Finding A Fairy
William Arthur Cadby, who shot all the photographs for the book, was best-known for his photographs of the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland and also his sympathetic portrayals of childhood. He was born in Hampstead during 1864 and was the son of a pianoforte maker. Carine was from Brighton and the daughter of a captain in the 9th Lancers. It seems likely William met Carine in London, and they married there at St. Peter’s Parish Church in Regent Square on 21 April 1894.
Prior to moving to Platt in 1900, the Cadbys lived in Reculver on the North Kent coast, and on arrival in the village took up residence in a property now called Platt Common House, but known at that time as Platt Cottage (later Ruffway.) The house, situated at the top end of Platt Common, was right next to Platt Woods, which became the location for many of the photographs in the book.
The Telegraph wrote:
Finding a Fairy’ is a charming book of fantasy and childhood. Mrs Carine Cadby tells a pleasant tale of a little girl who lived near a wood in which all sorts of pretty and wonderful things happened. The story is illustrated with photographs by Mr Will Cadby, who has been wonderfully successful in catching not only the grace of children, but bird life and the beauty of woodland scenery.
Coincidentally the Cadby’s ‘fairy’ book was published the same year as the first photographs of the more widely known Cottingley Fairies were taken, however unlike those, the Cadby’s don’t appear to have ever suggested that their images were authentic!
Carine published several more books after the war and in 1919 she became the first President of the Platt Women’s Institute, which started life as a Red Cross working group that met at Platt Cottage and made surgical supplies such as padded splints, swabs, bandages etc. for the wounded.
The Cadby’s lived in Platt until the 1920’s when they moved to Dorset. William died in Shaftesbury during 1937 and Carine twenty-years later in 1957.
We have reproduced the photographs from the book below. More writing and photographs by the Cadbys can be seen in an article from 1916 entitled ‘A Pine Wood For The Front.‘