shown above Kate’s album was mostly made up of a series of cut-out photographs which she then pasted on to watercolour scenes. Women compiling these kinds of albums were not usually photographers but instead made use of cartes-de-visite portraits. The cut-outs incidentally seem to have been either of members of the family or of people who were very well known to her as she seems never to have bothered to identify anybody.

She also seems to have accompanied her husband on one of his naval trips to the Mediterranean where she painted several watercolours of Tangier and Gibraltar - in none of which did she make use of cut-outs.  If one can believe the dates given on her captions to her various watercolours she was probably there from 1872 to 1873.

Here are the Gibraltar ones.


The fellow is selling “Calentita” - Kate calls if “Calenti” - a kind of chickpea pancake which has been very popular as street food in Gibraltar from time immemorial.


This is the only example I have ever seen of somebody selling artificial flowers - especially not the method depicted and not just only in Gibraltar - a curious record.


Another curiosity. This must be a photograph - or postcard - of one of John Miller Adye’s many watercolours of Gibraltar on to which Kate has added her own invented foreground. Adye was governor of Gibraltar from 1883 to 1886 which makes me wonder when she got hold of this photograph of his work. I have so far been unable to find a digital copy of this one despite the fact that he made lots of very similar ones many of which I have.


Raglan’s was a battery rather than a bastion and I think it was named after Lord Raglan, the officer in command of the fiasco known as the Charge of the Light Brigade.  The artist, however, decided to ignore the guns and concentrated on the romantic looking steps that led up to it. After some discussion several local experts have come to the conclusion that the steps depict what is now Morello’s rather than Gowland’s Ramp. 

(Date unknown)

Finally a more finished work depicting the cliffs on the eastern side of the Rock. In the distance across the straits in Africa is Jebel Musa - the British called it Ape’s Mountain. Middle right a glimpse of the lighthouse at Europa Point and in the foreground an old lookout tower that was once supposed to have been of Moorish origin but no longer. 

On the bottom left hand corner and just south of the great sand dune is Sandy Bay, a beach in which I would spend most of my childhood summer days.

The other tower on the top of the highest part of the Rock is O’Hara’s Tower. During the late 18th C the then governor of Gibraltar, Lieutenant-General Charles O’Hara - also known as ‘The Old Cock of the Rock’ - ordered the building of an observation post on one of the Rock’s ridges. It was supposed to enable observers to see ship movements in Cadiz. He had failed to take into consideration the intervening mountains and the tower soon became known as O’Hara’s folly.

In 1887 the tower was demolished by the gunboat HMS Wasp. Much to the amazement of on-looking Spaniards and locals she fired her 5 inch guns from the vicinity of Algeciras and finally managed to hit the folly at the sixth attempt.