Luz circa 1962

This is a photo of Luz beach that was taken around 1962.

This caused a furore when it was posted on CMoMM, so let me explain its provenance and my interest in it. It was posted by a person with a username of Tanina, who claimed to be one of the two little girls in the photo, and who dated it to 1962, so it was self-published. It drew a firestorm of comment that it was inappropriate, sufficient to drive Tanina away from the forum.

From my viewpoint this was highly unfortunate, because Tanina clearly had a wealth of knowledge about the development of Luz, and I had been chomping at the bit to find out more.

My interest in the photo is not in three small children getting changed on a beach. Perhaps it is just me, but I think of that as common practice. Perhaps on Luz beach nowadays they get taken to the public loos in the Paraíso, but I don’t intend patrolling the beach to find out.  Note the Paraíso did not exist at the time of this photograph.

I have deliberately left the photo exactly as it was posted. I have not edited it in any way, though I can say nothing about what went on before it was posted.

I would rate this as a high quality photo for 1962. It has a tiny bit of blur and the spectral range is just a little off, but when we come to look at photos taken just a few years later, it is easy to see this stands head and shoulders above. This suggests to me that the family could afford a high-quality camera.

Flights to the costas were seemingly started by British European Airways in 1957, when the destination was Valencia, for the Costa Blanca. Faro airport opened in July 1965. It is unlikely the people in this family were tourists. Hence I was irked at not getting a chance to discuss this further with Tanina.

The fact that the photograph is dated to a narrow range helps a lot. I can tell by the shadows this was summer and it was around 12.00. I needed the year from elsewhere.

Now have a look at what was going on in Luz in summer 1962.

It is clearly not a tourist haven, judging by the beach. There are still a couple of large fishing boats, and a flotilla of row-boats. On what is now the promenade, it was still clearly a road used by cars.

The photo is the east end of Luz. The fish factories are there, but the area is more developed around Rua Praia da Luz and Rua Direita. But there is nothing that looks ‘modern’ in 2017 terms.

The skeleton of Luz was being laid down. The bones and the flesh would come later.

Oh, and did you notice the pony and carriage?


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